Friday, January 15, 2010

FROM THE BARREL OF MY PEN
By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


“THE LORD GAVE, THE LORD TAKETH AWAY, BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD”


Calamity and death struck again! This time the victim is Haiti, an island nation in the backyard of America.


The worst earthquake in 200 years with a magnitude of 7.0 followed by twelve aftershocks with a magnitude more than 5 hit the Caribbean city of Porto au Prince, in Haiti in the morning of January 12th. It is predicted that about half a million people died and about 3 million is feared injured or missing.

When the killer floods and typhoons hit the Philippines in October of last year, I referred my readers to the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible authored by King Solomon, the wisest king of all times. He said “no man knows when his hour will come as fish are caught in a cruel net and birds are ken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly on them.” In other words, our life here in this world is governed by time and chance according to God’s timing.

As mere creations, can we question God the Creator for all these unfortunate events? No way.

In the Book of Job in the Old Testament considered by theologists and religious scholars as the most profound book in the Bible, Satan requested permission from God to test the faith of Job, a man endowed by God with wealth and other material things. He challenged God that without his prosperous life, Job would rebel against his Creator.

Satan destroyed all of Job’s possessions and later took away his seven sons and three daughters. Job remained steadfast in his faith. God again allowed Satan to hit Job’s physical body without killing him to test his faith. So Satan caused painful boils to cover Job’s body that even his wife urged him to curse God. He refused even to repent from his sins as suggested by his friends because he believed that he has never sinned against God.

However, Job felt without questioning God’s justice that his sufferings are not justified because he has not wronged the Creator. In this instance, God spoke in a divine voice like coming from a cloud or whirlwind that God is the Creator of all things including men and Job has not experienced of being the Creator. God is saying that Job does not fully understand the reasons for his sufferings because as God says “where were you when I created the world”

The Book of Job teaches that God is God and He is free to do what He wants. What He wants from His creations is total faith without question.

Job passed the test of faith. Satan failed. God restored Job’s health and doubles his wealth; God also gave him back his seven sons and three daughters.

One thing God asked Job to do before his restoration is to pray for forgiveness for his friends who urged him to question God for his sufferings.

Moral lesson: The most POWERFUL weapon against evil things and events is PRAYER.

End

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