Job 1-2 part 2


Tonight we will take a close look at chapters 1 and 2.


Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.  2 And seven sons and three daughters were born to him.  3 Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.


Job lived in a place called Uz. While this place is mentioned in Lam. 4:21 and Jer. 25:20, we do not know its exact location. However, we do know that it was on the east side of the Jordan River possibly in the Arabian desert. Then meaning of Job’s name is disputed. Some believe it means “one persecuted” while others believe it means “to repent” or “repented one”.


We learn a lot about Job’s character in these first 3 verses. He was blameless, which is the same word used to describe Noah (Gen. 6:9). This does not mean that he was not sinless, but he was spiritually mature and faithful to God.


He is also called upright, which describes a person who is honest in their business and dealing with others. He was not a liar and he could be trusted.


He feared God, which means he had a deep reverence for God.


He shunned evil, which means he stayed away from it and avoided it.


Since Job had this deep reverence for God, it caused him to be a great man of the east. He was blessed with 7 boys and 3 girls and he was rich physical and spiritually. He had a wealth of animals and as we find out later, he also had servants that worked for him. Many times the Bible talks about how money can change a person for the worse, but not with Job. Men like Job and Abraham did not allow their wealth to keep them from serving God, which proves that a person can be rich and serve God if they have  their priorities straight.


Job 1:4 And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.  5 So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did regularly.


We are not told how long these feasts lasted, but the typical feast lasted 7 days. We also don’t know the significance of these various appointed days for each son. Some think it might be referring to their birthday or it could just be a certain day set aside for that individual son to host the feast.


When the feast over, Job took on the role of the family priest, which is strong evidence that Job lived during the Patriarchal period. He would send for his children and sanctify them and early that morning he would make a burnt offering on their behalf because he loved his children and wanted to make sure their sins were covered in case they had cursed God in their hearts. This was not a one time event, because Job did it often.


Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.  7 And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it."   


This is one of those sections of Scriptures that I wish we had more information on because there are a couple of things that are difficult to determine. The first difficulty is this phrase “sons of God”, which basically means follower of God. So, it could mean angles or it could refer to group of men that follow God. Most believe it refers to angels in this Scripture. Whichever it is, we do know that Satan was there with them.


This next difficulty is where did this meeting take place? Was it on the earth or in heaven itself? Some have a problem with the Satan being able to have access to heaven, so they believe this was a meeting on the earth with men that were followers of God, but those that say these are angels simply say that God allowed Satan to come to the meeting in heaven because we can see that God is control in that Satan had to ask permission for what he can do to Job.


Despite these two difficulties we know that this meeting took place and Satan was there. He said that he had been walking back and forth on the earth, which reminds me of Peter statement:


1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.


Job 1:8 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?"


God wants to know if Satan has taken a in-depth look at Job. If there is any doubt of Job’s faithfulness, God puts it to rest by saying the he was His servant and that there was no one like him on the earth. Once again, we wee the character of Job mentioned. What an honor it would be to know that you outshined the rest in your faithfulness to God.


Job 1:9 So Satan answered the LORD and said, "Does Job fear God for nothing?  10 "Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.  11 "But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!"  12 And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.


Satan is accusing God of buying Job’s loyalty. He seems to think that if the blessing are gone, then Job will curse God to His face. Basically, Satan believes that everyone has their price and all can be bought, and in some cases this is true. Many have left the everlasting arms of God to live in sin. As Jesus said,


Matthew 16:26 "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?


Based on Satan’s response, it tells me that he knew Job and had already tried to find a way to tempt him when he was walking to and fro, but he could not find away in around that hedge of protection. We need to realize that while the devil is a dangerous adversary, he is not all powerful. He cannot violate our freewill, but he is an expert at knowing our weaknesses and exploiting them. As Christians we have a hedge of protection as well because James says,


James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.


Also God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are capable of handling.


1 Corinthians 10:13  No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.


Even though God is going to allow Satan to test Job, he still has a restriction of not touching Job. Just as God knows what we can handle, he also knows what Job can handle, which is far more than most of us could bear.


Job 1:13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house;  14 and a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them,  15 "when the Sabeans raided them and took them away -- indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"  16 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"  17 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"  18 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house,  19 "and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"


Satan didn’t waste anytime with the power that was granted him by God. That day in Job’s life started our normal, but it would turn out to be a day that he would never forget. Job’s children were having another feast in the oldest brothers house when all of this went down.


It all starts with the Sabeans who came and stole Job’s oxen and donkeys and killed all the servants except one. That one servant runs and tells Job. While he is telling him the bad news, another servant comes and tells him how fire, which may have been lightening, came down from the sky and burned up his sheep and his servants except for him. This servant assumed that this fire came from God because it came down from the sky, but we know that came from Satan.


Before this servant finished his news, a third servant tells Job how Chaldeans came and took his 3000 camels and killed all his servants except for him. Satan is doing his best to beat Job down hard and fast. He saves the hardest blow for last. Again, before this servant was finished talking, another came told him how a strong wind came and caused the house his 10 children were in to collapse and they were all dead. Two of these attacks were natural and two of them were forces of nature.


