Long ago a man named Job dwelt in a distant land.
Job was a man of great repute, rightly fearing God
And he begot seven sons with three daughters, and
He was accounted just with much honour and laud.
He had more wealth than any and the greatest herd
He was widely counted as the finest man in the east.
All his sons had banquets and they would send word
To their sisters to join them at their magnificent feast.
After feasting finished Job would mass his offspring,
And he purified them all, rising up early every morn
And for all his children he gave the Lord an offering
And for all of their unknown wrongs they were shorn.
In heaven all of the angels convened before the Lord.
The Son of the Dawn, prince of Hell, the Morningstar,
Lucifer, also returned and joined the heavenly horde.
So God queried Lucifer: “Have you come from afar?”
Lucifer began with his eyes ice-cold in a soft malice
“From roaming your earth and dwelling around man,
I marked mankind, from a squalid hovel to a palace
And I have sought to learn of man that which I can.”
God answered “Have you observed My servant Job?
He is a righteous man who fears God and shuns sin.
There is no man like him found upon earth’s globe.”
But Lucifer gave retort, eyes afire with a cruel grin.
“Is Job good for nothing? For he lives in a fortress
With a family and wealth for You bless his labour.
But should the Lord strike all that he does possess,
Job will certainly curse You within this very hour.”
“Very well,” God replied unto the bringer of light,
“All Job possesses is in your hand: do as you see fit.
But do not touch Job: he is protected by my might”
So Lucifer swaggered out, boastful of cunning wit.
Later as Job’s children were feasting, drinking wine
A messenger came running up to Job with a report:
“The livestock were thriving, things were truly fine,
But the Sabeans struck suddenly slaying their escort.
Of all your servants only I escaped to let you know!”
Whilst he spoke, another messenger soon appeared
“A lightning gyre from the clouds struck us below,
Blazing sheep and men, all in fire they disappeared!”
He still spoke as another man arrived, much gored
“A band of Chaldeans robbed our camels on a raid,
Stole the beasts, putting all your men to the sword.
Of all your servants I alone have not been waylaid!”
Instantly another courier materialised as he spoke:
“Your sons ate at great house, all in a congregation
When a mighty torrent swept up like desert smoke
And wrecked the house, causing utter devastation.
The roof collapsed on your children and they died.
Of all of the witnesses, only I escaped the malaise!”
Job was in utter shock, then tore his robe and cried
And shaving his head he fell and gave God praise.
Job cried unto God in the midst of his searing pain
“I came naked from the womb and naked I will die.
The Lord He gives, the Lord will take away again.
Praise the name of the LORD is my sorrowful cry.”
And though Job suffered much in his sharp distress
He earnestly sought the Lord and he did not despair.
Thus he did no wrong nor did he rebel or transgress
And Job did not blame God, but fought to forebear.
Top image credit: Job Trusting God Despite Afflictions, illustration from © GoodSalt.com. Used with permission.