A believer may not know why everything is going wrong, but God is in control and has a reason. At this point the believer needs to trust God and God’s plan. God is just, gracious, and compassionate. He will work all things together for good for the believer.
- Job’s status, Satan’s accusation, God’s verdict, and the test (Job 1-2).
- Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar argue with Job. They say all suffering, including Job’s, is because of personal sin (Job 3-31).
- Elihu speaks to Job. He says that God is definitely greater in all ways than man. God is right in whatever He does (Job 32-37).
- God then speaks to Job. Job finally understands that God is indeed just and infinite. After that God restores Job to temporal prosperity
- Job is well known because he endured so much suffering, suffering that was undeserved. In fact, he maintained his innocence throughout the incident (Job 34:5).
- Job was an outstanding believer and citizen of the ancient Middle East. Why should he suffer so (Job 1:1, 8; 2:3)?
- God did not personally make Job suffer, but He did give permission to Satan to cause Job to suffer. It was a test for Job (Job 1:12; 2:6; 19:9).
- The purpose of Job’s suffering was to demonstrate that Job’s relationship with God was genuine. Job did not remain faithful to God because of temporal prosperity; Job trusted God because he knew who God was and what God was like (Job 1:8-10; 2:3).
- During the period of suffering Job challenged God; he accused God of injustice and silence (Job 33:8-11). He never cursed God as Satan predicted (Job 1:11; 2:5) and as his wife urged (Job 2:9), though he was very close to it. He never renounced God, though he wished he had not been born or else had died at birth, and now wished he would die
(Job 3:1-3, 11, 21; 14:13).
- Job had three prominent friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar – who did not act like friends at this time) who were quite sure that the cause of Job’s problem was his own sin. They did not help (Job 33:5). They were wrong. At the end of the ordeal God ordered them to offer sacrifices for themselves and told Job to mediate for them (Job 42:7-9).
- Elihu was a younger man who finally had to speak his mind. The heart of his message was that God is infinitely greater in all ways than man. He is right in whatever He does (Job 33:13; 34:10; 35:5-8; 36:24-26; 37:5, 7, 13, 21-24).
- The Lord finally spoke to Job (Job 38-41). He asked him a series of questions which proved that man is so finite and insignificant when compared to God that he has no right nor cause to reprove God even if he does not understand why everything has gone wrong (Job 40:1-5; 42:3).
- In the end Job realized that he did not know everything about what
God was doing with mankind. He retracted his brash statements because he realized the greatness of God and the finiteness of mankind (Job 42:1-6).
- God gave Job prosperity after the ordeal and he lived to be an old man (Job 42:10-17).
III. Doctrinal Principles That Job Teaches
- Suffering is not evidence of God’s disfavor or that you sinned. Just because you or someone else experiences suffering or hard times, it does not mean that you have sinned or that God is displeased with you or that you are a spiritual failure (Job 1:12; 2:6; 19:9; 42:7).
- Don’t quit! A believer who is undergoing intense pressure does not need to renounce God and the Christian life. Job did not. He persevered (Job 1:21-22; 2:10; 6:10; James 5:11).
- It’s okay to ask God why. A believer may question God in order to gain insight. To ask why is not wrong. God may answer so that you can better do His will (Job 3:11-12, 16, 20).
- Don’t demand that God explain. He may choose not to answer. If so, He has a reason. To demand that God explain everything He does is wrong because to do so is an act of unbelief in the nature of God and the plan of God. It reverses the Creator-creature positions (Job 13:22; 19:7; 31:15).
- Satan wants you to mistrust God. Satan attacks believers in an attempt to get them to renounce God. Satan wants believers to get mad at God, to mistrust God, and to reject Him. Satan claimed that believers trusted the Lord and followed the Lord only because God prospered them and that they would turn on Him when the prosperity ceased (Job 1:6-2:10).
- Don’t be quick to give advice. The history of Job demonstrates that well-meaning people are often self-righteous and wrong about the suffering of another. They often give wrong advice and make matters worse (Job 42:7-9).
- Maintain confidence about death and resurrection. Even though he was suffering intensely, Job knew that he would see God after death and that Christ will return and judge (Job 19:25-27).
- God may do what he wants. Job recognized that God had the freedom to do whatever He wanted to do (Job 23:13).
- Surprise! You may wish to die. A believer can feel so weighed down that he wishes for death (Job 3:1-3, 11, 21; 14:13).
- Don’t criticize God. It is wrong to criticize, judge, or renounce God. Our view is very limited and our knowledge, understanding, and insight are limited (Job 40:1-3).
- God is compassionate. God was compassionate to Job and will be to us (James 5:11).
- We honor God and show our love for Him. We honor God when we trust Him during the times that we do not know why things are going so wrong. Our trust demonstrates to Satan our genuine love for God; we do not follow Him because He gives us things (Job 1:6-10, 21; 2:1-10; 42:1-6).
IV. Significant Verses in Job
- Job 1:8-9 “And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.’ 9 Then Satan answered the Lord, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing?’”
- Job 1:21-22 “And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.’ 22 Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.”
- Job 2:10 “But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”
- Job 6:10 “But it is still my consolation, and I rejoice in unsparing pain, that I have not denied the words of the Holy One.”
- