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When Life Is Like . . . .A Game of JENGA?

When Life Is Like . . . . A Game of JENGA?

      I am sure we have all heard of the game JENGA, the Wooden Blocks Stacking, Tumbling Tower Game.  If we have played the game, we are aware that all is well until the one block is removed that “topples” the whole thing, and everything “falls apart”.   Life seems like that sometime, and the Bible gives us several examples that might help us see that we are not the only ones to have these types of issues. 

     In Job 1:1-3 we read how Job’s life was “well ordered” and prosperous. There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evilAnd there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.   However, it didn’t remain that way.  By Job 10:1 all this wealth and stability was gone.  Notice how Job spoke of it.  My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.   

     Elihu, one of Job’s “friends” wanted to convince Job that the calamities of his life were of his own doing in Job 36:11-13.  If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures. 12 But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge. 13 But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath: they cry not when he bindeth them. 

      We all know that Job wasn’t wicked or evil, and after Satan was proven wrong, how God again blessed Job immensely, and Job’s life was long and quite happy.   After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations.  Job 42:16   God has always rewarded those that faithfully served Him. 

      Then, there’s Joseph, the son of Jacob and Rachael.  His life was idyllic as a youth.  Even his father favored him as Genesis 37:3 indicates.   Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.   We read of the treachery of Joseph’s brothers in Genesis 37:20 which caused Joseph’s life to change and become unstable as a “stack of blocks”.   Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.   Then we read how his life was spared in Genesis 37:28 as they sold him into bondage.  Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.   We also know how God used this unfortunate turn of events to deliver Israel in the time of the great famine, as Joseph told his brethren in Genesis 45:5-8Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. 6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. 7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. 

     These are but two examples from the pages of inspiration.  But what are we to “glean” as we read these and the other Bible examples of tumultuous lives of faithful servants of God because of the actions of others?   Well, the Word of God provides the answer for this question as well.  In the latter part of Hebrews 13:5 those Jewish Christians, many of whom considered their lives “shaky at best” were reminded that the Lord told them:   “. . . I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  And He hasn’t, as the church at Rome was told in Romans 8:28.   And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

      This does not mean that everything that happens to us is a “good thing”. It simply means that God has had a plan since before the “foundations” of the world, and man with all his “drama” cannot upset that plan.  In the sage words of Gamaliel of Acts 5:38-39: “ . . . for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 39But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.”   So, as a child of God, when life throws us a curve, and it seems that our lives are about to “fall apart”, remember that as Christians, we ought to take heed to the Words of the Spirit, given to the apostle Paul for the church in Romans 8:31.   What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us

       If you have not been baptized into Christ, you are not a “child of God” and the “tower” of your life is ready to topple.  As a child of God, we know that we serve God and do His Will and will be richly rewarded by Him.  Life is not what happens to us, but how we react to it.   Remain faithful to God in spite of life’s circumstances.   Stand fast to the end.    Hebrews 13:6    ” . . . boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”       

                             Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ  

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