Yahweh Lesson 6, Biblical Commentary

not sin. Again Satan tried to make Job sin by putting boils all over his body. Job still did not sin. Although God allowed such pain, He did not let Satan take Job’s life. Job responded with worship. During this time Job asked God a lot of hard questions, cried, and argued with his friends. Still, he remained faithful to God. In the end God blessed Job by doubling his previous wealth.

When Life Falls Apart (Job)
Biblical Passages: Job 1:1–2:10; 42:10–17 Supporting Passages: James 1:2–4; Job 42:1–10; Ephesians 6:10–11; 1 Peter 5:8–9 Memory Verse: Job 1:21 Biblical Truth: Evil is a real and present danger, yet God is faithful to limit evil and direct circumstances so as to accomplish His purposes on earth. Context: Tragedy tests our faith in God more than anything else. With money in our pockets, food on our tables, and houses full of blessings, following God seems easy. We rarely doubt God during those times. But what happens to our faith when tragedy strikes? In dark times we question God’s goodness. Consider Job. Job was righteous before God. He had a life full of family and blessings and then lost everything. Job endured incredible hardships and persecution. Heaven seemed silent. But Job faired well through the dark times. He learned a lot about himself, his friends, and God. When we walk through difficulties the only thing that will get us through is an accurate perspective of God. Job questioned God. God did not answer his questions but responded with more questions of His own. Even though Job walked away with more questions than answers, he gained a perspective of God that gave him confidence and restoration.

This passage of Scripture is important to study because it vividly shows that God Is. God is in control of all things, and nothing happens outside His control. Even as Job suffered, God’s character did not change, and Job’s obedience stayed intact because he trusted God. Circumstances brought suffering, but in the end God blessed Job again. God always has a purpose for people’s good when they persevere through trials. James 1:2–4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Trials ultimately make a person “mature and complete,” and God has more concern for humanity’s holiness than happiness. In His sovereignty He allows circumstances people might not understand in order to develop their hearts. Satan stands ever ready to attack believers’ faith in God, but God stands ready to defend His people. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph. 6:11). God in His wisdom and power has equipped us with defensive tools to fight Satan’s attacks. The Apostle Peter said, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith . . .” (1 Peter 5:8–9). While believers know they will face Satan’s schemes, they can rest by faith in God’s gracious provision of Christ’s finished work on the cross
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Job was a blameless, upright man who feared God. He was well respected and rich. He had 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 oxen, 500 female donkeys, and many servants. He and his wife had seven sons and three daughters. God allowed Satan to try to make Job sin. In one day Satan took all Job’s animals and children and most of his servants. Through all of this, Job did
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and the equipment He has given to them through the power of the Holy Spirit. Knowing God is in control of all things is essential to faith in Him when circumstances get difficult. By studying the way God dealt with Job, believers will realize God’s complete control and their need to trust Him—even when life makes no sense. This passage also touches on other key truths: The Future is in God Hands and People are God’s Treasure.

