This is one of the hardest passages in the Bible to believe with ones heart and live out in the world. Through it, we see God's definition of what true faith is. Having faith in God when all is good and when prayers are being answered in the way we would like is easy for the person who already professes to believe in God. The difficulty comes when things don't go our way and go against us - loss of job, death in the family, illness- any of these can cause a crisis of faith for the believer. They can also cause an unbeliever to seriously question and even dismiss God and the Christian faith altogether. Is this an appropriate response?
The person in the above passage basically has no food and no income. That's a pretty bad situation to be in. Health and family are probably still there, but where is the next meal going to come from? No grapes or young sheep or cattle? This is not just missing out on a meal or two. This family is looking at a serious, long-term deficiency for both food and money. How will they make it? Who will provide?
It is much to easy and simple to look at such a situation and claim that God doesn't exist. God not only calls on believers to have a deep, solid faith in Him, but to also have a multifaceted understanding of faith.That is, a faith that understands and accepts that God is there and loves us even when things don't look good.
Does the loss of a job mean that God doesn't exist? Or that God wants to move you to a different job/career/part of the country or world?
Does the loss of income mean that God doesn't love you? Or that God wants you to change your spending habits or trust more in Him to provide?
Does sickness or illness mean that God is asleep at the switch? Or that God wants to change you and work through this very difficult time?
Death poses a great challenge to ones faith. As I write this I reflect back on my daddy's passing.... I was deeply impacted to say the least. Do we trust God when our loved ones die? Do we trust Him to know when to bring someone home for eternity?
In the beginning of Job, Job lost all of his children in a wind (sandstorm?). Obviously this was a very difficult time for him, yet Job did not curse God but kept his faith in Him. Job 1:22 says, "In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing." The sin here is saying that God does wrong. You could expand this to say that it is a sin to say that God does evil. Yet God often gets the blame when things do not go the way we want. This seems to be the heart of the matter when people take the Lord's Name in vain. It's often charging God with doing wrong, sometimes with doing or being evil.
One can take this road when faced with the evils and tragedies of life. God wants us to have a deep, multifaceted faith in Him.
"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior." Habakkuk 3:17-18.
hugs.... love & blessings