Category: Book of Job

The Book of Job does not specifically name its author. The most likely  candidates are Job, Elihu, Moses and Solomon.

Date of Writing:  The date of the authorship of the Book of Job would be determined by  the author of the Book of Job. If Moses was the author, the date would be around  1440 B.C. If Solomon was the author, the date would be around 950 B.C. Because  we don’t know the author, we can’t know the date of  writing.

Purpose of Writing: The Book of Job helps us to  understand the following: Satan cannot bring financial and physical destruction  upon us unless it is by God’s permission. God has power over what Satan can and  cannot do. It is beyond our human ability to understand the “why’s” behind all  the suffering in the world. The wicked will receive their just dues. We cannot  always blame suffering and sin on our lifestyles. Suffering may sometimes be  allowed in our lives to purify, test, teach or strengthen the soul. God remains  enough, deserves and requests our love and praise in all circumstances of  life.

Key Verses: Job 1:1, “In the  land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and  upright; he feared God and shunned evil.”

Job 1:21,  “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and  the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”

Job 38:1-2, “Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm.  He said, ‘Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without  knowledge?'”

Job 42:5-6,  “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise  myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

Brief Summary: The book opens with a scene in heaven where Satan comes to accuse Job before  God. He insists Job only serves God because God protects him and seeks God’s  permission to test Job’s faith and loyalty. God grants His permission, only  within certain boundaries. Why do the righteous suffer? This is the question  raised after Job loses his family, his wealth, and his health. Job’s three  friends Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, come to “comfort” him and to discuss his  crushing series of tragedies. They insist his suffering is punishment for sin in  his life. Job, though, remains devoted to God through all of this and contends  that his life has not been one of sin. A fourth man, Elihu, tells Job he needs  to humble himself and submit to God’s use of trials to purify his life. Finally,  Job questions God Himself and learns valuable lessons about the sovereignty of  God and his need to totally trust in the Lord. Job is then restored to health,  happiness and prosperity beyond his earlier  state.

Foreshadowings: As Job was pondering the cause  of his misery, three questions came to his mind, all of which are answered only  in our Lord Jesus Christ. These questions occur in chapter 14. First, in verse  4, Job asks, “Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one!?” Job’s  question comes from a heart that recognizes it cannot possibly please God or  become justified in His sight. God is holy; we are not. Therefore, a great gulf  exists between man and God, caused by sin. But the answer to Job’s anguished  question is found in Jesus Christ. He has paid the penalty for our sin and has  exchanged it for His righteousness, thereby making us acceptable in God’s sight  (Hebrews  10:14; Colossians 1:21-23; 2  Corinthians 5:17).

Job’s second question, “But man dies and lies  prostrate; Man expires, and where is he?” (vs. 14), is another question about  eternity and life and death that is answered only in Christ. With Christ, the  answer to ‘where is he?’ is eternal life in heaven. Without Christ, the answer  is an eternity in “outer darkness” where there is “weeping and gnashing of  teeth” (Matthew  25:30).

Job’s third question, found in verse 14, is “If a man dies,  will he live again?” Once again, the answer is found in Christ. We do indeed  live again if we are in Him. “When the perishable has been clothed with the  imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written  will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ‘Where, O death, is  your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’” (1  Corinthians 15:54-55).

Practical Application: The  Book of Job reminds us that there is a “cosmic conflict” going on the behind the  scenes that we usually know nothing about. Often we wonder why God allows  something, and we question or doubt God’s goodness, without seeing the full  picture. The Book of Job teaches us to trust God under all circumstances. We  must trust God, not only WHEN we do not understand, but BECAUSE we do not  understand. The psalmist tells us, “As for God, His way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30). If God’s ways are “perfect,” then we can  trust that whatever He does—and whatever He allows—is also perfect. This may not  seem possible to us, but our minds are not God’s mind. It is true that we can’t  expect to understand His mind perfectly, as He reminds us, “For my thoughts are  not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD.  For as the  heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my  thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah  55:8-9). Nevertheless, our responsibility to God is to obey Him, to trust  Him and to submit to His will, whether we understand it or not.

