The trial of Job is a strange event. One day out of the blue, Job’s world began crashing down around him. He suffered great loss and sickness. Was this the price of being a good man? What caused this tragedy? Who is responsible? Let’s see what the Bible says about it!
The Wealth of Job
“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. And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. 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 1:1-3
Job had it all. He was the greatest of the men in his country. From the verses above, one can see how wealthy he was. Neither he nor his family had need of anything. He was a perfect and upright man. He feared God and kept himself from evil. Job became successful without compromise or yielding to sin. Job’s dedication and righteousness is demonstrated in Job 1:5. He prayed constantly for his family and represented his children by presenting burnt offerings for each of them. For his faithfulness, God keeps him and blesses all that he has and touches.
An Audience before the Throne
Now we are taken to a scene where certain beings present themselves before God. Notice here that other than Satan, they are referred to as “sons of God”. It could be argued that these are men on earth coming to sacrifice. They could also be angels coming to report on their activities on man's behalf.
“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Job 38:7
This verse suggests the sons of God are possibly created beings from other worlds presenting themselves during creation. Its not a big leap to believe there are unknown inhabited worlds in existence besides ours. And why not? It would be a huge waste of space out there if we are alone. Why would we be the only ones in such a vast universe? Here we see the sons of God again. But this time, from the context, they are with God witnessing the Creation of the Earth! Angels are often called stars in scripture (Revelation 12:4). Yet I cannot find where an angel is called a son of God.
God Boasts of Job
In Job 1:7, God inquires about Satan’s activities. Of course God knows where Satan was and how he would respond. Remember God also asked Adam where he was while they were in the Garden. God does not behave presumptuously. Satan understands the full nature of God, so he knew God knew his whereabouts. But God asks because He cares and wants to have dialog with His Creation (Deuteronomy 5:24). Now in Job 1:8, God asks the question that seems to annoy Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?” Then God proceeds to speak of Job’s uniqueness and uprightness. “…there is none like him in the earth…” Notice there is nothing in Job 1:9 to show Satan was oblivious of Job. On the contrary, Satan reveals he has noticed Job. And why wouldn’t he? Job was like no other man on earth. Of course he noticed him! But he could not touch him! Why? He had no reason or right to. Job’s walk and relationship with God reveals how Satan has no power or authority in the lives of a child of God. Satan takes notice and can observe, but he cannot touch such a one without God’s express permission.
Satan’s Rebuttal and Challenge
Job 1:9-10 continues the dialog between God and Satan with Satan revealing that he has knowledge of Job. He can see that God has Job protected as well as his household and possessions. Again, Satan cannot touch anything that belongs to a righteous man.
“For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” Psalms 5:12
“For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.” Psalms 61:3
So Satan challenges God. Since God is protecting all Job has, he wants to put their relationship to the test. Satan asks God to take everything He has given Job. Then Job will show Him what he really thinks of Him. But that wasn't God's intention. He had no reason to personally afflict Job. So since it is Satan who needed convincing, He removed the hedge and allowed Satan to take everything he has himself. Only do not touch him. And Satan leaves God’s presence to do just that.
What is this Really About?
God was not trying to hurt Job. God was not thinking, “I need to put Job through something to take him to another level.” God loved and protected Job. This was not about testing Job. This was an opportunity for God to show Satan and the Universe at large something wonderful! God wanted to show Satan and all who observed that Job served God because he loves Him. It was not because of what Job receives from him! God wanted all to witness the truth concerning their relationship.
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Accuser of the Brethren
“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” Revelation 12:10
“…And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Genesis 3:1
From the beginning, Satan labored at causing man to turn against God. When Adam fell, Satan thought he had humanity wholly turned from God. Can you envision Satan pointing at Adam and saying to God, “I told you so!” So he continues to work hard at turning us against God and hiding the truth from us! As a roaring lion, he seeks those he can devour!
“And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.” Mark 4:15
“Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.” 1 Thessalonians 2:18
Job’s Strange Response
Moving forward past Job's physical attack, look at the crisis Job endured. First Satan destroyed Job’s property and his children. This was to provoke Job to curse God. However, note Job’s response:
“Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, 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.” Job 1:20-21
Job did not get angry with God, blame Him or curse Him (Job 1:22). Notice what else Job did not do. He did not accuse Satan either!
“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” Jude 1:9
Beware of Satan’s Attacks
“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” 2 Corinthians 2:11
Satan seeks to destroy our relationship with the Creator. If we are not serving our Heavenly Father, we are serving him.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16
Here are some of his attacks:
- Against God – Revelation 12:7
- Against Humanity – Genesis 3:1-24, 2 Corinthians 11:14, Revelation 12:9
- Against Israel – 1 Chronicles 21:1
- Against Job – Job 1:13-19, 2:7
- Against Jesus – Matthew 4:1-11, John 13:27
Job’s End is Greater than His Beginning
“And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.” Job 42:7
Throughout Job’s challenge, he kept himself from sinning against God. He magnified God and blamed himself instead. Even when rejected by his wife and accused by his friends, he held onto and loved the Lord. Because of this, God turned Job's captivity and rewarded him for his faithfulness.
“And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.” Job 42:10
You can see all God gave him in Job 42:11-17. To reiterate the main ideas, the trial of Job was not God testing Job. Satan challenged God to prove that Job served Him only because He treated him well. God allowed it to show Satan, as well as those watching, that Job loved Him, no matter what befell him.
God’s Love for Us
God’s love for us is greater than we can imagine. Before He created us, He loved us and provided for us. God did not miss one provision. He even provided a way for us to live free from sin and the penalty of sin through His Son, Jesus Christ.
“We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
When Jesus came to earth, He shared the love of the Father with us. Job vindicated God’s love for us. Job proved that humanity could love unconditionally. He proved that he loved and worshiped God for who He is. And Satan wants this worship for himself. Thus the Trial of Job.
“…And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast:…” Revelation 13:4
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