An interesting story in the Old Testament is in the book of Job. The story unfolds this way:
“There was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless, a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil.” Job was a very rich man with a large family. One day Satan came to talk with God.
In Job 1:9 we read, “Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, Job fears God, but not without good reason! YOU have always protected him and his home and his property from harm. YOU have made him prosperous in everything he does.”
Satan asked if he could test him and God said yes.
God let Satan kill his children, steal his oxen and donkeys, burn up his sheep and shepherds, steal his camels and kill his servants as a test. Later Satan returned to God; God allowed Satan to destroy Job’s health.
Now if that isn’t enough, in the next 40 chapters we see the discouragement, condemnation, and criticism hurled at Job by his friends and wife. They were convinced it was sin in Job’s life that caused the loss of family, health, wealth, and prestige. In spite of the verbal abuse from friends and wife, Job kept his heart right with God.
Now, for the end of the story. "So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters.” (Job 42:12-13)
Because Job was a righteous man, he knew it was from God’s hand that all his blessings came. Satan even acknowledged that Job’s prosperity came from the hand of God. There may be cowboys and cowgirls reading this that think their gold buckles and success in the rodeo arena is because of their ability, try, and hard work. Yes, it takes all of that to win, but without God’s hand protecting and helping us, good never comes in our life.
The book of Job has many lessons but the verses in Deuteronomy 8:17-19 tell a huge truth found in Job’s story that no cowboy or cowgirl should ignore.
You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.
My husband, being a bottom line kind of a cowboy said, “if God’s hand quits protecting us, we are all in a lot of trouble.”