Job 1:20-21 reads, “Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: ‘Naked came I from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.’” (NKJV)

We must consider the context of this passage in order to understand Job’s words. He had just lost all of his earthly possessions along with all of his children (see verses 13-19). In that sense he had been STRIPPED NAKED of everything that belonged to him. He likens that unto his BIRTH and his DEATH. When he was born he was not only physically naked (he had NO CLOTHES), but he was also naked in that “HE HAD NOTHING of this world’s goods.” When he dies he will leave this earth as he came, for he won’t “he won’t be carrying any possessions out.” Centuries later the great apostle Paul echoed the same truth, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1st Timothy 6:7). So, Job is simply realizing that his present condition of be “stripped naked of his earthly possessions” resembles his condition (and that of every man!) when he was born and when he will die. All come into the world “naked of earthly goods” and all will leave this world “naked of earthly goods.” Thus this verse should not be used to teach that one should be buried without clothes.

Before we close this short meditation, it is precious to see Job’s faith in action. Again, he had lost everything that he held dear in this life (except for his wife, but as we see later in 2:9-10 she tried to convince Job to “curse God and die” and he had to rebuke her for it). What would we have done in those same circumstances? I could see myself complaining to God and in bitterness asking Him, “Why has this happened to me? What have I done to deserve such misfortune?” But not Job! Instead of blaming God for his adversities, he HUMBLES HIMSELF BEFORE GOD, falls to the ground and WORSHIPS HIM! Is this not amazing! And then in light of God stripping him of his earthly goods he simply says, “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away.” These words clearly reveal that Job was keenly aware of the fact that everything that he did possess was GIVEN TO HIM BY THE LORD. He knew that he was merely a STEWARD of the blessings God had blessed him with. And thus he also knew that God had every right to TAKE THEM AWAY. Knowing God wouldn’t do this unless He had a good reason, he could say, “Blessed be the name of the LORD.” When I read these words I feel compelled to pray, “Lord, give me the grace to emulate Job’s faith and devotion to You.” (297.9) (DO)