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What Comes from the Hand of God

By J. Hudson Taylor

      "...the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job 1:21).

      The great accuser having no fault to find with Job's character or life, insinuates that it is all the result of selfishness. "Doth Job fear God for nought?" Indeed he did not, as Satan well knew! Nor has anyone, before or since. There is no service which pays so well as the service of our Heavenly Master: there is none so royally rewarded. Satan was making a true assertion, but the insinuation--that it was for the sake of the reward that Job served God, was not true. And to vindicate the character of Job himself, Satan is permitted to test Job.

      And soon Satan shows the malignity of his character by bringing disaster after disaster upon the devoted man. But God who sent the trial gave also the needful grace, and Job replied: "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord".

      Was not Job mistaken? Should he not have said: "The Lord gave, and Satan hath taken away"? No, there was no mistake. He was enabled to discern the hand of God in all these calamities. Satan himself did not presume to ask God to be allowed hirnself to afflict Job. He says to God: "Put forth Thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse Thee to Thy face". And again: "Put forth Thine hand now, and touch his flesh and bone, and he will curse Thee to Thy face". Satan knew that none but God could touch Job, and Job was quite right in recognising the Lord Himself as the doer. Oftentimes shall we be helped and blessed if we bear this in mind--that Satan is servant, and not master, and that he, and wicked men incited by him, are only permitted to do that which God by His determined counsel and foreknowledge had before determined should be done. Come joy or come sorrow, we may always take it from the hand of God.

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