The book of Job is believed to be the earliest written book of the Bible. The author of Job is unknown. Some people believe the author is Moses, because the land of Uz, which is mentioned in Job 1:1, is near Midian where Moses lived for forty years. The date of the writing is also unknown, but is possibly during the period of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Some believe it to have been written during the events covered in Genesis chapters 11 and 12. You will note that there is no reference in the book of Job to either the law or the tabernacle. Job lived a long life, as did also the patriarchs. He lived 140 years after the events of the book of Job, for a total age of around 200 years. Notice what God says concerning Job in Job 1:1 and 1:8.
In this book, there was a heavenly debate between God and Satan. As a result of this debate, Job faced five different tests which came to him one immediately followed by another. See Job 1:13-19. Later there were three debates on earth between Job and his friends, which concluded with God showing Job his problem. In Job 42: 1-6, we read that Job recognized the sovereignty of God in his life.
The name Job means “persecuted one.” The Arabic translation of Job means “repentant one.” Job acknowledged the redeemer in Job 19:25-27, and cried out for a mediator (daysman) in Job 9:33 and 25:4. In 33:23, Job asked the same questions that many of us ask when in trouble. The age old questions of “Why?” “Where is God my maker?” “How shall a man be just before God?” “If a man die, shall he live again?” “Where can true wisdom be found?” However, Job was determined to love and obey God, even though he did not understand what was happening and at times, even wished that he had never been born or that God would let him die. Read Job 3:3; 3:11-16; 13:15 and 37:23-24.
Most of the book is written in poetic form. As you read and study the book of Job, you will notice that again he asked the same questions about which we also wonder. “Why does it seem that God does not hear my cries and prayers?” “Why is God punishing me?” “Why does God allow the wicked to prosper?” Job’s three friends thought that they knew the answers to these and many other questions. The man Elihu gave a more accurate view of the situation.
Beginning in Job chapter 38, God asked Job several questions. It has been estimated that God asked over 600 questions. You will notice that there are many scientific statements in this book. Although the Bible is not written as a science book, it gives information and explanations for many of the wonders of creation. An example of this is found in Job 28:24-25 which refer to the perfect balance of water droplets and the up draft of wind. Other examples are located in Job 37:16; 36:27, 28 and in 28:26. This subject is also confirmed in the book of Ecclesiastes 1:5-7, which gives information on the jet stream, the circuit of the sun, and evaporation.
In Job 42:1-6, we read the conclusion which Job reached after his conversation with God. He now saw God through His great creation, as well as through His word. Job then repented, no longer wanting to know why all of this came upon him, but instead he confessed that God is sovereign and can do whatever He desires. He had heard of God, but now he saw God for himself and he saw his own true condition before God (verse 6). We read in Job 42:10 how that Job ended up with twice as much as he had before the trial. Not only did he have ten children in heaven, but he now had ten more on earth (1:2; 42:13).
There are many questions in life to which we do not know the answers, but there are far more facts concerning God’s creation that we will never know nor understand. We must totally trust God in every situation and condition pertaining to our life. As you read the book of Job, ask yourself: “Can I serve God and live for Him for who He is and not for the things He gives me, or for what He does for me?” “Am I able to trust God through all suffering, trials, and difficulties, knowing that He is in control and will not allow anything to happen to me except it is for my good and for His glory?” We may not understand life’s problems, but we can trust Jesus Christ to take us through all of them. Job 23:10 says, “But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” The main conclusion of the book of Job is that God gives us patience through our trials. He will bring me through all things for His glory, honor and praise! To God be all glory and praise in all that He does in and through our life!!
Job – “the problem of suffering”
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