|Vol. 14 No. 3 March 2012||
Job was a man of great character and faith. The Scriptures reveal that he feared God and eschewed evil (Job 1:1). Fear does not mean he was afraid of God, but rather reverenced Him. Eschewed evil means he removed it from his life. Verse 1 also says he was perfect and upright. Perfect does not mean without sin, but rather he was complete. Upright means straight, as we would say Job was straight as an arrow. God said to Satan of Job in verse 8, “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth?” However, Satan came along and questioned God’s appraisal of Job. Satan claimed that Job was faithful because of the abundant blessings God had given him. God would allow Job to be tested by Satan to prove his faith was true. The following will prove that Job passed the test.
Job was a man of great wealth. The Bible says he had 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys and a great household of servants. Those items might not impress people today, but they demonstrated great wealth in Job’s time. Job was also blessed with a great family. He had seven sons and three daughters. So, how was Job’s prosperity a test? To answer this question we need not go further than today’s world.
We have all been blessed with great material wealth in this country. Because of this, we realize how very difficult it can be to focus on the spiritual in a world of wealth and materialism. Yet, Job passed the test of his prosperity with flying colors.
Satan tested Job’s faith by taking away his prosperity and turning it into abject poverty (Job 1:13-21). In just mere moments, Satan took away the wealth it had taken Job a lifetime to accumulate. His sons and daughters, the jewels in his crown, were also taken. Yet, Job also passed this test as well. In verse 22 the Bible says, “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”
Since removing Job’s prosperity was not successful, Satan asked if he could touch Job’s health. God allowed it, but told Satan he could not kill him. Job 2:7 says that Job was inflicted with sore boils. If that was not miserable enough, his wife began to nag him. She encouraged him to curse God and die (2:9). In addition, his friends began to doubt him. They blamed him for his misfortune, and said his sin was to blame. With friends like this, who needs enemies? Yet, Job passed this test as well.
Job knew he had not done anything wrong. Therefore, like any normal person, he began to ask why. Why God? Why Me? God responded with some questions for Job in chapters 38-40, and Job began to realize he really had no right to question the Almighty. He was perplexed about his circumstance, but he also passed this test.
In Chapter 42, God restored the blessings that had been taken away from His servant Job. The wealth and health Job had before were now experienced again. Job had passed all Satan’s tests and would now live the remainder of his life realizing that the source of his power was the hand of the Almighty.
The last time I was at home, I reached down and picked up the old family Bible. It was old and worn, and the myriad sensations of joy, sadness and wonder that it brought to my mind were quite moving. Looking at the family register, I relived, in my mind, some of the joyous moments of birth, marriage and happy occasions recorded there. I felt again, the heartrending memories of loved ones as I noted the dates of their passing from this life.
In the twinkling of an eye, I recalled the joy of birth, the hope of life and the sadness of death on the pages of this old, treasured family Bible. Although these precious memories spanned many years in their passing, they were all still summed up in the briefest of notes on those few pages. I shivered as I recalled the finality of the prophet Job’s chilling summary of a man’s life. He said, “Man that is born of woman is of a few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth as a flower and is cut down. He fleeth also as a shadow and continueth not” (Job 14:2). The prophet Amos spoke serious words to the disobedient forces of Israel. He reminded them of Sodom and Gomorrah, and promised just the same sort of destruction upon them because they repented not nor turned from their wicked ways. Listen to his words from God the Father: “Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel” (Amos 4:12).
As I reflected upon these sobering thoughts, I wondered just how sad it would be if such was all there was to a man’s life. That, I realized, was not all there was to it! I had treasured the faith I had been blessed to know from this very same Bible. Therefore, I am totally persuaded that the story of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ, is just as real as any of the family records recorded upon the pages of the family registry contained therein.
The Bible, if read regularly and conscientiously, will instill faith that will not falter. It will give strength enough to face any of life’s trials, and the hope it genders will provide reason and surety for the trying of one’s way. Even if the Bible should turn out to be a hoax at the end of our lives, those who have lived by its high and holy standards will have already been blessed enough to warrant their belief in it, and will be that much better off than any who refuse to accept its precepts.
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12). From the beginning of time to this present day, courtrooms have been filled with family feuds, and many have been included in memorial services because family members disagreed with records in “family Bibles,” and the disputes ended in the deaths of family members who should have been loving and kind to one another, but were not! Sometimes even the courts were not able to determine the truth in some cases, but there is one thing for sure, when the Lord of heaven and earth declares the verdict of man’s earthly actions and life, there will be no mistakes, and no retrials! Thy Word is truth!