The book of Job has always had a lot of people with questions. So maybe we should look at a few things to see if we can come up with some answers that help us understand Job, what he went through, and how we can take this book and understand it even for our own life.
Job was an exceptional person. I would venture to say that most people who would have all these things happen to them would just give up. But not our Job. He is an example that was put into the bible to help us in our life when things come up.
He is described by God as being a “blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil” (Job 1:8). The book of Job describes a long and difficult trial he experienced. The story of Job was not done in a few days, but his agony went on for most likely months. His life continues to serve as an example of perseverance for Christians (James 5:11).
The story begins by describing an encounter between Satan and God. God asks if he’s considered Job’s righteousness (Job 1:8; 2:3). Satan responds by accusing Job of only serving God because of the blessings he had received (Job 1:9-11). Even if we don’t understand this God always has a reason for what He allows, and because God sees the entire picture He also knows that Job will make it through. God allows Satan to take these physical blessings away, beginning with Job’s livelihood and children (Job 1:14-17, 18-19) and then his health (Job 2:7-8). Again, Job is amazing and even through all of these horrible things happening to him…he still praised God. Would we have done that? Job was a rich man with a big family and a lot of animals (money in their day).
Job had such patience and he never did blame God for the things he was going through. We, as humans, want to be able to control our circumstances, but in reality we can only do so much. Job could not fix what was happening to him, yet he knew God and trusted God even if he were to lose his life.
In our society don’t we pretty much glorify self? We seem to believe we are more important in the grand scheme of things than we really are. We try to manipulate our situation to prevent mishaps that come our way, and on top of that we also, as humans, try to redefine things we don’t want to deal with…such things as morality.
It is time that we all face reality in our life. We are mortal and we are limited in what we can do, and even what we should do. We are not God and never will be God.
As children of God we can feel good inside when we are doing as God wants us to do. Not puffed up, but that we are pleasing Him. We always need to remember God’s priorities and His provisions. We can also ask God what He is doing and what He wants us to be doing.
We, as humans sure don’t know everything and we won’t, but God allows us to know many things while we are alive on this earth. I have found out that each time I read the word of God…even the same place, many times I discover something in the word that I didn’t get prior.
Let’s see God’s job versus our job:
God’s job: declare, sanctify, reign, know, transform, convict, exalt, deliver, provide, send, defeat evil, and restore among other things.
Man’s job: proclaim, glorify God, serve, know God, conform, confess, humble, wait, praise, go, resist evil, and rejoice among other things.
We should always focus our hearts, our hands, our love, our mind, and our witness to helping share the love of Jesus with others.
In the story of Job…he was a very wealthy man in those days. Again, he had a huge family, extensive flocks, and a great thing God said about Job was that he was a blameless and upright man. Oh, how we all want to hear that for us and those we love, but none of us wants to go through what Job had to go through.
When we think about Job we should think of his patience, his perseverance, holding his tongue and not blaming God or others for his pain and suffering, God’s faithfulness, and that eventually he was restored to even more for being faithful.
Now, most of us look at his situation and wonder why his entire family had to die and we just, as humans, don’t get it. Those were his kids and he loved them. They can’t be replaced. Yes, God gave Job more kids, but all of his kids who died…must have overwhelmed him. Losing stuff is one thing, but losing our family is quite another things. Yet, Job still didn’t blame God. I find that Job really was an amazing example for each of us.
God knows what is going on, and God is in control. We also might not understand why God would allow satan to do anything. Why? God put controls on how much satan could do…satan was not allowed to kill Job.
As Job’s going through all this, three of his friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, come to “mourn with him, and to comfort him” (Job 2:11). A series of conversations eventually ensues, beginning with Job cursing the day he was born (Job 3:1). Even though he cursed the day he was born…he never cursed God.
His friends then share their opinions of Job’s trial. They reason that such a calamity comes from God upon the wicked, and they accuse Job of having done something evil to deserve all this. As the accusations escalate, Job asserts his total innocence, maintaining that he has been unjustly afflicted with this suffering. Job’s friends thought Job must have done some kind of evil…but Job was totally innocent. We don’t have, nor did they, have sufficient knowledge to question God. God, again, sees everything…and God is always 100% right in all His dealing. We can trust Him even in the times we just don’t understand.
Job was without blame. He was an upright man. Job feared God which means he revered God. Don’t we all want that in our life? Job showed great faith in God even in the midst of the worst time in his life. Job was not blaming God for his misery.
Can you even being to imagine what Job lost in one day? Everything! His home, his family, and his livelihood. In one day…he lost it all. What would we do (and many have lost all they thought were important also in their life). We don’t want pain and we sure don’t want to lose the things we find important in life.
