Job Chapter One

 

Read Job 1:1-5

 

v1.  “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.”

 

            The land of Uz is given by some scholars at bordering the land of Edom, the home of Esau.  This would place Job in the same general vicinity as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the area today surrounding modern Israel to the east and north.  Uz is mentioned in other places in the Bible, such as:

 

Jeremiah 25:20  AND ALL THE MINGLED PEOPLE, AND ALL THE KINGS OF THE LAND OF UZ, AND ALL THE KINGS OF THE LAND OF THE PHILISTINES, AND ASHKELON, AND AZZAH, AND EKRON, AND THE REMANT OF ASDOD.”

 

            Job was a man described by the inspiration of God as perfect and upright, the same kind of man as Abraham whom God tested:

 

Genesis 22:12  “AND HE SAID, LAY NOT THINE HAND UPON THE LAD, NEITHER DO THOU ANY THING UNTO HIM: FOR NOW I KNOW THAT THOU FEAREST GOD, SEEING THOU HAST NOT WITHHELD THY SON, THINE ONLY son FROM ME.”

 

            Job is also held up to us as an example of patience through the writing of James:

 

James 5:11  BEHOLD, WE COUNT THEM HAPPY WHICH ENDURE.  YE HAVE HEARD OF THE PATIENCE OF JOB, AND HAVE SEEN THE END OF THE LORD; THAT THE LORD IS VERY PITIFUL, AND OF TENDER MERCY.”

 

v2.  “AND THERE WAS BORN UNTO HIM SEVEN SONS AND THREE DAUGHTERS.”

 

            Job’s family is described for us.

 

v3.  “HIS SUBSTANCE ALSO WAS SEVEN THOUSAND SHEEP, AND THREE THOUSAND CAMELS, AND FIVE HUNDRED YOKE OF OXEN, AND FIVE HUNDRED SHE ASSES, AND A VERY GREAT HOUSEHOLD; SO THAT THIS MAN WAS THE GREATEST OF ALL THE MEN OF THE EAST.”

 

            Job was a very wealthy man.  This would be so even by today’s standards, with animals by the thousands.

 

Job 29:25, he describes himself as dwelling as a king or a chief.  In Job 31:37 he’s described and one who would go near God as a prince would to a king.

 

v4.  “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’s sons feasted in their houses, it says every one his day, and they shared their well being with their sisters.

 

v5.  “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.  THIS DID JOB CONTINUALLY.”

 

            Job not only worshipped God and sacrificed in his own behalf but we’re told here that he offered sacrifices for his sons and daughters as well.  We’re told that he rose up early in the morning and made burnt offerings according to their number.  As we can see in many other passages of the Old Testament, a burnt offering was what God required as an offering for sins.

 

Read Job 1:6-12

 

v6.  “NOW THERE WAS A DAY WHEN THE SONS OF GOD CAME TO PRESENT THEMSELVES BEFORE THE LORD, AND SATAN CAME ALSO AMONG THEM.”

 

            This is described to us as a gathering of the sons of God, but Satan comes too.  Was this a gathering of angels?  If so, then how are they the sons of God?  They enjoy this status through creation, the same as we do.  Satan, the devil is described as a fallen angel.  Perhaps one that Jude describes in Jude 1:6, therefore an individual of God’s creation, a fact emphasized in another study available on the subject of Satan.

 

v7.  “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.”

 

            God in his communication with those who have gathered did much as we might, didn’t he.  Where have you been and what have you been doing?  He really didn’t have to ask but he chose to anyway.
            And Satan replies that he’s been down on earth, going to and fro and walking up and down in it.  Where have we heard that before?

 

I Peter 5:8  BE SOBER, BE VIGILANT, BECAUSE YOUR ADVERSARY THE DEVIL, AS A ROARING LION, WALKETH ABOUT, SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR:”

 

v8.  “AND THE LORD SAID UNTO SATAN, HAST THOU CONSIDERED MY SERVANT JOB, THAT there is NONE LIKE HIM IN THE EARTH, A PERFECT AND UPRIGHT MAN, ONE THAT FEARETH GOD, AND ESCHEWETH EVIL?”

