10 June Job 1:1-22

10 June. Job’s faith is sorely tested

“A man named Job lived in the land of Uz. He was an honest and innocent man; he honoured God and stayed away from evil. Job had seven sons and three daughters. He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen and 500 female donkeys. He also had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.”

“Job’s sons took turns holding feasts in their homes and invited their sisters to eat and drink with them. After a feast was over, Job would send and have them made clean. Early in the morning Job would offer a burnt offering for each of them, because he thought, ‘My children may have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ Job did this every time.”

“One day the angels came to show themselves before the LORD, and Satan was with them. The LORD said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the LORD, ‘I have been wandering around the earth, going back and forth in it.’”

“Then the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you noticed my servant Job? No one else on earth is like him. He is an honest and innocent man, honouring God and staying away from evil.’ But Satan answered the LORD, ‘Job honours God for a good reason. You have put a wall around him, his family and everything he owns. You have blessed the things he has done… But reach out your hand and destroy everything he has, and he will curse you to your face.’”

“The LORD said to Satan, ‘All right, then. Everything Job has is in your power, but you must not touch Job himself.’ Then Satan left the LORD’s presence.”

“One day Job’s sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine together at the oldest brother’s house. A messenger came to Job and said, ‘The oxen were ploughing and the donkeys were eating grass nearby, when the Sabeans attacked and carried them away. They killed the servants with swords, and I am the only one who escaped to tell you!’”

“The messenger was still speaking when another messenger arrived and said, ‘Lightning from God fell from the sky. It burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who escaped to tell you!’”

“The second messenger was still speaking when another messenger arrived and said, ‘The Babylonians sent three groups of attackers that swept down and stole your camels and killed the servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.’”

“The third messenger was still speaking when another messenger arrived and said, ‘Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine together at the oldest brother’s house. Suddenly a great wind came from the desert, hitting all four corners of the house at once. The house fell in on the young people, and they are all dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you!’”

“When Job heard this, he got up and tore his robe and shaved his head to show how sad he was. Then he bowed down to the ground to worship God. He said,

‘I was naked when I was born,

and I will be naked when I die.

The LORD gave these things to me,

And he has taken them away.

Praise the name of the LORD.’”

 

“In all this Job did not sin or blame God.”

          (Job 1:1-22)

 


 

The story of Job is set in the second millennium BC, probably around 1100BC during the Philistine domination of Israel at the time of the ‘judges’. As we are studying the Old Testament in chronological order (not in the order the books are laid out in the Bible), it makes sense to consider this story in the context of the general wickedness of the Israelites at the time of the Book of Judges.

Job was a wealthy man living to the south east of Israel in the semi-arid land of Uz (located in the south western part of modern-day Jordan, between Edom and Arabia) (see Lamentations 4:21). He was extremely wealthy and owned 7000 sheep, 3000 camels and 500 teams of oxen, together with a large number of servants.

Job’s family lived a life of luxury. His son’s parties were renowned for all-night eating, drinking, women and sex. Job made sure he offered burnt offerings to the LORD after these riotous parties in order to make amends for any wrongdoings enacted by his children.

Job was a godly man, but his faith was tested when Sabean Bedouins from Arabia carried off his oxen and donkeys, and his sheep were struck by lightning and killed. Matters got worse when Chaldean raiders from Mesopotamia carried off his camels, and his sons and daughters were killed by a tornado.

Job tore his clothes in sorrow and shaved his hair to show he was in deep mourning for his children. But despite all these hardships and sadness, Job never uttered an angry word or blamed God for any of these calamities.

The role of ‘Satan’ (literally ‘the Satan’ in Hebrew) is quite different in this Old Testament passage from the role that ‘the Satan’ is sometimes given in New Testament passages.

It’s important to remember that, in the Old Testament, ‘Satan’ is not a personal name; rather, it's a role – he is ‘the Satan’, literally ‘the Accuser’. In the Old Testament, the Satan is seen as the accuser appointed in God’s heavenly court. He is God’s servant who is given the role of chief prosecutor in the court of heaven.

When a person is brought before God to judge his character, it is ‘the Satan’ - the accuser - who presents all the negative evidence about that person; what they have done wrong, how they have fallen short of God’s commands, and when they have blamed God for things that have gone wrong in their life.

A further example of this role can be seen in Zechariah 3:1-10, where Zechariah has a vision of Joshua, the High Priest, standing before an angel of the LORD in the court of heaven, and ‘the Satan’ - ‘the accuser’ - brings an accusation against Joshua, but the LORD defends him.

Only in the New Testament, in John’s vision in Revelation 12:1-17, is ‘the Satan’ presented as a ‘fallen angel’ who has rebelled against God.

The photo (by Mappo) shows semi-arid land bordering the Wadi Musa near Petra in Jordan, in the area of ‘Uz’ where the story of Job is set.

You can read more of the story @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/28-the-israelites-face-continuing-opposition/job-is-faced-with-adversity


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