Why do good people suffer? Why does suffering not always mean that someone did something wrong? Where do troubles come from?
In today’s study we will work through Job chapter 1. We start with an introduction of who Job is and his character when we read:
‘ There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God [with reverence] and abstained from and turned away from evil [because he honored God]. Seven sons and three daughters were born to him. He also possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke (pairs) of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and a very great number of servants, so that this man was the greatest [and wealthiest and most respected] of all the men of the east (northern Arabia). His sons used to go [in turn] and feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send word and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When the days of their feasting were over, Job would send [for them] and consecrate them, rising early in the morning and offering 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.” Job did this at all [such] times. Now there was a day when the sons of God (angels) came to present themselves before the Lord , and Satan (adversary, accuser) also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord , “From roaming around on the earth and from walking around on it.” The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered and reflected on My servant Job? For there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God [with reverence] and abstains from and turns away from evil [because he honors God].” Then Satan answered the Lord , “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not put a hedge [of protection] around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands [and conferred prosperity and happiness upon him], and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now and touch (destroy) all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that Job has is in your power, only do not put your hand on the man himself.” So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord .— Job 1:1-12
We learn how Job loves God. We learn how Job’s character was such that he was blameless and upright. We learn how Job stood out from the rest of the crowd. We learn how Job was a believer in God and lived his life in a way to demonstrate it. We learn how Job knew the difference between right and wrong and turned away from evil and doing evil because of his reverence and desire to honor God.
Job was from Uz, a walled and gated city. Job had a position of great respect. We learn that the city was in northern Arabia adjacent to Midian where Moses lived for 40 years. We learn how Job was rich and had a large family with 7 sons and 3 daughters. We learn how Job was a good man, a family man, a rich man, and a widely known man. Job wasn’t without sin as we know that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but we do read how He put His trust in God’s redemptive power and lived out his life faithfully lived a life that honored God. We learn about how he lived out his life with integrity and consistency in his personal life, his marital life, and his parenting life.
We learn about Job’s possessions including livestock which were status symbols of wealth in his day. We know that he was blessed by God through getting children which are a reward and gift from God. We even see symbolism in the numbers of the children with 7 boys/sons (7 means spiritually complete) and 3 girls/daughters (3 is a number of the God head) pointing us to the fact that he had the perfect family. In Job 1 we also get the first example of a godly family with God honoring parents and God fearing children. With 7 sons it we learn how they took turns having the family over each day for dinner demonstrating their love for one another and the harmony in which they lived. We also learn how on each of their birthdays they would have a big celebration with everyone coming together too.
In order to put a hedge of protection over his family after the festivities, we learn how he would sacrifice to God as the family priest just in case any of his children had sinned and wanted to ensure they were all covered. Job was sensitive to the heart of God. It kept him aware of the consequences of sin and the need to sacrifice in order to cover them. Job as the father, the head of the home, and the family priest would sanctify his children not because of any known sin they may have committed but to cover them just in case so that they would all remain right with God.
We learn how the Satan regularly goes before God to accuse people. We can see a parallel in this description between Satan and the angels before God and Judas and the rest of the disciples before Jesus. The devil is an adversary of God. We see how even though Satan was a fallen angel, he still has access to God. Satan was sure that in the same way he was able to trick and trip up Adam, he was going to be able to trip up Job too. We learn how the devil has been through the ages and continues to be an adversary and accuser of the righteous. Satan is our accuser before God. The devil isn’t any of the omnis like God but instead is on the prowl like a lion around the earth looking for those who he can devour. The devil (Satan) only has limited access to God though. Satan is finite and as such not omnipresent. We also learn how he is only able to do what God allows or gives him permission to do.
We learn from this heavenly encounter how God gave Satan Job to test.
Ever considered the motives? Are you serving God to get something? Are you serving God as long as the blessings flow? The devil questions Job’s motives before God.
God knows our motives. God knows Satan’s motives too. Satan is trying to destroy as many as he can and yet God sent Jesus so that everyone has the opportunity and ability to be saved.
We learn how God had to bring up Job as it appears that Satan wasn’t able to find any faults in him. We see how Job is one of a few who got singled out by God. Another example we see in the bible is Noah. God was proud of Job’s faithfulness.
Satan, the accuser we read asserts that believers only remain faithful as long as the blessings keep flowing and they prosper. Ever heard or seen where people try to profit by peddling that exact message and getting people to give in order to receive? Where is your heart today? Are you giving out of your life from a pure heart and mind? Are you giving out of reverence and honor rather than in hopes of getting back?
We see how Satan, the deceiver tries to trick people into believing that salvation isn’t permanent. He tries to deceive people into believing that saving faith can be broken. He tries to deceive people into believing that those who belong to God can become his. We see this theme repeated in the new testament too when Satan confronts Jesus, Peter, and Paul.
God speaks and promises the other through His Word where He speaks to sustaining the faith of His children. (for Old Testament Psalms 37:23, 28, 97:10; 121:4-7; for New Testament texts, compare Luke 22:31-32; Jude 24)
We learn about how Satan acknowledges God’s characterization of Job. We see how Satan challenges Job’s motives. If our motives are pure we will learn into God harder when suffering happens. If our motives are not then we will turn away from God. We learn about the hedge of protection God has positioned around Job and the godly in order that he and we are protected and making us nearly invincible till God is finished with us.
Ever heard people saying they will play the devil’s advocate? Ever realized that aligns with the devil’s strategy of attacking with questions?
Consider how Satan challenged Eve in the garden with the question “did God say …”. We see in our reading today he even tried it on God when he questioned God about Job trying to cause doubt. Unlike God, Satan is the center or lifeblood of selfishness and pride.
We learn how God’s hedge of protection protects from the devil and people who may try to harm the godly. It surrounds the godly with love, with power, and providence from God.
We learn how the devil made many statements about how God blessed Job. We learn how Job had been faithful to God and how God had blessed him as a righteous man.
We see as we close our reading today how God took down the hedge that protected everything and limited the devil that he would not be able to kill Job.
We will continue tomorrow with Satan being allowed to test Job and see what happens next.
Where are you at today? What do you believe? What is your motivation?
Bibliography/Footnote/Reference link: Book of Job
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.