The story of Job in the Bible is a multifaceted lesson on a number of topics, foremost of which are faith, patience, and perseverance. We live in a time when people have a shortage of these qualities. Here are some lessons Job can teach us all.
The story of Job is that of a righteous man who is steadfastly dedicated to God. Job is a wealthy man living in a land called Uz with his large family and extensive flocks of sheep, camels, oxen, and donkeys.
Job knows there is nothing that is promised to us and that we need to be grateful for everything we have at the moment. Things will come and go, and the only thing that matters is what you are. The only thing worth being is good. Love God first and then show love to others.
However, life will put all of Job’s beliefs to the test and take him almost to the breaking point and to the brink of death.
The story of Job is particularly interesting in that it highlights a challenge between God and Satan. God tells Satan that there is no one on earth who is like Job, faithful, God-fearing, and turns away from evil. But Satan challenges God, essentially saying that Job is only loyal because he has received God’s blessings and has not faced adversity.
God accepts Satan’s challenge, giving him permission to test Job.
In the book of Job, we also learn a few things about Satan: That he is on the Earth, but also can still come into the presence of God; he is the ruler of the earth; he is given the power to tempt mankind; his power is limited by God, as he is not given the power to personally hurt humans.
“The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.”
– Job 1:12
In this verse, God withdraws his protection of Job’s possessions and allows Satan permission to create injurious influence over Job’s belongings.
Job once had a prosperous life, but everything within it crumbled. Nonetheless, he accepted the will of God knowing that nothing is promised.
“And said: ‘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 1:21
The story of Job is one of repeated suffering. Job loses his wealth, his health and his children. In the light of all that is going wrong in his life, his friends and his wife question his unwavering faith.
Invaders or natural causes take away his livestock, his servants, and ten of his children. But even this doesn’t take away Job’s faith. Satan requests another chance from God to test Job. This time, Job is afflicted with terrible sores. Still, Job will not renounce his faith.
“Then his (Job) wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!’ “
– Job 2:9
But Job would not blame God for the things that were happening in his life. And he chastised his wife for doing so.
“But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?’ In all of this Job did not sin with his lips.”
Still, no matter what attacks came his way, Job held onto the faith that God is good.
“Though He [God] slay me, yet will I trust Him”
– Job 13:15
Finally, Job reaches a breaking point, frustrated and complains to God. But God quickly reminded Job that, as a human, he lacks, not only the power, but also the omniscience to see and understand the workings of God, saying:
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.”
“And the LORD said to Job: ‘Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.'”
– Job 40:1-2
“Then Job answered the LORD and said: ‘I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.'”
– Job 42:1-2
“therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
– Job 42:6
Afterward, when Job prayed for his friends, God restored his fortunes. The Lord gave Job twice what he had before. His latter days were more blessed than his beginning. He had seven sons and three daughters.
Job also knew that through his faith, a greater blessing was waiting in the afterlife.
Simply put, we should love God with all our mind and heart. We should trust God, the Creator of the universe, with his eternal wisdom. We should strive each day to do good and show love toward others. We should be grateful for everything we have.
Material things aren’t what matters. Living a righteous life is all that counts. Faith, good works, and righteousness are the only way to receive the grace of God which leads to redemption.
“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.”
– Job 19:25