Lesson Twenty Six


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Memory Verse: Psalm 91:15
Further Study: Job; Prophets and Kings, 162-165; The Bible Story, vol. 6, pp. 161-176

“It is significant that, even in the depths of his sorrow, Job mourns more over what seems to him his loss of God than he does over the loss of property and family” (SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3, p. 494). As I thought and studied Job, this statement lingered. Mourning the loss of God? What does that mean? Is it possible? Can you lose God?

Is it possible? Can you lose God?

To mourn is to suffer loss. My mother died and I grieved her loss. No longer can I call her, chat, or gain her wisdom. Yes a loss, but not one I would compare to mourning God.

When each of my daughters left for college I also mourned. Not in the way I did for my mother, for they were gone, but not permanently. But the house changed—less noise, less mess, less laughter. Like when your best friend moves away, or your longtime colleague takes another position—you mourn the loss of their presence. It would seem that mourning God might be similar.

Throughout the Old Testament, we’ve seen Jacob wrestle, Elijah run, and now Job mourns. For them, their problems obscured God. Like clouds that move between us and the sun, sin can cause us to feel as if God is no longer there. The ultimate example of mourning God is found at the cross. Here the sky literally blackens, the sun disappears, the dark clouds prevail, and Jesus died of a broken heart, not only for us, but the perceived loss and abandonment by His beloved Father.

Jesus died of a broken heart, not only for us, but the perceived loss and abandonment by His beloved Father.

Ellen White, one who I believe saw angels, heaven, and more, wrote surprising words: “I find that I have to fight the good fight of faith every day. I have to exercise all my faith, and not rely on feeling; I have to act as though I knew the Lord heard me, and would answer me and bless me” (Our High Calling, p. 119). Amazing to me that such men and women of God as well as Christ Himself, seemed to “lose” God’s presence.

It’s sin that does this. Part of living in a sinful world is to constantly fight the clouds that loom—the unexpected accidents, loss, or evil that comes in a form as small as an argument, message, or phone call or something catastrophic such as thousands of deaths brought on by earthquake, fire, or storm. These are the clouds that stand between us and God and we find ourselves mourning His loss like Job.

These are the clouds that stand between us and God and we find ourselves mourning His loss like Job.

Hymn writer William Cowper penned these lyrics: “The clouds ye so much dread are big with mercy and shall break in blessings upon your head.” And therein lies at least part of the answer. The clouds of sin may loom, and we may grope in darkness to understand where God is, but within those clouds are mercy and blessings that will shower upon our heads. Job felt abandon and loss so much that he mourned the loss of God until God showed up in a thunderstorm of answers and blessings (Job 36:27-37:1).

How is it with you today? Nothing but clouds overhead? Remember God is in those clouds, even if you cannot see or feel Him. In His time, the clouds will break, pouring rich blessings and mercies when you least expect it. Lift up your face to heaven. The rain is coming. Be renewed.

Digging Deeper 

With the reading of this devotional, we have finished the Old Testament. What a study it has been! As I reviewed all that I have learned from Genesis to Job, all the lessons and life applications I have explored, I realize as I hope you do that there are really three constants.

  1. God is our Creator and loves us abundantly.
  2. God is in control. We never need to fear.
  3. God desires for us to seek His face so He can direct our paths.

No matter the story, whether Adam and Eve, Moses and the Israelites, David and Saul, the prophets, or Job, we know the above to be true. Let us continue to seek Him as we move on to the New Testament and discover the plan God has for us.

Making it Real

Take the time this week to review your favorite Bible stories in the Old Testament. What do they teach you about God? In what ways do you maintain your faith when God’s presence isn’t felt?

Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being the grandmother of two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus.


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