Sunday, October 27, 2013


Based upon Ezekiel 14:14 and James 5:11, few would challenge that Job was a historical person.  According to some Bible scholars, the Book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible.  One example is Charles Ryrie, who gives four reasons he believes so:
*  The length of Job's life - Job 42:16.
*  Job's wealth was measured in livestock - Job 1:3.
*  Like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Job was the priest of his family - Job. 1:5.
*  There is no mention of the Nation of Israel, or the Mosaic Law.

Assuming the writing Job predated that of the Pentateuch, the Books of Moses, it amazes me that Job's "friends" knew so much about God!  Eliphaz (Job 4:1-5:27; 15:1-35; 22:1-30), Bibdad (Job 8:1-22; 18:1-21; 25:1-6), Zophar (Job 11:1-20; 20:1-29), and Elihu (Job 32:1-33:33; 34:1-37; 35:1-16; 36:1-37:24), had great knowledge of God and His mighty works.  And as far as I know, the only error they made was believing the attacks of Satan on Job, were the result of God punishing him for his sin.  What they failed to comprehend, was that Job's children, his possessions, and his health were all given to him by the grace of God, and without God, the chaos that he was experiencing would have been his lot continuously!  Job did.  He said, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job 1:21).

What we can learn from his "biography," is that all we have is a gift from God, and that if we actually got what we deserved, we, too, would be in Job's condition, or God forbid, worse!  Notice I said earlier, that Job's family, his riches, and even his health, were by the grace of God (Job 10:12); he did not merit any of those things, and neither do we.

Another person who gets a "bad rep" in Job's life, is his wife.  First of all, that we are not even given her name, says a lot about Job's culture.  She is mentioned three times in the book (Job 2:9; 19:17; 31:10).  Her infamous statement, "Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die" (Job 2:9), has marked her as an evil person, more evil perhaps than his four "friends."  However, most do not realize that apart from the attack on Job's health, she experienced the same things as Job!  She, too, lost her children, her home, her possessions, and her position in society!  His wife got tired of hearing her husband say, "Woe is me!"; she also needed some pity!

Husbands/wives, next time you complain, make sure your spouse is not suffering, as well!

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