Patience of Job
There’s an ancient saying, “Patience of Job.” That means one has patience to burn. Saintly patience, if you will.
But who was this guy Job? And what did he do to become the gauge by which patience of others is measured?
Well, after reading todays blog, dear reader, you will be ahead of the curve, heading the pack. And next time someone uses that phrase, you can look at them smugly and rattle off facts. Your friends will be most impressed.
Way back in the day, when wealth was measured by the number of sheep, oxen and asses one owned, (asses as in the hoofed beasts with long ears that bray, and not the ones you see in nightclubs around 3AM with a bellyful of grog), Job was, The Man.
The Jobster had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred oxen and five hundred asses. He also had seven sons and three daughters. He was doing good.
Now Job was also renowned in his neck-o-the-woods for being perfect and righteous. He feared God more than anyone and he eschewed evil. That’s a biblical way of saying he wanted no part of Satan and his shenanigans.
Everything was going swimmingly. Job was happily doing his thing, getting up early, offering God burnt offerings on behalf of himself and family, just in case his sons sinned, as youngsters with too much time on their hands are at times inclined to do, tending to his asses and camels, and generally kicking back.
The kids were having a great time too. They spent their days chilling and nights feasting in their houses, the boys never forgetting to invite their sisters along. Life was one constant party.
Then one day, Satan goes visiting with God. As Satan does apparently, and during their idle chit-chat, Satan casually tells God that he’d been cruising up and down the Earth and it came to his attention that Gods number one man, Job, isn’t really what he seems. That he’d turn on God in a heart beat if his goods and possessions were taken away.
God, never doubting his popularity, scoffed at Satan and basically told him to go ahead and take everything away from Job. So they shook hands and Satan went off to prove his point.
First thing Satan did was to organize a bunch of marauding, cattle rustling Sabaeans to attack and kill the servants and make off with the oxen and the asses. Only one servant was spared to report the calamity to Job.
Whilst the first servant was still speaking, another came running. He, breathlessly informed Job that a band of Chaldeans killed the servants looking after the camels and made off with the beasts.
This second man hadn’t yet finished when a third servant rushed in. He informed Job that his sons and daughters were eating and drinking at the eldest sons house when an almighty wind came from the wilderness and thrashed the house. All the kids perished in the debris.
Job apparently took the news well, although he did “rent his mantle,” (tore his robe) went and shaved his head, then dropped to his knees and said: Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
And he went on like this to the day he died. Even when he fell sick, the man refused to blame God. He remained patient.
And that’s the bases of the “Patience of Job,” saying, dear reader. The man took his licks and never whined or wavered, if you can believe that. So in essence you could say, God, one. Satan, zero. Job? Well, he was the ball.
Makes you all warm and fuzzy doesn’t it?