What is the story of Job?

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The challenge between God and Satan

The book of Job displayed a challenge between God and Satan. It started with Satan telling God that His servant Job, a “blameless and upright” man that “feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1), was only righteous because God blessed him. Satan then, challenged God to take away all His protection and blessings from Job saying that if this was done, Job then would curse God to His face (ch. 1:11).

God accepted the challenge and gave Satan the permission to destroy all that Job had. Satan immediately killed Job’s children, destroyed his house, and all his assists. Despite all this, the righteous man Job did not sin. Instead he said, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (ch. 1:21).

Then again, Satan challenged God saying, “But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face” (ch. 2:5). So, the Lord permitted Satan to touch Job’s body but not destroy his life. So, Satan struck Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown of his head (ch. 2:7). At this point, Job’s wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die” (ch. 2:9). But Job rebuked her and remained true to God and declared, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (ch. 13:15).

Job’s friends

Job’s friends Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, heard about what had happened to him and came to comfort him. These friends told him that all rewards and punishments come from God, concluding that he must have sinned and caused the misfortune that happened to him. Another friend, named Elihu, also accused him (chs. 32-37). But Job denied that he had sinned, and called on the heavens to testify on his behalf.

Job’s submission to God’s wisdom

After this, God appeared to answer Job’s troubling questions. And He explained that Job, being a mere human, cannot fully understand the Almighty’s actions. And He proceeded to ask questions that Job couldn’t answer (chs. 38-41). At that point, Job realized his great limitations as a human and saw that there was a bigger picture that only God can see and therefore runs the universe accordingly in the best He sees fit. Job realized that there must be reasons behind his suffering that he can’t understand. Therefore, he submitted to God’s will and wisdom. Thus, Job passed the test.

God’s reward to Job

Then, the Lord expressed displeasure at Job’s friends who presented the faulty theology that bad things happen only to bad people. And the Lord asked Job to intercede on their behalf that the He may forgive them. And Job did (ch. 42:10).

Finally, at the end of his trial, the Lord healed Job and greatly rewarded him for his steadfast faith and patience. The Bible tells us, “Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-Happuch. In all the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. So Job died, old and full of days” (ch. 42:12-17).

This story helps us understand why suffering exists.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

This post is also available in: हिन्दी (Hindi) മലയാളം (Malayalam)

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