 

            Well Satan, what do you think of my servant Job, there is none like him on the earth?  He is like men that God has described in a couple of other instances. God would speak to other men in a dream but He would speak to Moses directly:

 

Numbers 12:6-8  “AND HE SAID, HEAR NOW MY WORDS: IF THERE BE A PROPHET AMONG YOU, i THE LORD WILL MAKE MYSELF KNOWN UNTO HIM IN  A VISION, and WILL SPEAK UNTO HIM IN A DREAM.  MY SERVANT MOSES is NOT SO, WHO is FAITHFUL IN ALL MINE HOUSE.  WITH HIM WILL I SPEAK MOUTH TO MOUTH, EVEN APPARENTLY, AND NOT IN DARK SPEECHES; AND THE SIMILTUDE OF THE LORD SHALL HE BEHOLD: WHEREFORE THEN WERE YE NOT AFRAID TO SPEAK AGAINST MY SERVANT MOSES?”

 

v9.  “THEN SATAN ANSWERED THE LORD, AND SAID, DOTH JOB FEAR GOD FOR NOUGHT?”

 

            Satan answered God and asks does Job fear you for naught?  In other words he doesn’t fear you for nothing, there is an ulterior motive.

 

v10.  “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.”

 

            Satan says, that of course Job fears and worships you, look at what all you do for him.  He’s blessed, he’s protected, he’s rich, you’ve build a hedge around him on every side, nothing can cause harm to him, of course he worships you.

 

v11.  “BUT PUT FORTH THINE HAND NOW, AND TOUCH ALL THAT HE HATH, AND HE WILL CURSE THEE TO THY FACE.”

 

            Satan challenges God.  He says put forth your hand, remove all that you’ve given Job, take it away and he will curse you to your face.

 

v12  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.”

 

            God accepts Satan’s challenge.  He gives his permission for Satan to do what he will to Job, just so long as he does not do anything to Job himself.

 

Read Job 1:13-22

 

v13.  “AND THERE WAS A DAY WHEN HIS SONS AND HIS DAUGHTERS were EATING AND DRINKING WINE IN THEIR ELDEST’S BROTHER’S HOUSE:”

            The stage is set.  Satan has been given permission by God to afflict Job any way he want’s to except for the physical body of Job himself.  Life is going on as it always has and his family, his sons and daughters, are gathered at the eldest son’s house eating and drinking wine, feasting and enjoying their wealth.

 

v14.  “AND THERE CAME A MESSANGER UNTO JOB, AND SAID, THE OXEN WERE PLOWING, AND THE ASSES FEEDING BESIDE THEM:”

 

            The first message comes, the 500 yoke of oxen were plowing, something has happened and the 500 she asses, or mares were feeding beside them, or next to them.

 

v15.  “AND THE SABEANS FELL upon them, AND TOOK THEM AWAY; YEA, THEY HAVE SLAIN THE SERVANTS WITH THE EDGE OF THE SWORD; AND I ONLY AM ESCAPED ALONE TO TELL THEE.”

 

            The Sabeans have struck.  These people were of the kingdom of Sheba, found in southern Arabia at that time and included the country that we know today as Yemen.  These are all areas that now for hundreds of years have been under Muslim rule.  These Sabeans have taken Job’s oxen and ass herds, killed his servants and left only one alive to carry the message back to him.

 

v16.  “WHILE HE was YET SPEAKING, THERE CAME ALSO ANOTHER, AND SAID, THE FIRE OF GOD IS FALLEN FROM HEAVEN, AND HATH BURNED UP THE SHEEP, AND THE SERVANTS, AND CONSUMED THEM; AND I ONLY AM ESCAPED ALONE TO TELL THEE.”

 

            The first servant doesn’t more than get his message spoken when a second comes with even more bad news.  Fire has fallen down from heaven and consumed his entire flock of 7000 sheep.  Fire from heaven, Satan has been given the power by God to do things that he normally would have retained for himself as in:

 

Genesis 19:24  THEN THE LORD RAINED UPON SODOM AND UPON GOMORRAH BRIMSTONE AND FIRE FROM THE LORD OUT OF HEAVEN;”

 

Leviticus 10:1-2  AND NADAB AND ABIHU, THE SONS OF AARON, TOOK EITHER OF THEM HIS CENSER, AND PUT FIRE THEREIN, AND PUT INCENSE THEREON, AND OFFERED STRANGE FIRE BEFORE THE LORD, WHICH HE COMMANDED THEM NOT.  AND THERE WENT OUT FIRE FROM THE LORD, AND DEVOURED THEM, AND THEY DIED BEFORE THE LORD.”

