So last night I was sitting in church. John was teaching on Job. I’ve heard messages on Job before. Tons of them. He gave a brief overview of Job’s life.  I’m going to confess that I didn’t hear a word of John’s message for the first 15 minutes. He started reading Job 1. 13-19. Can I tell you I was writing as fast as I could? Sorry, Pastor John!

Read closely:

Job 1.13-19 (My paraphrase)

Job’s kids were all dining together at the oldest son’s house.

This is  a foreshadowing we just didn’t see  coming.

Messenger one came to Job and told him the Sabeans raided us. They stole all your animals and killed all your farmhands.

“I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

Messenger two arrived on the scene while the first was still talking.

Fire from heaven has fallen  and burned up all your sheep and shepherds.

“I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

Yet, while this messenger was still speaking (can you imagine the chaos and utter shock happening right now?), the third messenger arrived.

His message was that three bands of Chaldean raiders had stolen Job’s camels and killed his servants.

“I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

Will it ever end? We ask ourselves….

In the meantime, while this messenger is speaking, a fourth arrives. Really? More? NO…….

He delivers the crucial blow to Job. Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother’s home.  A powerful wind swept in from the wilderness(of course the wilderness) and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed and all your children are dead.

“I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

In the matter of 6 verses, Job loses everything.

4 times. I wondered about the significance of the number 4 in Scripture.  After a very brief research, 4 is significant in this way:

  • 4th day of creation the universe was finished.
  • There are 4 gospels.
  • The 4th commandment reminds us to honor the Sabbath.

I’m sure there are more, but I find it significant there were 4 messengers. Finished. Done. What was left to do? God had instructed Satan to take whatever he wanted, but to not touch Job’s life.

God set it up so there was a survivor. Someone to tell the story of what happened.  He sent 4 to Job.

I’m not sure what has happened in your life. Maybe you have had 4 messengers bring you devastating news. Maybe it was the same messenger 4 times.

It’s  more than possible someone caused you this devastation.

Hear me say this, “ You are the only one who escaped to tell.”

You have a story to tell. You are the only one who can tell it. Go look in the mirror.  That face looking back at you is the one who needs to tell.

There are people in your corner of the world who need to hear what you escaped. Vulnerability time.

The last part of verse 21 in chapter one says, “Praise be the name of the Lord!”  Those are Job’s words.  Are they yours? Maybe not yet, but they will be.


“You were the only one who escaped to tell.”

Whatever, has happened in your life, you have friends who will listen. I hope. (If you don’t, here’s my number….214.277.9846  Call me. I will listen) More importantly, someone out there needs to hear your story. God never wastes pain.

Job had 3 friends who heard what happened.

So they showed up.

They didn’t even recognize Job for the boils all over him.

They wailed loudly, tore their robes,  and threw dust over their heads to show their grief.

This is my favorite part:

Then they sat on the ground with him for 7 days and nights. No one said a word. They just sat. Were present.

Notice that there were only 3. I imagine if all his acquaintances showed up it would have been a giant pity party. Lots of people would speak useless and empty words

3 close friends. Those who knew him. Knew his character. Knew his heart. Loved him. Job trusted these 3.

I have friends who do this for me. They know me well. They may ask and my reply is I don’t want to talk about it. Answer is: fair enough. Other times, they know to drag it out of me and make me get it out.

I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

It increases my vulnerability; which has been a goal of mine for 2015. Vulnerable, raw, open.

I wish you hadn’t had to go through whatever IT is. But you did.

I wish I hadn’t gone through what I went through.

You are the only one who escaped to tell.

Start speaking……

I am the only one who escaped to tell.

One shaky word at a time.

Ah, the end of Job’s story….. God restored to him double what he had before and gave him 10 more children.

Job was the only one who escaped to tell you.



  1. Thanks for your thoughtful examination of this text. This is probably the most difficult story in the Bible, but you’ve shared a perspective I’ve never heard. It’s so true- our story has to be told, because God can redeem what the worm has eaten and the fire burned, and bring beauty out of incalculable loss. The meantime is hard though.


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