But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief. Facing evil and suffering are never pleasant, but every Christian can take heart because Jesus and the Apostles taught that we would face suffering (John 15:21; 16:33; 1 Peter 4:12-19; 2 Timothy 3:12). Job’s affliction served as a discipline and worked to transform him into an even more righteous man. 2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. Whether during pain, suffering, or agony, the Lord will sustain His people through it all for His purposes and glory. He eagerly sought to please Jehovah, much as his distant relatives Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph had done. The date of the book is unknown. Above all, Job was a spiritual man. Job damns the day he was born, relating life and death to light and darkness. By Mary Jane Chaignot. He has stripped me of my honor and removed the crown from my head. Would not the dread of him fall on you? The book of Job is Narrative History. “How long will you torment me and crush me with words? “When Satan stretched forth its hand to afflict the bones of Job, Job fell into its clutches, without the means to escape or the strength to resist. My relatives have gone away; my closest friends have forgotten me. Job did receive confirmation that suffering is not always for sin, despite his friends’ insistence to the contrary, which is evidenced by the restoration of his blessings in Job 42:12-17. Salem Media Group. For you write down bitter things against me and make me reap the sins of my youth. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. Will you never get enough of my flesh? The Lord’s answer to Job out of the whirlwind was. What Does it Mean That the Word of God Is Alive? Even the little boys scorn me; when I appear, they ridicule me. Would not his splendor terrify you? In Job I we are given a behind-the-scenes look at events of which Job was completely unaware.God, however, was very much aware of Job and of the wholehearted obedience he sought to render. Categories: Job, Old Testament. “He has alienated my family from me; my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. “Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved; and if I refrain, it does not go away. Job’s friends boast of knowledge and understanding, but do not have any, nor do they honestly understand why Job is suffering. What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. In the story of Job, the Lord reveals His omnipotence in contrast to Job’s finite understanding and powerless as a created being. For this reason, despite the counsel of his three “friends,” Job cries out to God himself for a suitable explanation (Job 31:35). Bildad and Zophar agree that Job must have performed evil to provoke God’s justice and argue that he should attempt to manifest more innocent behavior. This story helps us understand why suffering exists. Bible readers can inspect Job’s example and should conclude that justice prevailed in the end because God not only made restitution to Job, but he found himself more abundantly blessed than he had been before his suffering. One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house. The book of Job states that Job lived near the desert (Job 1:19) but that the territory was fertile for farming and raising livestock (Job 1:3, 14; 42:12). Even in the darkest times, through death and turmoil, questions of faith and God, Job … He tears me down on every side till I am gone; he uproots my hope like a tree. Suddenly, though, the scene shifts in Job’s story. While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. The character Job appears in the 6th-century BCE Book of Ezekiel (although the book has later additions ) as a man of antiquity renowned for his righteousness, and the author of the Book of Job has apparently chosen this legendary hero for his parable. For faith to grow, it often has to be tested by fire. Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance, for no godless person would dare come before him! It would be imprudent though to take this argument and use it to escape the command to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). Genealogy of Job. If so, I will be silent and die. Will you speak deceitfully for him? If it is true that I have gone astray, my error remains my concern alone. He would surely call you to account if you secretly showed partiality. Job wants to face God and protest, but cannot physically find God. All his brothers, sisters, and former acquaintances came to his house and dined with him in his house. His anger burns against me; he counts me among his enemies. Lewis in The Problem of Pain so eloquently put it, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”. We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. The Old Testament book of Job can be mysterious, exhausting, and frustrating. He has blocked my way so I cannot pass; he has shrouded my paths in darkness. Though the text does not directly identify its setting, internal clues indicate that Read scripture text about the Bible story of Job and find related articles, podcasts, and sermons below! God has turned me over to the ungodly and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked. Job had 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 ox, 500 donkeys, and many servants. Question. In fact, God Himself called Satan’s attention to Job. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. My guests and my female servants count me a foreigner; they look on me as on a stranger. Eliphaz concludes that Job’s pain must be due to some sin Job has acted, and he recommends Job to seek God’s favor. People open their mouths to jeer at me; they strike my cheek in scorn and unite together against me. Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. Job 42:10-17 “After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his prosperity and doubled his [previous] possessions. Will you argue the case for God? Over the time of one day, Job is given four reports, each informing him that his sheep, servants, and ten children have all died due to thieving intruders or natural disasters. The entirety of God’s answer to Job is designed to emphasize man’s utter weakness and inability to comprehend the things of God. Job desires for someone who can mediate between himself and God, or be sent to Sheol, the dark space of the dead. God saw all of this, and he was very pleased with Job. Article Images Copyright © 2021 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. Job rips his clothes and shaves his head in sorrow, yet he still praises God in his prayers. How many wrongs and sins have I committed? Bildad supposes that Job’s children brought their deaths upon themselves. The Bible tells us that one day Satan presented himself before God and God asked Satan what he thought of Job. gen 25:6 is a new one to me, I missed that somehow. Job accuses God of being unjust and not operating the world according to principles of justice, and his friends believe that Job's sin caused his suffering. “Only a few years will pass before I take the path of no return. Job reconciles on their behalf, and God forgives them. “I have heard many things like these; you are miserable comforters, all of you! Furthermore, they hide behind their arguments as a means of avoiding the actual responsibility of a friend: Comforting the one who suffers. A summary of Part X (Section11) in 's Bible: The Old Testament. Suffering exists because we live in a post-Genesis three world, where the Creation is cursed, and people are sinners by nature (Psalm 51), and choice (Romans 3:23; 6:23), and in need of the Lord who alone can save (Ephesians 2:8). Even worse, Zophar suggests that whatever wrongdoing Job has done he likely deserves more suffering than what he has experienced. The Apostle Paul, who endured much evil and suffering, explains the relationship between suffering and character in Romans 5:3, “But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”. Ultimately, the Book of Job and the Old Testament Wisdom Books simply call readers to submit to the Lord humbly. Job’s story tells us he lost virtually everything he had: his possessions, his children and his health. The book of Job takes place in an area called in the Bible "the land of Uz" (Job 1:1), which is believed to have been the area southeast of Israel on the Arabian border. Amid our suffering, we look to Jesus, the author, and the finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). What Was the Spiritual Purpose of the Ephod in the Bible? Yet, for millennia, readers have also drawn comfort and hope from the story of Job’s extreme suffering. The Book of Job is considered to be one of the three books of wisdom literature found within the Bible. Even so, the Lord never told him about why he was suffering. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. Though unpleasant at the time, discipline is crucial to a child’s growth as a responsible person. Job believes that there is a “witness” or a “Redeemer” in heaven who will testify for his integrity (Job 16:19, Job 19:25). Will you show him partiality? Like such patriarchs, Job acted as a priest for his family, regularly offering up sacrifices in behalf of his children.—Job 1:1-5; 31:16-22. God brags to Satan about Job’s virtue, but Satan contends that Job is only righteous because God has favored him generously. In the end, Job never completely gave up hope or faith in God as an inspiration to everyone enduring suffering of their own. Job is one of the most famous people in Scripture, yet he is rarely listed as a favorite Bible character. 1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. The main problem with that view is the book of Job criticizes this position precisely. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”. Can anyone bring charges against me? God cannot be fooled, and Job confesses that he does not even know himself well enough to adequately defend his case to God. Surely, God, you have worn me out; you have devastated my entire household. that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever! Take heart, dear Christian, the Lord is with you (Hebrews 13:5; 9) and His promises are yes and amen in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). All rights reserved. Courage is forged only through facing one’s fears, just as steel must be refined by fire. Christopher Ash about his book, Job: The Wisdom of the Cross (Crossway, 2014).. For those who are unfamiliar with it, briefly tell the story of Job. The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. Job reacts to each of these remarks, becoming so angry that he calls his sympathizers “worthless physicians” who “whitewash [their help] with lies” (Job 13:4). While Christians should be cautious about claiming to identify God’s purposes behind specific incidents of injustice and suffering, the Bible does reveal insight into how God uses evil and suffering. My breath is offensive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own family. What is answered is God has His purposes for His children who are experiencing suffering. In the Bible, “the best-known wrestling with the problem of suffering comes to us in the book of Job.” (Ehrman, 2008, p. 162). Any help would be appreciated. “I have sewed sackcloth over my skin and buried my brow in the dust. His initial response was to rise up in shock, tear his clothes and shave his head. Even the well-reasoned explanation of his suffering would have been wholly insufficient to Job amid his agony as the concrete problem of evil demands more than an abstract, philosophical answer. In this paper we’ll look for a response from the Christian and Muslim scriptures to the question of human suffering through the story of Job… He had ten children and was a man of great wealth. Only God and Job himself know the inside story and reasons here. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. Job (/ dʒ oʊ b / JOHB; Hebrew: אִיּוֹב – ' Iyyōḇ; Greek: Ἰώβ – Iṓb) is the central figure of the Book of Job in the Bible.In rabbinical literature, Job is called one of the prophets of the Gentiles. “If you say, ‘How we will hound him, since the root of the trouble lies in him, ’, you should fear the sword yourselves; for wrath will bring punishment by the sword, and then you will know that there is judgment. 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. “In the land of Uz [modern day Saudi Arabia], there lived a man whose name was Job” ().Job was not an Israelite. Why Do We Sing Auld Lang Syne at the New Year? Why do you pursue me as God does? This story has an incredible ending. In the land of Uz there lived a man named Job; and he was blameless and upright, one who revered God and avoided evil. The Book of Job, book of Hebrew scripture that is often counted among the masterpieces of world literature. Why do I put myself in jeopardy and take my life in my hands? Without pity, he pierces my kidneys and spills my gall on the ground. Satan arrives in heaven again, and God allows him another opportunity to test Job. God may use evil and suffering to get an unbeliever’s attention and ultimately to draw the person to Himself (Zechariah 13:7-9; Luke 13:1-15; John 9). Job had seven sons and seven daughters. My wife is having difficulty finding out who Job's parents were as well as when he was born. “So man wastes away like something rotten, like a garment eaten by moths. Satan accused Job of honoring God only because God had blessed him. ”, Breath of the Spirit Ministries - Barbie Breathitt, Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete), Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, Sermon on the Mount - Bible Story Verses & Meaning, The Prodigal Son Parable - Bible Story Verses & Meaning, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Job’s story is the ultimate test of faith and example of perseverance in the Bible. September 29, 2012 By Admin-FSN Leave a Comment. 2 He had seven sons and three daughters, 3 and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. Throughout the book, Job, his wife, and his friends speculate on why he, an upright man, suffers. Job was heartbroken, but he did not stop worshipping Jehovah. He deplores the injustice that God lets evil people thrive while he and many other honest people suffer. Dave Jenkins is the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, and the Host of the Equipping You in Grace Podcast and Warriors of Grace Podcast. His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. If we use this lens to examine the speeches of Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, it becomes evident why the Lord accuses them of speaking falsely. If indeed you would exalt yourselves above me and use my humiliation against me. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom. It was the three friends’ obsession with theodicy that rendered them “miserable comforters” to Job (Job 16:2). Will your long-winded speeches never end? By Zhou Ming. to 1700B.C.) As God begins to question Job, He reveals Job’s ignorance and limitations of understanding: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38:4). 1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. The book’s theme is the eternal problem of unmerited suffering, and it is named after its central Bible Gateway interviewed Rev. He assumes that wisdom is concealed from humans, but he decides to persevere in seeking wisdom by fearing God and evading evil. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. I summon my servant, but he does not answer, though I beg him with my own mouth. California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. Job decides to talk directly to God. While there may be many Theodicies (from the Greek word Theos (“God”) and the root dik (“just”) found within its pages, Job has more to say about how the problem of evil and suffering are dealt with than the problem itself. The question Job faces is this: “Will Job serve the Lord for nothing when evil comes upon Him?” Job is never told why he is suffering or going through what he is — even by the Lord when He speaks to Job. Satan wanted Job to suffer even more, so he caused sores to break out all over Job’s body. Answer He received his MAR and M.Div. The Lord’s speech to Job could be used to construct a theodicy based on the sovereignty of God; the clay has no right to question its potter (Romans 9:20-21). It is possible that Job is the oldest of any book of the Bible written approximately 2100-1800 B.C. But I desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. He did not know why all these things were happening to him. You have shriveled me up—and it has become a witness; my gauntness rises up and testifies against me. I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth. through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. but Yes if Ishmael kept in touch and he and Isaac burried Abraham, then the other sons and grandsons May have also, thus giving the story of Job to Moses. Job’s sons always have parties at home. Christianity.com is a member of the Salem Web Network of sites including: Copyright © 2021, Christianity.com. Will you chase after dry chaff? Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”. Rabbinic tradition ascribes it to Moses, but scholars generally agree that it was written between the 7th and 4th centuries BCE, with the 6th century BCE as the most likely period for various reasons. Job Was Righteous and a Gentile. Again and again he bursts upon me; he rushes at me like a warrior. In His service, BibleAsk Team His troops advance in force; they build a siege ramp against me and encamp around my tent. Additionally, the Lord’s infinite knowledge is contrasted with Job’s limited human perspective. How my heart yearns within me! Overcome by the appearance of God, Job recognizes God’s infinite power and accepts the constraints of his human understanding. Its author is unknown yet it is possible that Job himself wrote it. God similarly allows evil and suffering to bring about discipline in the lives of His children. 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