The life of Job is proof that man usually has no idea what God is doing behind  the scenes in the life of each believer. All humans ask the question, “Why  do bad things happen to good people?” It is the age-old question, and one  that is sometimes difficult to answer in human terms, but believers have an  advantage because we know that God is always in control, and, no matter what  happens, there are no coincidences—nothing happens by chance. Job was such a  man; he knew that God was on the throne and in total control, though he had no  way of knowing why so many terrible tragedies were occurring in his life.

Job never lost his faith in God, even under the most heartbreaking  circumstances that tested him to his core. It’s hard to imagine losing  everything we own in one day—property, possessions, and even children. Most men  would sink into depression and even become suicidal after such a nightmare;  however, Job never wavered in his understanding that God was still in control.  Job’s three friends, on the other hand, instead of comforting him, gave him bad  advice and even accused him of committing sins so grievous that God was  punishing him by making his life miserable. Job knew God well enough to know  that He did not work that way; in fact, he had such an intimate, personal  relationship with Him that he was able to make the statement, “Though he slay  me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face” (Job 13:15).

There is another lesson in the book  of Job, and that concerns the bond between husband and wife. Satan declared war  on Job, trying to prove that he was only faithful to God because God had blessed  him. God allowed Satan to test Job’s faith, but He stopped him at the point of  taking Job’s life (Job 1:12). God  declares that a husband and wife are “one flesh” (Genesis  2:24); therefore, because of this God-ordained bond, Satan was forbidden to  take the life of Job’s wife, as well as that of Job. She obviously did not have  faith like that of Job, because her response to the calamity was to tell Job to  “curse God and die!” (Job 2:9). Her  faith did not spare her, but her marriage bond with Job did. She was considered  the same flesh as her husband, so Satan could not take her life, either.

Job’s plight, from the death of his children and loss of his property to the  physical torment he endured, plus the unending harangue of his so-called  friends, still never caused his faith to waver. He knew who his Messiah was, he  knew that He was a living Savior, and he knew that someday He would physically  stand on Planet Earth (Job 19:25).  The spiritual depth of Job shows throughout his writings. He understood that  man’s days are ordained (numbered), and they cannot be changed (Job 14:5). Job described the experience of salvation as  one in which men, destined to eternity in “the pit,” are ransomed and redeemed  by a gracious God who shines His light on them (Job  33:23-30).

There are also many scientific and historical facts in  the book of Job. He wrote that the earth is round long before it was proven to  be so, referring to the “circuit of heaven” (Job 22:14). He  spoke of dinosaurs, living not before man was created as secularists teach  today, but living side-by-side with man, as stated in Job 40:15: “Now behold behemoth, which I made along with  you; he eats grass like an ox” (KJV).

The book of Job gives us a glimpse  behind the veil that separates earthly life from the heavenly. In the beginning  of the book, we see that Satan and his fallen angels are still allowed free  access to heaven, going in and out to the prescribed meetings that take place  there. What is obvious from these accounts is that Satan is busy working his  evil on Planet Earth, as recorded in Job 1:6-7.  Also, this account shows how Satan is “the accuser of the brethren,” which  corresponds to Revelation  12:10, and it shows his arrogance and pride, as written in Isaiah 14:13-14. It is  amazing to see how Satan challenges God; he has no scruples about confronting  the Most High God because he has no fear of Him. The account in Job clearly  shows Satan as he truly is—haughty, pride-filled, and evil to the core.

Perhaps the greatest lesson we learn from the book of Job is that God does not  have to answer to anyone for what He does or does not do. What we learn from  Job’s experience is that we may never know the specific reason for suffering,  but we must trust in our sovereign, holy, righteous God whose ways are perfect  (Psalm 18:30). If God’s ways  are “perfect,” then we can trust that whatever He does—and whatever He allows—is  also perfect. This may not seem possible to us, but our minds are not God’s  mind. It is true that we can’t expect to understand His mind perfectly, as He  reminds us “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my  ways,’ says the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my  ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9).  Nevertheless, our responsibility to God is to obey Him, to trust Him, and to  submit to His will, whether we understand it or not. When we do, we will see  more clearly the magnificence of our God and we will say, with Job, “My ears had  heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (Job  42:5).