I want you to try and imagine how traumatic this would be. Some of us may be able to handle the first 3 rounds Satan dealt out, but how many of us could handle all 10 of our children being killed? I have known people that have cursed God and blamed Him for the death of one child, but we are talking about 10 and the death of his servants and the loss of all of his possession. Well let’s see what Job response is.


Job 1:20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped.  21 And he said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD."  22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.


Job shows us the response of a righteous man. Tearing his robe and shaving his head were all responses to great distress, but was amazing is that Job fell to the ground and worshipped God instead of cursing Him. The devil had failed. Job believes that God made this all this happen or at least allowed it to happen, but he did not blame or accuse God of doing something wrong. Instead, he accepted the fact that that God can give and take away. He knew that we came into this world naked without anything and he would leave this world the same way. This similar to what Paul said,


1 Timothy 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.


Someone once said: “When you have nothing left except God then for the first time you become aware that God is enough.” This is the conclusion that Job had come to, and he did not sin during this horrible event.


Job 2:1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.  2 And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it."  3 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause."


Once again, we have the same dilemma, are the sons of God angels or a group of men following God and where is this meeting taking place? We have no way of knowing how much time has passed, but another meeting happens and it almost identical to the first. God is still pointing out that Job has the same faithful characteristics even though the devil did his best to break him. Job is certainly a great example for us to follow today. We should never blame God for the bad things that happen in our life, but we should rejoice and be thankful for the good in our life and give God the glory.


Job 2:4 So Satan answered the LORD and said, "Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.  5 "But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!"  6 And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life."  


Satan knows that he was wrong, and he failed to get Job to sin, but Satan does not give up easily. He is convinced that if Job suffers physically that he will curse God. If anything, we learn that Satan does not care about us and he could care less about how much we suffer. Well, God has enough faith in Job that he could handle another round from Satan, so God allows Satan to cause Job to suffer physically, but He restricts him in that he cannot take Job’s life.


Job 2:7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.  8 And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes.


Satan did not waste any time. He immediately struck Job with painful boils all over his body. Most scholars believe that Job was suffering from leprosy or elephantiasis. There were several symptoms associated with this disease:


  • Boils (2:7)
  • Itching (2:8)
  • Change in appearance (2:12)
  • Difficulty in eating (3:24)
  • Mental depression (3:25)
  • Worms and running sores (7:5)
  • Shortness of breath (9:18)
  • Darkness of the eyes (16:16)
  • Stinky breath (19:17)
  • Weight loss (19:20)
  • Pain in the bones and a gnawing pain in the body (30:17)
  • Blackened skin that falls off and fever (30:30)


This horrible disease appears to have continued for several months (7:3; 29:2). (The Book of Job, Wayne Jackson, p 22)


Could you imagine having all these symptoms and having these boils from the top of your head to the soles of your feet? It would cause you great pain just to walk. When this happened to Job, he found a place that had ash and broken pottery and he sat in this dirty place that added to his misery and he scrapped his ravaged body seeking some relief from this endless itching. 


Job 2:9 Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!"  10 But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.


Now we are introduced to Job’s wife. Unlike Job, she did not have his faith and all these events broke her faith, and now the Satan was using her on Job. She wants Job to curse God and die. Satan has no problem using every angle he can to get to you including the weakness of others.


I am sure it disappointed Job that his wife had lost her faith, but he wasn’t going to let her comments make him lose his faith. He rebukes her and calls her foolish woman and he tries to get her to understand his point of view. Just as we accept good from God, we should also accept adversity. We cannot turn our back on God just because things are going bad at the moment. Again, Job did not sin with his lips because he did not curse God.


Job 2:11 Now when Job's three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place -- Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him.  12 And when they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven.  13 So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great. 


Job was well connected throughout the land because these three friends of his came from the 3 different areas. These 3 men knew each other because they had decided to meet up and go to mourn with Job and comfort him. These three had good intentions, but as we will learn later that their good intensions of comforting Job turn into accusations and they frustrate him instead.


When they saw Job from afar, the disease had changed his looks to the point that they could not recognize him. They could not believe their eyes. We can see how much Job meant to them because of how they grieved. They raised their voices and wept. They tore their robes and threw dirt on their head. For 7 long days they sat with their friend without saying a word. Sometimes the best thing you can do for person is just be there for them.


For instance, when you visit a sick in the hospital, they may not remember a word that you said unless said something rude, but they will remember that you were there and that tells them that you cared even if you didn’t speak a word.


While Job was comforted by the presence of his three friends, after 7 days of silence Job was ready to speak out and we will look at what he said next week. We have learned some great lessons from these two chapters.


1. We have learned that God is in control and Satan has no power over Him.

2. We have learned that God is worthy to be worshipped in good times and in bad times.

3. We have learned that we should never stop trusting in God because He is always there for us.

4. We have learned Satan doesn’t care about our well being and he will do what he can to make us lose our faith, but he cannot violate our free will.