Job: The Discussion at God’s Throne
February 4 - Nº 35 Job 1:1 – 2:6
No one knows for sure when Job’s story took place. Context clues confirm that it was sometime after Noah lived, since the Flood is mentioned in Job 22:16. And it had to take place before the time of Moses. We know this because we are informed that Job offered his own sacrifices instead of using the mandatory sacrificial system God set up through Moses at Mount Sinai. In addition, he lived well over 200 years—much longer than the expected lifespan during Moses’ days (see #6 - January 6). So, Job must have lived sometime after the flood and prior to the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. Job was a very wealthy, very righteous man who lived in a place called Uz. He was known as “the greatest man among all the people of the East.” His story was recorded mostly in Hebrew poetry and told in the form of a four-act play. The first scene took place in heaven around the throne of God. The Almighty was having a discussion with His angels when Satan showed up. God asked Satan what he had been doing, and Satan casually replied, “Nothing really—just wandering around the earth.” God then asked him if he had noticed Job while he was roaming around. “There is no one like him on the whole earth,” God commented. Then God went on to praise Job for his righteousness. Satan scoffed and accused Job of being righteous only because God blessed him and gave him good things. He challenged God, “If You quit protecting Job and take away what he has, he will curse You to Your face.” So, God granted Satan permission to test Job. He could take everything Job had, but he was not allowed to touch him physically. It wasn’t long after Satan left God’s throne room that a messenger ran to Job and informed him that some nomads had attacked and stolen his oxen and donkeys and killed most of his servants. Before he could finish, another messenger ran up and exclaimed that a huge lightning storm had blown in and struck all his sheep and killed those servants as well. Another messenger soon arrived with news that marauding Chaldeans had stolen his camels and killed more servants. The last messenger to arrive told of a mighty wind that swept in from the desert and knocked down the house where Job’s children were celebrating. All ten of his children were dead! In deep anguish, Job tore his clothes and shaved his head. Then he fell to his knees and declared, “I came into this world naked, and I will leave it naked. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. May the Lord’s name be praised.” Even in the middle of this terrible tragedy, Job worshiped God! Soon Satan interrupted another meeting God was having with His angels. This time God asked him if he had noticed Job’s integrity even though Satan had destroyed everything he owned without any reason. Satan replied, “Oh, but You didn’t allow me to touch him. A man will do anything to save his own life. If You cause damage to his flesh and bones, he will curse You to Your face.” Once again, God gave Satan permission to test Job. “Very well, then,” God said, “he is in your hands. But you must spare his life!”
Are you willing to praise God in the middle of a tragedy that seems unreasonable and unjust? Job was! Sometimes we need to abandon logic and simply choose to trust God. He has promised to bring sense and significance to the struggles we face.