Our Worst Fear

What does the person who has everything fear most?

“What I feared has overtaken me,” says Job, “what I dreaded has come upon me” (3:25 tr. Jewish Publication Society). As a man who has everything, what does Job fear most? Is it the loss of his businesses? his employees? his health? or his children? He may well have worried himself about those potential disasters. He earlier seeks his children’s sanctification through regular sacrifices on their behalf, lest they entertain a thought to curse God. That, he fears, could bring ruin. We can understand Job’s fear.

In Chapter three, Job identifies “trouble” and “turmoil” (3:10, 26 NIV) to explain why he curses his life and wants to die. In v. 10, “trouble” means miserable conditions, Job’s word for his losses of businesses, employees, health, and children.  Watching the movie Angela’s Ashes, I was impressed with scene after scene of drenching rain, puddles, mud, and more rain.  It seemed to me that to live in Ireland I would subject myself to miserable conditions. In v. 26, immediately following Job’s expression of fear, the word translated “turmoil” describes “chaos.” “No peace, no quietness, no rest,” he says. In a peaceful pastoral scene where the oxen plowed and donkeys grazed, in the first of four succesive disasters, attackers stole his animals and killed his employees (1:5). It turns out that Job’s big fear was chaos: uncontrollable disaster, destruction, and death.

Job speaks for us all. What do you fear most? The loss of your job, health insurance, and home? In today’s economy, such fears are realistic. My worst fear is that our expenses outrun our retirement income. What do you fear most?

About Grose

Gordon Grose loves most to write, speak, and preach on the message of hope from the book of Job. Using drama, video, and PowerPoint, he has preached and presented this message of hope to churches around the country. Grose pastored three congregations 25 years, then served 12 years as a pastoral counselor in a Portland, Oregon counseling clinic. He now serves with Good Samaritan Counseling Services, Beaverton, OR. A graduate of Wheaton College (IL), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, and Boston University, he comes from a rich and varied background in theological and counseling training. In 2015, Gordon published Tragedy Transformed: How Job's Recovery Can Provide Hope For Yours, a book about turning to Job for hope after tragedy. If you have experienced life challenges or personal tragedy, visit his Transforming Tragedy (gordongrose.com) blog to learn more. TragedyTransformed.com provides a sample of Gordon's speaking as well as an opportunity to purchase copies of his book.
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