Job, one of the oldest stories in the Bible with the youngest, bookends with Revelation. Job and John tell us something we know by the end of Christmas day; material goods may delight and distract us for a moment, but they ultimately fail us. They do not answer our deepest needs.
Job is whittled away to nothing. His health, children, wealth and security are gone and he is left with gnawing questions. Why the pain? Why the suffering? Answers evade him; but he knows where to turn:
“But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? Man does not comprehend its worth; …It can not be bought with the finest gold, nor can its price be weighed in silver.” Job 28:12-13… 15
“God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells… And he said to man, ‘ The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom and to shun evil is understanding.'” Job 28:23…28
Babylon falls like Job. She has been the nation that all other nations look to and has been defined by her wealth and luxury. While Job is righteous, God knows Babylon to be “a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit.” Revelation 18:2. Within an hour’s time, her wealth is snatched away, and the heavens have a message for the people of God, “Come out of her my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4.
Both Job and Revelation challenge us to focus on what is truly important and live accordingly. God calls us to push away all that distracts and dazzles and turn our hearts to Him, back to the manger, for there in the lowliest of places, we find Him. There we see God humbling himself to become one of us: Emmanuel, God with us, our Salvation and Deliverer.
Lord, forgive my distracted heart. May I hear your invitation and find my way into your Presence this Christmas Day.