Job 1:6–8 This passage sets up Job’s testing phase. God, not Satan, brought up Job. The conversation implies previous conversation: When God asked Satan if he had considered His servant Job, Satan knew exactly whom God was talking about. Possibly Satan tried to attack or dissuade Job before but to no avail. It is almost as if God was antagonizing Satan because Job remained “blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil” despite Satan’s attacks. Job 1:9–12 Notice how Satan began to attack Job’s character, which God had just praised. What God called “blameless and upright” Satan called shallow and materialistic. Satan responded in anger and frustration. In verse 11 Satan challenged God: Take away Job’s material blessings, Satan guaranteed, and Job would curse God. God agreed to allow Satan to test Job. Notice how He put the testing in Satan’s hands instead of testing Job Himself. God allowed the destruction but did not instigate it. Job 1:13–19 Everything Job had was destroyed except his wife, four servants, and Job himself. The day started festively for Job’s family (v. 13). Then tragedy struck, reported by four servants. The first servant told how Sabeans stole Job’s oxen and donkeys and killed all the servants; only he escaped to report to Job. While he was still telling Job the news, a second servant arrived. He told Job fire fell from the sky and consumed all the sheep and servants (v. 16). While the second servant was telling Job of tragedy, a third arrived to announce the Chaldeans stole all the camels and killed all the servants there (v. 17). While the third servant was reporting to Job, the fourth servant arrived: A wind swept in on all four corners of the house in which his children had feasted. The wind destroyed the house and all inside it (vv. 18–19). Most of the good things in Job’s life were gone. He was left with his own life, his wife, and apparently four servants. This day must have felt something like September 11 for Americans when
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Job 1:1 The author set the scene: Job was a righteous man who lived in Uz. The Bible does not give the exact location of Uz, but it was probably somewhere in the Middle East. The author then described Job’s character: “blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.” In the Hebrew language it is understood that the author did not suggest Job was sinless. Job could not be sinless; he repented in 42:6. It implies instead that he lived as an upstanding citizen free of any major character flaws. His respect for God led to reverence, and he turned from evil things. Job 1:2–3 Job had a large family and great wealth. He had seven sons and three daughters. Both of these numbers are symbolic numbers found throughout Scripture. The number seven carries the idea of wholeness and completeness. The number three carries the idea of unity and perfection. These numbers have significance: This man had the perfect life. He was completely upright and wealthy. This verse also mentions his vast livestock in very symbolic numbers. Job 1:4–5 Job was a loving father concerned for his children’s well-being. Understanding Job’s love for his family gives insight into his perspective and patience later in the story. Interestingly, Job made sacrifices only for his children, not for himself. Perhaps he was such a righteous individual he rarely needed to sacrifice for himself. Or the author may have wanted to emphasize Job’s concern for his family.

Copyright © Clarity Publishers, 2007. All rights reserved. Permission is granted for reproduction only for the study of Life Bible Study curriculum by a licensed church during the licensed year. No online or other duplication is permitted.

they heard about the first plane, then the second, then the Pentagon, and then the other hijacked plane that went down. With each bit of news hearts sank a little more. Job 1:20–22 Job responded to the calamity. His response was very poetic and symbolic. Notice he rose, tore his clothes, shaved his head, fell, and then worshiped. Tearing one’s clothes symbolized grief (Gen. 37:29, 34; Josh. 7:6, Job 1:20), as did shaving one’s head (Job 1:20; Jer. 7:29; Micah 1:16). This sequence gives a snapshot of Job’s life to this point. It begins with his rising and ends with his falling and worshiping. Notice Job’s strength after this tragedy; he charged God with no wrongdoing. Job 2:1–3 Chapter 2 begins with a scene similar to chapter 1. The angels approached God, and Satan came with them. The opening dialogue is the same (1:6–8; 2:1–3). Yet in chapter 2, God asserts Job’s integrity despite Satan’s destruction. God knew Satan had considered Job. Satan had tested him and failed to make Job curse God. Satan’s response to God shows his anger and frustration. Job 2:4–7 In his anger Satan complained the only reason Job did not give in was because he still had his own health. God would not let Satan touch that. Satan used the logic that a man would give everything he has to keep his health. This starkly contrasts his reasoning in chapter 1 when he argued Job’s commitment was because of material possessions. Again, Satan insisted God should strike Job, but God left Job in Satan’s “hands” to carry out more destruction. Again, God allowed Job’s pain but did not directly cause it. Satan left God’s presence and covered Job’s body with painful sores. The author wrote “from the soles of his feet to the top of his head” to imply total sickness, intense pain, and suffering. Job 2:8–10 After being inflicted with a terrible skin disease, Job sat in a pile of ashes, possibly from the earlier devastation, scraping his sores with broken pottery. Ashes symbolize grief and repentance (2 Sam. 13:19; Job 1:20; Jonah 3:6).
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Job’s wife made her only appearance in the book. Instead of consoling him, she suggested Job had acted pridefully by not cursing God. But, recall her losses. She lost her children and wealth, and seemingly her husband would go next. She must have thought Job did something to incite God’s wrath. Job responded with powerful perspective: We cannot expect only good things from God. If we could, it would be because God owes us for good things we have done. This is incorrect. Based on Job’s statements in 1:21 and 2:10, he understood the concept of eternal life. He seemed to understand this world is temporary and only a relationship with God lasts forever. After immense tragedy, perspective kept Job strong. Job 42:10–17 After the tragedies of the first two chapters Job stood sturdy. He did not fare so well thereafter. In the chapters that followed three of Job’s friends tried to console him but did more harm than good by accusing him of doing wrong. After they had thoroughly grilled him, Job began to question God. God responded, and dialogue began between He and Job. But here in chapter 42, God made known his anger toward these men for not speaking “what is right” (v. 7). God told them to take a sacrifice to Job and have Job pray over them; then God would not “deal” with them (v. 8). Apparently God stood ready to exact judgment on these friends who spoke wrongly but left it up to Job to forgive them first. God always acts as the avenger, but the best thing believers can do is forgive their enemies just as God has forgiven them. In verse 10 Job did this. He prayed for his friends what one can only assume was a prayer of forgiveness, and then God made Job prosperous again. The story leaves us wondering what would have happened if Job had rejected these so-called friends and refused to forgive and pray for them. It seems this forgiveness served as the prerequisite to Job’s returned blessings. God returned Job’s prosperity after he forgave those who had wronged him when he was at his lowest.

