Job 1

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Salvation, both as a person (Jesus) and as a concept, comes to us from Israel and Judaism (John 4: 22). Indeed, no other religion in the world conceives of the doctrine of sin and atonement except Judaism and Christianity which sprang from its matrix; therefore, no other religion espouses the idea of salvation, much less the person of salvation, Jesus, himself. Numerous Christian practices have their roots in Judaism. Believers practice water baptism because proselytes were initiated into Judaism by circumcision and immersion in the waters of the mikveh, the ritual bath, and because transitions in status were also confirmed in the mikveh. The church celebrates communion because Israel had the Passover, the elements of which our Lord used to celebrate the first New Testament Passover with communion…

If you are a Christian looking for your roots, look into Judaism. Many who have been searching for their roots have found themselves “on the Canterbury trail” and have embraced Anglicanism. Others have returned to Roman Catholicism, and still more have accepted Greek Orthodoxy. Why stop at Canterbury or Rome or Constantinople? Why not go all the way back to Jerusalem, where Christianity began? The answer to the search for roots is in your Bible, which proves that your Christian faith was birthed from biblical Judaism. – John D. Garr, Our Lost Legacy: Christianity’s Hebrew Heritage

So, in reading the title of this Monday post, I imagine the response might have been something to the effect of “Oh, man, she’s going to try to talk about Job…” Because, honestly, my first reaction to the thought of blogging about the Book of Job was, “Oh, man, I’m going to try to blog about Job…”

People have a lot of opinions about Job… And from what I’ve found, they are at one extreme or the other… I’m going to try to avoid the extremes—if possible—and just take the story for what it is… And to avoid speculative doctrines that have sprung up regarding Jehovah God, Satan, Job, Job’s friends and family, etc., which are usually based on one verse here or there… And avoid relating Job to my own life—as I really don’t relate to Job’s circumstances at all…

I hope this little venture will turn out alright… I was just thinking that it’s been over a week since I’ve blogged thru Scripture verse by verse… So, blessed be the Name of the LORD…

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. 2 There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. 3 He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. 4 His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually (Job 1:1-5 ESV).

The Book of Job is arguably the oldest book in the world. Many believe it was written by Moses.  The land of Uz (what a name!) was probably located between Edom and Saudi Arabia, and if Job was the son of Issachar, he was Jacob’s grandson. The idea of describing Job as “blameless” does not mean sinless perfection but rather that he was perfect in his efforts in doing all he could to walk in the way of Jehovah God. We shall see that, unlike anyone else in this story, Job knew the One True God.  He did not understand everything, but he did have faith in the Real God Jehovah.

Before the giving of the Law at Sinai, the father of the family was the Priest of the family. It was his responsibility to bless, purify, and offer Sacrifice.  The offering up of these Sacrifices, a ram for each Burnt Offering, and one for each son and daughter (females were remembered just the same!), proclaimed the fact that Job had placed his faith and trust the Sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God.  Job saw from afar and was persuaded…

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” (Job 1:6-8 ESV).

This is the first instance of this fallen angel being named “the Satan” or “the Adversary.” At some time in eternity past, he led a revolution against God, with one third of the Angels throwing in their lot with him (Rev 12:4, 7-11).  From the time of that revolution unto the present, this war between good and evil has raged.  But the battle will end (Rev 20:1-3, 7-10).  And what a Day, Glorious Day that will be… But for now, Satan searches the whole Earth continually, “going about,” as the Apostle Peter said (I Peter 5:8), “like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

While the text does not say that Job at that time was the only one on Earth living for Jehovah God, it does say that he was closer to Jehovah God than anyone else. We learn of the minute attention given by the One True God of all those who love and follow Him.  Such conversations are truly conducted in Heaven.

Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord (Job 1:9-12 ESV).

Satan insinuates that Job’s motive is purely selfish—that Job is serving Jehovah God, not out of love for Him, but for what he gets out of it. And we learn that Satan had to have permission from Jehovah God to do certain things regarding Job.  There were limitations placed on what Satan could do.

George Williams writes: “Job does not symbolize an unconverted, but a converted man. It was necessary that one of God’s children should be chosen for this trial; for the subject of the Book is not the conversion of the sinner, but the consecration of the Saint.”

Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 and there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you” (Job 1:13-16 ESV).

Birthday party gone bad…

While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you” (Job 1:17-19 ESV).

The loss of property is one thing; however, the loss of one’s family is something else altogether. The fact is, we are not told exactly why Jehovah would allow this… But He did…

It is to be noted that the only thing that was said about those sons and daughters was that they were “eating and drinking,” and so the consecration of Job was not their consecration. And they were taken away.

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” 22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong (Job 1:20-22 ESV).

Verse twenty-one is oft quoted—verse twenty-two not so much… I believe that this is because some claim that Job was not showing faith—or a “positive confession”—in verse twenty-one, but verse twenty-two says the very opposite.

While this blow was almost enough to kill a man, still we see here the depths of his consecration by his worship of Jehovah God, even at this terrible time. Satan said that Job would curse God to His Face if such calamity fell upon him, but before the entirety of the spirit world, Jehovah God proved that this would not be the case.

Years ago, I did a Bible Study through Ecclesiastes, and I linked Job with Ecclesiastes, so thought I’d conclude with something from Solomon…

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.  What profit has a man of all his labor which he takes under the sun?  One generation passes away, and another generation comes; but the Earth abides forever.  The sun also arises, and the sun goes down, and hastes to his place where he arose.  The wind goes toward the south, and turns about unto the north; it whirls about continually, and the wind returns against according to his circuits.  All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.  All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing nor the ear filled with hearing.  The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun.  Is there anything wherof it may be said, See, this is new?  It has been already of old time, which was before us (Eccl 1:1-10 KJV).