 

v17.  “WHILE HE was YET SPEAKING, THERE CAME ALSO ANOTHER, AND SAID, THE CHALDEANS MADE OUT THREE BANDS, AND FELL UPON THE CAMELS, AND HAVE CARRIED THEM AWAY, YEA, AND SLAIN THE SERVANTS WITH THE EDGE OF THE SWORD; AND I ONLY AM ESCAPED ALONE TO TELL THEE.”

 

            Chaldea, the homeland of Abram and his father Terah:

 

Genesis 11:31  “AND TERAH TOOK ABRAM HIS SON, AND LOT THE SON OF HARAN HIS SON’S SON, AND SARAI HIS DAUGHTER IN LAW, HIS SON ABRAM’S WIFE; AND THEY WENT FORTH WITH THEM FROM UR OF THE CHALDEES, TO GO INTO THE LAND OF CANAAN; AND THEY CAME UNTO HARAN, AND DWELT THERE.”

 

These Chaldeans have now wiped out the remaining wealth of Job, making him a poor man indeed, but Satan isn’t finished.

 

v18.  “WHILE HE was YET SPEAKING, THERE CAME ALSO ANOTHER, AND SAID THY SONS AND THY DAUGHTERS were EATING AND DRINKING WINE IN THEIR ELDEST’S BROTHERS HOUSE.”

 

            The worst news is yet to come.  His family, sons and daughters had gathered at the eldest brother’s home:

v19.  “AND, BEHOLD, THERE CAME A GREAT WIND FROM THE WILDERNESS, AND SMOTE THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE HOUSE, AND IT FELL UPON THE YOUNG MEN, AND THEY ARE DEAD; AND I ONLY AM ESCAPED ALONE TO TELL THEE.”

 

            Have you ever been in a tornado?  Well it’s not a pleasant experience to say the least.  Lying in the kitchen floor in January, 1967 and watching my roof go away definitely make me think a little about my ultimate destination.  Fortunately I was not injured but only made a little uncomfortable and insurance covered most of the damage to the contents of our rental unit.  But in Job’s case the family is wiped out, completely, except for him and his wife.  God had restricted Satan from doing anything to harm Job himself but he’s done pretty much everything else he could do.  So what is Job’s reaction, does he blame God?  Does he try to find some reason for all of this sudden misfortune?  Not at all!

 

v20.  “THEN JOB AROSE, AND RENT HIS MANTLE, AND SHAVED HIS HEAD, AND FELL DOWN UPON THE GROUND, AND WORSHIPPED.”

 

            Rending or tearing the clothes being worn was a sign of distress or grief wasn’t it?

 

Genesis 37:29  AND REUBEN RETURNED TO THE PIT; AND, BEHOLD, JOSEPH was NOT IN THE PIT; AND HE RENT HIS CLOTHES.”

 

And when Jacob heard the sad tale that his sons were to tell him about Joseph:

 

Genesis 37:34  AND JACOB RENT HIS CLOTHES, AND PUT SACKCLOTH UPON HIS LOINS, AND MOURNED FOR HIS SON MANY DAYS.”

 

            Did Job curse God and Satan said he would?  No, he worshipped instead, he turned to God in his grief, distress and sorrow.

 

v21.  “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.”

 

            These are words that many people find familiar because they are quoted frequently.  Naked came in into this world bringing nothing with me and I’ll carry nothing out.  Makes a lot of our worries, concerns, wants, etc. seem kind of trivial doesn’t it?   The wise man Solomon recorded also for our benefit:

 

Ecclesiastes 5:15  “AS HE CAME FORTH OF HIS MOTHER’S WOMB, NAKED SHALL HE RETURN TO GO AS HE CAME, AND SHALL TAKE NOTHING OF HIS LABOUR, WHICH HE MAY CARRY AWAY IN HIS HAND.”

 

            Paul reminds us again in the New Testament also:

 

I Timothy 6:7  FOR WE BROUGHT NOTHING INTO this WORLD, and it is CERTAIN WE CAN CARRY NOTHING OUT.”

 

v22.  “IN ALL THIS JOB SINNED NOT, NOR CHARGED GOD FOOLISHLY.”

 

            After all of this trouble, after losing all of his wealth and his family, Job does not turn against God.  He very philosophically accepts that what God has provided was his only for a period of time.  He accepts that a day would come when he would leave it all behind.  He gives us, in his example, a reminder that our focus and concern during our limited stay in this world should be focused on where we will spend eternity.  Nothing else has any real meaning.