As my daily devotional of reading through the Bible in a year completed, I contemplated what’s next. I prayed and asked what should I do next. The answer I received was to study the book of Job. It was revealed to me through the book of James 5 where it says:
‘We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.’— James 5:11
As I started to look for a devotional or study on Job, I found other New Testament references to Job or quotes from Job too including:
And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back?— Romans 11:35 (cross reference: Job 35:7, Job 41:11)
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, “He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.”— 1 Corinthians 3:19 (cross reference: Job 5:13)
In the Old Testament I found 2 more quotes:
Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were there, their righteousness would save no one but themselves, says the Sovereign LORD.— Ezekiel 14:14 (cross reference: Job 1:1, Job 1:5, Job 42:8, Job 42:9)
As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were there, they wouldn’t be able to save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved by their righteousness.— Ezekiel 14:20 (cross reference: Job 1:1)
As I looked for a devotional or study, I cam across some some background on the book of Job for context as I start to jump in. It got broken out into sections like the title of the book, the author of the book, and then the purpose or interpretation of the book. Let’s consider these before we jump into the book of Job.
We find that our book is named after the primary character of the book. We learn how the name might have been derived from either Hebrew or Arabic words. The Hebrew word (אִיּוֹב) from which Job would be derived is the word for persecuted, hated. The Arabic word (أيّوب) from which Job would be derived is the word for repent or repentant one.
No author is named. Based on the heavenly events it is unlikely to have been Job. It could have been Moses as he lived in the land of Uz which was adjacent to Midian where he had lived for 40 years and could have obtained the record of the story. It could have been Solomon because of the similarities to the book of Ecclesiastes as well as the fact that Solomon had written the other Wisdom books in the Bible.
The interpretation or purpose
We may never know the specific reason for our suffering, but we must trust in the Sovereign God.
We may never in our own human reason be able to account for the suffering of the innocent.
Suffering isn’t a contradiction to God’s goodness nor His sovereignty.
We need to lean not on our own understanding but rather we need to trust and depend on God’s goodness and working things out for our good.
‘ THERE WAS a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who [reverently] feared God and abstained from and shunned evil [because it was wrong]. And there were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and a very great body of servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the East. His sons used to go and feast in the house of each on his day (birthday) in turn, and they invited their three sisters to eat and drink with them. [Gen. 21:8; 40:20.] And when the days of their feasting were over, Job sent for them to purify and hallow 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 or disowned God in their hearts. Thus did Job at all [such] times. Now there was a day when the sons (the angels) of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (the adversary and accuser) also came among them. [Rev. 12:10.] And the Lord said to Satan, From where did you come? Then Satan answered the Lord, 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, one who [reverently] fears God and abstains from and shuns evil [because it is wrong]? Then Satan answered the Lord, Does Job [reverently] fear God for nothing? Have You not put a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have conferred prosperity and happiness upon him in the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face. And the Lord said to Satan (the adversary and the accuser), Behold, all that he has is in your power, only upon the man himself put not forth your hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord. And there was a day when [Job’s] sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house [on his birthday], And there came a messenger to Job and said, The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, And the Sabeans swooped down upon them and took away [the animals]. Indeed, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you. While he was yet speaking, there came also another and said, The fire of God (lightning) has fallen from the heavens and has 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 also another and said, The Chaldeans divided into three bands and made a raid upon the camels and have taken them away, yes, and have slain the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you. While he was yet speaking, there came also another and said, Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house, And behold, there came a great [whirlwind] from the desert, and smote 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 rent his robe and shaved his head and fell down upon the ground and worshiped And said, Naked (without possessions) came I [into this world] from my mother’s womb, and naked (without possessions) shall I depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed (praised and magnified in worship) be the name of the Lord! In all this Job sinned not nor charged God foolishly.’— Job 1 (Amplified)
Bibliography/Footnote/Reference link: Book of Job
Tomorrow, we will look into Job 1 but as we close, consider how God loves and has a shield about you? Consider the torment and destruction the devil is trying to cause in order for you to give up on God and curse God so that you would be separated from God for all of eternity. Consider the saying “when it rains it pours” and all the bad news Job was receiving. Don’t lose hope because you get bad news. Don’t lose hope because you are struggling. Don’t lose hope because bad things are happening. Put your hope and your trust in God! Praise God like Job did after all these calamities were reported to Him. Show the devil your true character and resist him and his temptations so that he will flee. Remember God is taking what the devil has planned for evil and turning it around and going to use it for good! Let’s take hold of what we first learned in James which speaks of suffering, trials, patience, and perseverance where we read:
‘ Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.’— James 1:2-4 (Amplified)
So where are you at today? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you. Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.