Holding Firm in Suffering

Key Verse: “He said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”
—Job 2:10

Selected Scripture:
Job 1:1-2:10

OUR LESSON TODAY centers on a man named Job, who lived in the land of Uz. The Book of Job is one of the finest pieces of poetry that was ever written. Since the author is not mentioned, we should not think that it is merely a parable, and that Job is an imaginary character. He is mentioned in two other passages of scripture, Ezekiel 14:14 and James 5:11, and we conclude, therefore, that the narrative is true and given as a lesson in why God permits evil. At the beginning, we are told that Job lived in the land of Uz, in Arabia, and probably not far from Palestine.

We are told that he was perfect (morally complete), upright (honest, straightforward), one that reverenced God and kept himself from evil. This tells a lot about the character of the man. Today we find very few that would fit into this standard. Job was very rich and had seven sons and three daughters. Verse three tells us Job was the greatest of the men of the East.

The Scriptures tell us that as a rule those who are rich “fall into temptation and a snare.” (I Tim. 6:9) However, this was not the character of Job, and he became great among his peers. Evidently Job’s sons were not like their father, for they feasted and drank with their sisters. We are told this worried him, and he sanctified (hallowed and purified) them, and offered burnt offerings for each of them.—vs. 5

In verse six we are told that Satan appeared before God to test him regarding Job’s integrity. God asked Satan to consider his servant, how he was sincere and upright. Satan then tells God that the only reason Job was following him was that God had placed a “hedge” around him to protect him, and that if his possessions were taken away, he would curse him. (vss. 8-11) Satan knew the weaknesses of man and was sure that Job would not follow God if his material blessings were taken away.

However, God knew Job’s heart and allowed Satan to test him. We are assured that “man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (I Sam. 16:7) Satan proceeded to take away all of his possessions, causing his sons and daughters to be killed, yet this only caused Job to say, “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.”—vs. 21

How much this tells us of the integrity of Job. Again Satan tested God by saying, “Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.” (2:4) God then allowed Satan to do what he wished to Job but he could not take his life.—vs. 6

Job was smitten with boils from his head to his feet. He suffered so much that his wife told him to curse God and die. Through all this, Job did not sin with his lips. (vs. 10) Peter tells us that “if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye.”—I Pet. 3:14

Dawn Bible Students Association
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