Job mourned and mourning is appropriate. He shaved his head and ripped his coat. This was a culture thing that showed they were in mourning. It wasn’t something weird…it was the sign of their days. Job said that the Lord gave and the Lord took away. The Lord gives us all but if He takes it will we go and curse God and hate Him? We sure should not! None of us have all the answers, but we know the answer God who, if He so chooses to tell us something…will tell us the why. If He doesn’t we still need to stand on God’s word and do right. We don’t know everything.
Job’s friends were sure that his sins had caused his suffering. They presented Job with many reasons they believed he had brought this ordeal on himself. They were certain they were right. But after God intervened, He rebuked the friends for speaking falsely about Him and the situation (Job 42:7). We all have had friends who tried to help but just didn’t make us feel better. They might mean well and think they are trying to help, but we need to look to God for our answers.
Sometimes we, like Job, don’t know why God allows certain situations to happen. We often ask “why” when we see (or experience) intense suffering. We can always go to go and ask why Lord? God doesn’t get offended because we go and ask questions, and God doesn’t get offended if we get angry over our circumstances. God always understands our pain and our suffering. God doesn’t have to explain anything to us, but sometimes he will and sometimes He won’t tell us.
We have to remember that we won’t always discover the answers—at least not immediately. In those times we must remember that “the secret things belong to the LORD our God” (Deuteronomy 29:29).
So what should we be doing when we see someone suffering? We try to comfort them and help them in some way. We can’t always give them all they need, but we sure can pray, talk with them, make a meal for them, and if we can help with something they need physically…then try to do it. When Job was at his lowest point, what did he really need? Was it correction? Was it theories on the cause of his suffering? No. Job needed comfort and in our sorrow that is also what we need as well. What Job needed the most was comfort. Job even called his friends “miserable comforters” (Job 16:2). Instead of comforting, they added more grief to his situation. We don’t want to feel like that about those who are trying to help.
What he needed was friends who would increase his faith in God’s providence, pray with him and encourage him to hang in there. When people are suffering, sometimes the best thing we can do is say nothing. Some people who try to say the right things…just don’t!
There are times when just being there is the best comfort we can give. His friends were at their best when they first arrived and silently mourned with him (Job 2:13). Then they opened their mouth and wanted Job to think he must have sinned…but Job was not sinning to cause his pain. He just needed his friends to just love on him and pray with and for him.
The Bible advises that sometimes the wisest course of action is keeping silent (Proverbs 11:12; 17:28). We should learn how to “comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:4).
Yes, most of us will suffer at some point in our life. It won’t be fun. We can ask God why and what God wants us to do regarding our situation. We can ask God why this is all happening. The conversation between Job and his friends went back and forth until God finally intervened and questioned Job. God did not answer Job’s questions directly, nor did He provide a reason for his suffering, instead He described the wonders of creation to show Job just how small he was. This taught Job to see himself in comparison with God and realize that God’s wisdom was beyond his comprehension.
God’s ways are always higher than our ways.
Though the world is full of suffering, God has a future planned that’s too astonishing for humans to fully comprehend (1 Corinthians 2:9). Just as the Lord has given us things in our life (even if we somehow think we got them by ourself)…God can take them away as well. In one moment our life can totally change. Yet, we can still glorify our God and trust Him that one day we will have so much more and make it into that glorious place He has in store for His kids.
Satan wanted Job to curse God, but instead, Job praised God even in the storm. We are to bless and praise God in all our storms as well.
Finally…………………………whatever the devil wants you to do. Then you need to absolutely do the opposite. Job was under a severe spiritual attack in his life, but remember this…he made it through, still didn’t blame God, and was given even more than he had prior.
Job suffered in all this with things like: intense pain, peeling skin, sores, anorexia, weeping, vision issues, teeth rotting intense itching. Not what any of us want to go through for sure. Job didn’t know the reason for all his suffering. Job was not being punished for any sin here. Job made it through and we can make it through our pains as well. Even though satan wants to destroy and cause us horrible things in our life…we can stay focused on God, pray, and live in His strength. Satan might intend bad for us, but God can take that and make things better even if it is awhile in our eyes. God is not on our timetable, but God is never late.
Job became a better and even a more blessed man. Job ended in a far better place. All though history the story of Job has given people strength to go on in the midst of the sorrows of life.
Last, there are several stores in the bible that give us hope in different ways. People who did right even if it could have cost them everything. People like Moses, Joseph, Esther, Mordechai…and others.
No one paid for our sins and forgave them except Jesus. Jesus went to the cross and defeated the devil. We can always have confidence in the Lord and live through His strength in our life. The devil thought if Jesus died all would be well…it didn’t happen like that for the devil. The devil knows his time on earth is just about up and he wants to destroy as many as he can. You stand your ground, do right, pray, and trust God in everything. He will get you across the finish line.
Now, may the Lord draw you, teach you, heal you, bless you, provide for your needs, and carry you right into heaven when your time comes. God bless you!