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In verse 10 God gave Job twice as much as he had before. Concerning the list of what Job lost and what God restored to him, the double return holds true except for Job’s children. He has the same number of children as he did in the beginning. This is where Job’s view of eternity comes in again. Though people may die, their souls live forever. So in the end Job still had his first set of children in eternity; 10 more were born for a total of 20, which is twice as many. The Book of Job ends with a reminder that God restored everything Job lost, and he enjoyed his children and grandchildren to four generations. Notice that in the beginning of this story Job had four tragedies strike at once that claimed the lives of his children. In the end God allowed him to enjoy his posterity for four generations.

loss of loved ones when prior experiences have been relatively free from tragedy. They must remember Satan’s goal is to kill, steal, and destroy them, yet at the same time, they must understand the essential truth God Is. Satan sought to destroy Job’s faith in God and his perspective of God. Yet throughout the story Satan reminds us of a whining child because he cannot have everything the way he wants it. Satan had no power other than what God allowed him. Total control lies in the hands of God alone. Because evil is at work in the world, tragedy still strikes our lives. How encouraging to know, then, that God is ultimately able to conquer evil, bringing good through even the most dire circumstances.

This passage is especially important for new believers. Often, people assume conversion means life will get easier. This is not the case. Obedience to God does not ensure tragedy will not strike. If becoming a Christian meant that life had less difficulty, pain, disease, and sickness, then people would line up to join. But Scripture is clear: Being a Christ-follower is one of the most dangerous things you can do. The disciples, the Apostle Paul, and many martyrs in the early Church testify to the danger and suffering associated with believing in Christ. God is close to the brokenhearted. Yet, He will not necessarily protect us from heartbreak. God is a father to the fatherless and a husband to the widow. But for that to happen fathers have to die and leave families behind. God is always with us, and the only thing real and eternal comes after this life. So we make our way through this life by faith in God’s provision, looking forward to the reality of heaven, a place devoid of hardship. This passage is equally applicable to more mature believers. The story seems to imply that Job had lived as a righteous man for quite some time before tragedy struck his life. At any time, Satan can strike lives with tragedy, leaving believers with questions about God’s character. Aging adults may face sickness, disease, and
Copyright © Clarity Publishers, 2007. All rights reserved. Permission is granted for reproduction only for the study of Life Bible Study curriculum by a licensed church during the licensed year. No online or other duplication is permitted.

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