Book 18 of the OT, having 40 chapters. The author is possibly Job, and it may have been written about 1800 BC. This book of wisdom demonstrates God’s sovereignty and illustrates real faith in the life of Job (the key person) as opposed to those who endeavoured to advise him as to why he was experiencing misfortune. Time to read: 2 hrs 10 mins.
Outline. Job is a prosperous farmer living righteously before God. Satan comes into God’s presence and claims that Job only worships God because he is wealthy and everything is going well for him. God permits Job to experience material destruction and then physical suffering at the hand of Satan. Job’s faith in God endured in spite of being subjected to these harsh tests and he remained unaware of the reason – Satan challenging Job’s motives, thinking his honouring God would falter when life turned sour and the wall of divine blessing was breached. Job continued to trust God and even in his distress was mindful of the needs of others and prayed for his friends. Then God restored to him more than he had before (Job 42:10).
Main lesson. Faith and obedience do not shield us from life’s calamities but give us an opportunity to grow and develop godly character and so “come forth as pure gold”, knowing Christ’s support in our time of need (Job 23:10; Act 14:22). The outcome of walking uprightly is being blessed beyond measure, if not on earth certainly in heaven (Mt 19:29).
Key verses and thoughts: * “I came with nothing and will depart with nothing, the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, praise His name” (Job 1:21). Job would say to us, ‘don’t cling tightly to possessions’. Jesus advised, “Store up riches in heaven” (Mt 6:19-21). Good works done in His name, money given to His Kingdom, those we have brought into the Kingdom, and holy living are all credited to our heavenly account. How is my account? Job’s belief had a solid foundation; even experiencing so many devastating catastrophes at one time, his confidence was in God’s love, and he could praise God in these overwhelming situations.
* Satan was out to ruin and without any valid reason (Job 2:3). Sickness and suffering can be the result of sin but not necessarily. Jesus said the aim of Satan is to steal, kill and destroy (Jn 10:10). None of these calamities destroyed Job; this should be our experience too as we realize that nothing can separate us from God’s love, or that He will not allow us to be tempted or pressured beyond what we can endure with His help (Rom 8:38,39; 1 Cor 10:13).
* Job was unaware of what was being outworked in his life. Many times we don’t understand why various unpleasant happenings occur in our lives. “But whoever touches you touches the apple of God’s eye” (Zech 2:8). Many things are the natural lot of man living in a sin-tarnished world. However be assured, He watches over us with love, and wants us to be conformed to the image of Jesus (Rom 8:29: Phil 1:6). Don’t throw away your confidence and faith in Christ but walk with integrity, uprightness of heart, and hope (Heb 10:35). Even the wisdom of his well-meaning friends (Job’s comforters), who debated and tried to explain the cause of his problems, didn’t provide any viable solutions. This side of eternity there are many questions we don’t have satisfactory answers for.