by Heather Tietz
For you will bless the righteous. LORD, you will surround him with favor as with a shield.
Job lived a blessed life. He was righteous. In fact, he is one of the few so named in the Bible. Job 1:1 reads, “He was blameless-a man of complete integrity.” He was surrounded by livestock, children, and more wealth than anyone in his town.
But Job suffered. There was a time in his life when at no fault of his own, God allowed the enemy to take away almost all Job’s blessings. The respectful Job was left without a home, children, livestock or health. But righteous Job didn’t curse God; God remained his shield. Satan could not get any closer to Job more than God allowed him.
In Christ, we have God’s favor. Knowing Jesus, loving His laws, following His ways, puts us behind God’s shield, God’s care, and protection. It puts us where a long line of favored people, blessed people, and people who lived abundant lives also stood.
But these same favored people also suffered, not at the hand of God, but suffered at the hands of God. Beloved Daniel sat before hungry lions, but God closed their mouths.
Joseph was sold as an Egyptian slave, but God turned him into a respectable ruler.
The king’s selected men, Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego were thrown into a fiery furnace but God protected them from the flames.
There is a long list of blessed people, shielded people, who experienced tragedy, tragedy that God turned into an even greater blessing.
Perhaps you are one of them.