What"s Left When Riches Run Out?

John DeJong

READ : Job 1:13-19

Twenty thousand head of various livestock, trusted and beloved servants, seven sons and three daughters all gone. The messages came like the deadly, rapid shots of a drive-by shooting.

I have been there when a church member experienced a loss. I’ve gone with police officers to bring bad news to a community member I had never met. Reactions range from grief, buried so deep that it appears there is no grief, to suicide.

Job tears his clothes and puts ashes on his head. He expresses symbolically what he feels so very deeply. He feels like a penniless, begging leper. He looks like one. In a situation like Job’s, most of us would feel as if we had been robbed of what belonged to us. My cattle, my servants, my children! Long before, Job realized that everything was on loan from the God whom he had learned to trust.

What’s left when riches run out? For Job, the core of life remained. He hadn’t lost his relationship with his heavenly Father. He didn’t stop being “a good man.” He never blamed God. He continued asking questions of God, confident his loving God had a good answer. When we are in deep trouble, the option of his reaction is open to us as well, if we know God in the same way.


Father, when the riches run out, rekindle within each of us emotional honesty, realistic responses and the experience of our relational richness with You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.