Job [Jōb]—hated, one ever returning to god or he that weeps.
This renowned Old Testament saint dwelt in the land of Uz on the borders of Idumaea. Job’s portrait is clearly defined for us in his dramatic book.
I. As to his character, he was perfect and upright, feared God and eschewed evil (Job 1:1). Here we have the manward, Godward and selfward aspects of his life.
II. As to his family, he had seven sons and three daughters (Job 1:2, 18, 19).
III. As to his possessions, he was a wealthy landowner, having seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred she asses and a large household (Job 1:3, 13-19).
IV. As to reputation, Job, who lived long before Israel with its religious, social and political organizations existed, was reckoned as the greatest of all the men of the East (Job 1:3).
V. As to his friends, candid friends, there were Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar and Elihu (Job 2:11; 36:1).
VI. As to his foes, we have mention of the Sabeans and Chaldeans (Job 1:15, 17).
VII. As to his sufferings, he lost his property, sons and wealth. But his losses were doubly recompensed (Job 42:11-13).
VIII. As to his prayer-life, Job knew how to seek God. Thus we have restrained prayer (Job 15:4), purity of prayer (Job 16:17), empty prayer (Job 21:15), profitable prayer (Job 22:27), blessedness of prayer (Job 33:26), interceding prayer (Job 42:8), emancipating prayer (Job 42:10; see 8:5).
IX. As to his patience, the Bible presents him as our model. Faith was strained but Job emerged victorious (Job 19:1-27; Jas. 5:11).
As to the remarkable book bearing Job’s name, the following summary might suffice:
Its purpose. It is not an apologetic vindication of the ways of God to man; not a philosophic proof of the doctrine of immortality; not an argumentative refutation of the so-called Hosaic doctrine of retribution; not a word of exhortation to man not to pry into the deep designs of providence, neither is it the testing and improvement of Job’s piety. That is acknowledged by God and admitted by Satan to be perfect. It has been written to prove:
That God can be loved for His own sake; that goodness may be unselfish and disinterested; that the righteous can serve God for nought and trust in Him even when He seems to be an enemy.
That the painful riddle of human life is capable of a blessed solution; that the sufferings of the righteous are not necessarily due to their own sins; that the inequalities of this life are to be redressed in the life to come. Justice will be done somehow, sometime, somewhere.
But the Bible is the Book of Christ, and the great theme of Job is the mystery of the Cross: How can the sufferings of the righteous be reconciled with the justice of God? Job is a type of the righteous man, of the Nation, of the Church and of Christ Himself.
Hence we have in Job the picture of a righteous man suffering because it pleased the Lord, for a wise purpose, to bruise him. God reversed the verdict of the men who rejected him and numbered him among the transgressors.
Key Verse: Job 13:15. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” This is an Old Testament anticipation of the cry of dereliction that came from Christ upon the Cross: “Why didst Thou forsake me?”
Key Thought: Confidence in God (Job 23:10; 27:2-6). He knoweth. In the depth of his darkness and in the agony of his suffering, Job held on to God. My Redeemer liveth.