Job's Character and Wealth
1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.
Satan Allowed to Test Job
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
Satan Takes Job's Property and Children
Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, and there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
Job 1 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Why do the righteous suffer?
It’s the age old question that continues to be bounced around in thought and debate.
It’s the oldest book of the Bible. Job, the title and main character, is a man who lost everything with no fault of his own. The brutal loss would send even the most secure person down the avenues of question. He would struggle greatly to understand why this had happened and even what he had done to deserve it. Through these questions others would follow. Yet as the book reveals, he honestly wrestled with the tragedies of his life and did not lose his faith. That said, what also is revealed is it becomes clear on some of these issues, he would not be given all the answers.
He was a successful farmer. Had a thousands of sheep and animals. He had a large loving family and homestead. His health was good. He was a righteous man. Then Satan, who was given permission by God to attack these things, was allowed to rip them one by one from his hands. As he’s left sitting in the dust, only his wife remains who is bitter and 3 friends who come to visit who are not supportive at all in his crisis but point their fingers at him.
We live in a very broken world. Good behavior, righteousness even, is not rewarded very often and bad behavior often can go unpunished. Things many times do not seem and are not fair. Sin has manipulated and made the world we live in ugly and hurtful.
This ancient story of Scripture shows suffering for no apparent reason. There are times this story will seem hopeless even. Yet, as this story unfolds, we see a faith that endures even through the questions. We see a faith rise up despite having lost everything.
Where is our foundation is laid? Testing and tragedy reveals where we’ve planted our feet. Where is our trust found? If it is ultimately in our wealth, our things, our health – we will be disappointed for these will fade. Even though tremendous hardships come to some, they reveal much as to what we believe about God, His Sovereignty and where we have laid our treasures.
May God work in each of us as we dig into this story and hear what He has to say about our own situations, our trust and ultimate trust in Jesus through hardship.
Job 1 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
The entire book of Job explores tough themes and deep theological questions. Namely, it seeks to answer the ancient question we still hear so often today – “If God is so good, why does he allow suffering?”
The story of Job probably took place around the Patriarchal Period (roughly 2000 BC). This would place the events right around the time of Abraham. The name Job is found in Near Eastern texts and is identified as a wise and somewhat legendary man. Scholars are unsure if this book is speaking to a real person or is using a fictional character to describe a spiritual lesson. Whatever the case, it is consistent with the rest of Scripture which teaches us about our suffering in relationship to God.
In the opening scene, we get a glimpse of this “legendary man.” In many ways, he parallels Solomon with his wealth, family, status, wisdom, and character. Job is described in verse 3 as “the greatest of all the men of the east.” This is similar to how Solomon was described in 1 Kings 4:30 – “Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.”
Job would rise early in the morning to offer sacrifices to the Lord for his children. In today’s terms, this would be similar to parents who rise early in the morning to go into prayer for their children. He was a wise, faithful, and prosperous man. He loved the Lord and he loved his family. He was what people today would call a “good person.”
In verse 6, we get a fascinating conversation between God and Satan. Essentially, Satan’s “theology” is that the only reason Job loves God is because he’s been blessed with all this stuff. It’s an interesting thought, because there are many churches and pastors today who claim that if you are faithful to God he will give you a bunch of stuff. That was about to be challenged. In fact, God is the one who volunteers Job for the task!
The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.”Job 1:8 NASB
It is here that we get a glimpse of this constant theme which will be developed over several chapters. Can saving faith be destroyed in those who are truly God’s children? Is Job’s faith rooted in God Himself or in what God can give him? Satan certainly thinks he can thwart the faith of Job, and it was not the first time (leading angels to rebel with him in Revelation 12) and it would not be the last either (see Peter and the disciples being “sifted” in Luke 22).
How should we read this chapter? Does it lead us to question where mercy and compassion are found or does it lead us to just the opposite – that true mercy is found within suffering? These are all questions this book will explore and answer as we continue chapter by chapter.