Job—Part 1

(Job 1:1) 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.
(Job 1:2) And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.

Job also was rich (Job 1:3). In fact, he "was the greatest of all the men of the east" (Job 1:3). (Literally, the Hebrew text for "men of the east" is translated "sons of the east".) Now, his children did not have faith as he did.

(Job 1:4) 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.
(Job 1:5) 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.

The persistent concern of Job that his sons might "have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts" speaks of their spiritual condition.

(Job 1:6) Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

Since Jesus is the only Son of God (Jn 3:16), the expression "sons of God" is interpreted here as referring to those who follow God's ways and thus resemble him. In this sense, such beings are God's sons. This interpretation is found in the Scripture in several contexts, such as the following. We read that those who are like Abraham (those who have his faith) are considered to be his children (Jn 8:39-40, Ro 4:11, Ga 3:29). Moreover, those who love God are considered to be God's children (Jn 8:41-42, Ga 3:26, Ro 9:8, 26). In the context of Job 1:6, "the sons of God" are angels on God's side. The fact that "Satan came also among them" does not mean that he is one of them. Rather, it simply means that he also came at that time and that he went into the middle of the sons of God.

(Job 1:7) 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.
(Job 1:8) 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?

We read that the enemy "answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro ... " (Job 1:7). Both words "answered" and "said" are used instead of just "said" or just "answered". This is understood here as indicating that Job 1:7 does not record the entire response of the enemy. The response informed the audience, not God, who knows all things. Apparently, the enemy had given special attention to Job, as we can infer from the Lord's reply in Job 1:8. Indeed, the following verses indicate that the enemy was very familiar with Job's situation. As for the question "Whence comest thou?", its role could have been to introduce the topic of discussion. The Lord knew in advance not only the answer but also how the enemy would answer.

(Job 1:9) Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
(Job 1:10) 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.
(Job 1:11) But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
(Job 1:12) 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.

The enemy was claiming that the commitment of Job was not real, that in bad times Job would turn away from God. The Lord knew what was in the heart of Job, but his audience did not. God alone knows everything. Rather than inviting the audience to trust what he knew, the Lord revealed the character of Job by bringing about testing. The test not only proved Job, but also showed that God would be righteous by bringing blessings to Job (such as redemption). God not only claims that he is righteous, he also proves it. An example is Ro 3:25-26, in which we read twice "for a demonstration of His righteousness"EMTV. Clearly, receiving Job to heaven without a proof of faith was wrong in God's sight. In fact, all believers are tested. However, Job's test is very rare and unusual, for it went far beyond what most people have experienced. Suddenly, Job lost everything. Not only did he lose abundant possessions, but also his children (Job 1:13-19).

(Job 1:20) Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
(Job 1:21) And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
(Job 1:22) In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

Later, when the enemy appeared once more before the Lord, the Lord granted him also to take the health of Job (Job 2:1-7). Job was further tested by people, such as by friends who accused him of sin. The severe testing of Job was due to the accusations of the enemy. Not only Job has been accused by the enemy, but also the believers of all times. The enemy has been granted to accuse people before God only for a while. Time will come when the accuser will be cast down.

(Rev 12:10) And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

After persevering in the faith, Job was restored and blessed far beyond what he had experienced before. This also is a reminder of the reward of those who persevere in the faith.

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