1 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 evil.
2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.
3 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.
4 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.
5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.
7 And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
8 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
9 Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
12 And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.
WHAT IMPORTANT THINGS CAN WE LEARN FROM THE LIFE OF JOB?
1.) Bad things happen to good people .
The book of Job opens in verse one by telling us that Job was a blameless, upright man who feared God and turned away from evil. Then…his life unraveled. Job’s suffering didn’t come because he was bad or had done bad things but rather because of his unwavering faithfulness to God. (Job 1:8)
2.) In the midst of suffering, we must never lose our hope in God.
One of the greatest statements of faith in all of scripture is found right in the middle of Job. chapter 13:15 Job says: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” No one and nothing can steal your joy or your peace when your hope is in God. Never lose your hope in God!
3.) Our friends may fail us in the midst of our misery but God never does.
Job’s friends were not good to him. Job said of his three friends: “Miserable comforters are ye all!” (16:2) Job proclaims where his deep strength flows from:
25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
One day – we will see with our own eyes our Redeemer! He is alive today and forevermore and because He lives – we can face tomorrow with victory!
4.) Even in the midst of God’s silence, His presence is with us.
Job wrestled and wrestled with God’s silence in the midst of his suffering. Over 25 times he asked the question “why?” and he continually asked for the opportunity to hear from God. Job had entered the fiery furnace of suffering.
10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.
12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
5.) Wisdom comes from fearing God and turning away from evil.
Humility is key. Pride can interfere with us following the wise ways of the Lord. And when pride interferes it clouds our vision, and before we know it – we are on the wrong path towards evil. Job explains in Job 28:28:
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.’
6.) God is with us in the midst of our storms.
The Lord is our good shepherd and He never leaves our side. He walks with us through the valleys. He restores our soul when we are weary. He leads us to the path of righteousness when we have lost our way. He gives us courage when we are scared and he comforts us when we are hurting. Our God is the God of the storm.
7.) God is in control.
God is the creator of the universe. He is mighty and powerful. We can trust Him with our lives. We see in Job chapter one, that nothing came into the life of Job which did not first go through the hands of his loving God. Every page of scripture points to a sovereign God – from the creation account in Genesis to the return of Christ in Revelation, our God is in complete control.
8.) Sometimes, in the midst of our suffering, we sin.
God accepts a humble and repentant heart. In Job 42, we see Job surrender to God and repent. Job recognized that God is the creator and he is just his creation.
“Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
9.) Sometimes we sin against our friends.
Job’s friends not only failed to be there for Job in a supportive, loving way but they gave poor advice based on their misunderstandings of God.
The Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.”
10.) After repentance and forgiveness comes blessings.
In Job 42, Job made a burnt offering for his friends and prayed for them as God commanded Him to do. God accepted Job’s prayer for them and THEN Job’s fortunes were restored WHEN he prayed for his friends!
Isn’t this an interesting connection? Job forgave his friends BEFORE he knew how blessed he was about to become. It was Job’s prayer that released blessings!
“So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses..”
~Job 42:12 He also had 7 sons and 3 daughters – there were none so fair as the daughters of Job and he gave them equal inheritance among their brothers. Job lived another 140 years and saw 4 generations of his offspring. He lived a full and happy life.
When we are feeling stressed and frustrated and wounded by this world we should step back and take a look at all of God’s creation. Get outside under the big sky and remind yourself who your God is. Then, get into His word and learn more about God’s love for you. Trust that if he can create and sustain the entire universe, surely He will take care of you.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:25-34
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
God is still in control and is worthy of our trust in all things.