I don't think that this is what the writers of LOST are doing with the story. This is just what the storyline on LOST reminds me of at the moment. With that in mind, let's move on...
If you haven't read the Book of Job in the Bible, you should. Very powerful and informative stuff. Not very empowering to the Church in today's world...at least not the Churches that make God your personal genie and claim that you determine your own destiny. Not even very good for those who claim to have chosen Christ rather than the other way around. Too bad. It's always been a big help to me.
So...what is the main theme running throughout Job? Let's look at the story.
First we're told that Job is a really good guy. He's so good, in fact, that he prays for other people just in case they may have screwed up. He's rich, powerful, fears God, shuns evil, and probably helps little old ladies cross the street. Couldn't be any better of a guy.
The Sons of God, whoever they are (and yes, I think I do, but that's for another time) show up to hang out with God up in Heaven. Satan is with them. This means it's after his fall as Lucifer. He still has access to God as our accuser. God asks him the equivalent of, "What's up?" Satan's response?
"Oh, you know...hangin'...chillin'...checkin' stuff out down on the Earth."
God's reply is very informative in many ways. He asks Satan if he's checked out Job. Then, God brags on Job. Says there is, "...none like him in all the earth."
Wow. Can you imagine God saying that about you? I can't. Maybe the other way...like, hey, look at Chris...you ever seen such a screw-up in all your days? Job, unlike yours truly, was obviously high on God's list.
Satan gets chippy back with God...says, sure...who wouldn't do good and be cool with all that stuff you've given him. Take his stuff away, and he'll curse you to your face. God tells Satan to knock himself out...take it all...just don't touch Job. And...off Satan goes. He takes all of Job's stuff. Kills all of his kids. Really screws him over. Know what Job says? "I didn't have nothing when I got here...sure ain't taken nothing with me when I go...God gave it to me, He can take it back...it's all His. Thanks for lettin' me have it for awhile."
This is powerful stuff. Have you ever thought, or heard from somebody else, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Job was a good guy. Why did that happen to him? Well, who brought his name up? It wasn't Satan...it was God. Let's look at what happened next.
Some time goes by. We aren't told how much. The Sons of God and Satan are back up hangin' out with God. God asks Satan again, "Where you been?"
Satan tells him again..."hangin', checkin', chillin'...
Now God brings Job up AGAIN. "He's still my boi, and even though I let you screw with him for no reason, he still stands strong."
Satan's reply? "You let me take his stuff...but a man would sell his own soul for his life and health...let me screw with him that way and he'll curse you to your face." God says OK, but you can't kill him.
So...who brought Job into all of this both times? God did. This whole thing is a bet between God and Satan...and God is betting on Job!
Satan screws with Job really bad now. Boils from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. His wife tells him to curse God so he can die. He tells her to shut up..."...you want the good stuff from God? Then you gotta take the bad too." Didn't do anything wrong. Better man than me. Can't say much for his wife, though. I'll take mine any day.
This is where Satan does his best work. First he has the wife screw with him. Now his three best friends show up. And, how do they comfort Job? By telling him that he must have a secret sin in his life, or God wouldn't be doing this to him. Nice.
A little story from me now. Some of you know I have a degenerative neuropathy. The pain is so bad, it feels like someone injected all of my veins with gasoline and then set them on fire. Most of the time I can block out the pain well enough, but sometimes...anyway, a few years ago, I was hanging with this other Pastor. Nice enough guy. I had told him all about my past. Pretty much everything. Not a pretty picture, but I have no delusions of grandeur. So...one day the nerve damage hits like it's never hit before. I call him and ask for prayer. The pain goes on non-stop for two days. I start going through a check list in my mind of anything in my life that's changed recently. Well, I had just started taking an "energy boosting" vitamin pack. One of the ingredients is the worst thing to take if you have my neuropathy. I stopped taking the supplements, and the pain went back down to its normal hell.
Two days later, this Pastor calls me. Says he knows why my pain is soooo bad. You see, God spoke to him. That's right...God spoke to him. Directly. Personally. God told him that my pain was punishment for secret sins in my life. If I just confessed my secret sins to him (the pastor, not God), then my pain would go away. I asked when when God told him all of this; he said the night before. He asked if he could come over. Sure. Please do. Apparently, neither God nor this Pastor knew the pain had been caused by the vitamin pack and had been gone for three days.
I let him go through his whole routine when he came over. It was filled with how much he loved me, how long he had fasted for me, how God spoke to him...you get the idea. I let him talk. God had told him just how urgent it was for me to confess these secret hidden sins to him. You can imagine his surprise when I told him about the vitamins and being back to normal for three days. I told him I didn't know which God he'd been talking to...but it wasn't my God. Mine didn't make mistakes like that. He left...very embarrassed and trying to act like he hadn't said what he said...oh, and by the way...please don't tell any of the congregation about this. Please?
You see...this Pastor was getting ready to try and pull some financial shenanigans at his church. He suspected that I might know. He wanted to have dirt on me to use in case I tried to out him. I didn't care to out him. Not worth my time. And anybody who knows me, and thinks I have secret, worse sins than I cop to, isn't very bright. The ones I own are bad enough, thank you very much.
Am I comparing myself to Job? God forbid. Job was a righteous man. God said so Himself. Me? Not so much. However, we all go through tests and trials. What we need to remember is this...
God is betting on you. He loves you. He wants you to win. It isn't about how you look doing it. This life isn't a sprint. It's a combination marathon/obstacle course/gauntlet. Tough stuff. Doesn't matter what order you finish in. Just finish. And...God has already promised that you will finish. Keep your head up. You'll make it. Just don't quit.
At the end of Job's story, God gives him ten times more than he had before (same nagging wife, though...I'm sure glad I've got you Cherish) and tells Job's friends that He won't even listen to their prayers anymore because of how bad they spoke about Him. They have to beg Job to pray for them. The real kicker: It never says that God ever told Job why he put him through all of that shit. Never tells Job it was all a bet.
Now, back to LOST. Which character reminds me of Job?
John Locke. The true believer. The only thing he does wrong is finally ask why? Just like Job. Only mistake Job made was asking God why. Once God started to answer, Job changed his mind. Too late. Once God starts talking, He doesn't like being interrupted. You ask...He just might answer.
Last night's episode had the "Flocke Monster say that John Locke was a sucker for believing that the island brought him there for a reason. Maybe he was right. We all feel like suckers sometimes when we try and do things God's way. But...
If the Flocke Monster represents Satan, or evil...then you know that he lies...all of the time. I think he was lying about John Locke. I think Satan can't stand it when we believe...especially when we cling desperately in the face of all reasons not to. That's what Locke did in the show. He was killed for it. But...
I don't think that the island is done with the real John Locke yet. I think he is still the key to the ending of Lost. I believe that some how, some way, he's going to come back. It will be his return that ultimately defeats the Flocke Monster. His faith...
I know it's hard to remember when you're eyeball deep in shit that that is what it takes to make the flowers grow. But...it's much harder to remember, when you're standing in that beautiful field of flowers later...that you wouldn't be there...if you hadn't been eyeball deep in shit before.
Just as God uses our faith in Him to defeat our enemy. So, hang in there. Finish the race. God's cheering for you...and so am I.
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