Job, A Righteous Man
Summary Job, chapters 1-18
Job was a righteous man, blameless and upright before God. He was one who feared God, and who turned away from evil.
But one day, when Satan presented himself before the Lord, the Lord asked him if he had considered the Lord’s servant Job. Satan responded to the Lord by saying, “Does Job fear God for no reason?” And, then Satan went on to describe how the Lord had protected Job up to this point. But, if the Lord allowed Job to suffer, Satan suggested, Job would then curse God to his face. So, the Lord allowed Satan to cause Job to suffer, only initially the Lord did not allow Satan to touch Job, himself.
So, Job suffered the loss of his servants, his livestock and his children, all in one day. In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong, though.
Another day Satan came to present himself before the Lord, and again the Lord asked him if he had considered Job. This time Satan asked permission to touch Job’s skin, and the Lord gave permission, only God said that Satan was to spare Job’s life. So, Job was now struck with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. His wife then encouraged him to curse God and die, but Job said, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Then, Job’s friends came to comfort him. When they first saw his misery, they wept. And, they sat with him in silence for seven days and nights.
But, then Job did curse the day that he was born, and he began to lament his suffering. And, then his friends began to counsel him, but also to accuse him of sinning against God, and to suggest that it was because Job had sinned against God that all this misery had come upon him. And, so Job answered them, and he defended himself to them, because he knew it was not because of sin in his life that all this calamity had come upon him.
Summary Job 19:1-22
Not only had Job suffered the loss of his children, his servants, and his livestock, and not only was he struck with loathsome sores all over his own body, but his wife wanted him to curse God, and now his friends were accusing him of sinning against God as the reason for his suffering.
So, Job was not only being tormented physically, but his friends were tormenting him with lies and false accusations to try to make Job feel guilty for wrong doing he had not committed. And, they were very insistent and persistent in their accusations, too, which only added to his misery. For, they were pressuring him to admit wrong that he had not done.
But, that wasn’t the whole of it. For, his brothers were now estranged from him. And, his friends and his relatives failed to stand by him, for they had forsaken him in his suffering. He was even considered to be a stranger by his own houseguests and maidservants. Even young children, he said, despised him and they talked against him. Even his closest friends abhorred him, and those whom he loved turned against him.
In addition to all this, Job was well aware that God had brought all this suffering upon him. And, he felt as though God was not listening to his prayers. He even felt abandoned by God, so that was the ultimate in suffering for him. And, so he begged his friends to show him mercy.
Inscribed in a Book
Job 19:23-24 ESV
“Oh that my words were written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
Oh that with an iron pen and lead
they were engraved in the rock forever!”
Interestingly enough, Job’s words did end up being written down in a book, and that book was then placed in our Christian Bible as part of our holy Scriptures, which are God’s divine revelation to us, his people. And, we who read the book of Job today are still learning from Job’s experiences, and from what the Lord taught Job through them, and what the Lord taught us through them, too.
For, our Lord does not promise us that we are not going to have to suffer in this life. In fact, he promises us the opposite. He said that the Christian life is a life of suffering, beginning with us dying with Christ to sin that we might live with Christ to his righteousness. And, then there is the daily dying to sin and self, too, and our walks of obedience to our Lord, even when we may not feel like it (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; Lu. 9:23-26; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
And, then we are told in Scripture that, as followers of Jesus Christ, that we should expect to suffer as Christ suffered, and to be hated and persecuted as he was hated and persecuted. Jesus told us that what they did to him they will also do to us, if we are following him with our lives in devotion to his will for our lives, in obedience to his Word and to his commands for us, his church.
And, the Lord also warned us that Satan is our arch enemy, and that he is on a rampage against the Lord’s servants and witnesses, and that he, Satan, is out to destroy us, so we must be on guard against his evil schemes against us. And, daily we must put on the armor of God, which God supplied for us, in order that we might fight off Satan’s evil schemes. And, that includes proclaiming the truth in opposition to Satan’s lies, which is partly what Job did, too (Eph. 6:10-20).
And, we can learn a lot here from Job’s trials and tribulations regarding how to and how not to respond to suffering unjustly for righteousness’ sake. For, Job didn’t respond perfectly through the whole process. He did eventually begin to question God’s sovereignty over his life when the trial got worse and when it dragged on without relief. But, overall, Job maintained his integrity. And, where he had failed, he repented in dust and ashes.
And, in the end, the Lord did honor him as one who spoke what was right. And, he restored Job’s fortunes, and he gave Job twice as much as he had before.
My Redeemer Lives
Job 19:25-27 ESV
“For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.”
Job was suffering greatly, although he had done no wrong. And, he was being accused falsely for wrong he had not committed. Yet, he knew that God had allowed this in his life. And, even though he eventually questioned God’s sovereignty over his life, still he was sure of one thing. He was certain that the Lord His Redeemer lives, and that He would one day come to his rescue, and that he would vindicate him.
And, if we are suffering unjustly for righteousness’ sake, we can be assured of the same.
David wrote about this in Psalm 37. He tells us there to not fret because of evildoers, but to trust in the Lord and to do good. We are to delight ourselves in the Lord, and he will give us the desires of our hearts (which line up with his desires). And, we are to commit our way to the Lord, and trust him, and he will act. One day we will be exonerated. One day the truth will come out, and we will no longer be put to shame, but it will be evident that we are the Lord’s servants.
And, then we read this is Revelation 3:8-9 ESV:
“I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you.”
Although we might be going through some difficult times right now, for no fault of our own, and we may be suffering unjustly, and we may even be being accused falsely of wrongdoing, our Lord has the final word. Our dedication to him, and our obedience to him in doing what he has called us to do, will not go without reward, i.e. without fruit for our labors. God will use what we have committed to him to make a difference in other people’s lives.
So even though, while we are suffering, we may not be able to see how God is using it for his glory, one day all will be revealed. It may not be written down in a book for future generations to read, but what we have done in obedience to our Lord, in our ministry to other people, will be engraved in human hearts. We can be assured that we are making a difference, even if we may not yet see it.
And, God is going to work it all out for the good of us who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. We just have to keep trusting the Lord through it all, for he is accomplishing his will in our lives. So, believe him (Rom. 8:28).
Hide Me, Rock of Ages
Brantley C. George, 1946
Keep me when the storm clouds gather;
(storm clouds gather, keep me)
‘Til the sun comes shining through;
(comes shining through, oh Savior)
Keep me ‘til my work is over;
(work is over, Jesus)
‘Til I bid this world adieu.
Hide me oh blessed rock of ages
(blessed rock of ages hide me)
‘Til Thy blessed face I see
(Thy face I see in glory)
When the storm around me rages
(round me rages, blessed)
Rock of ages hide Thou me
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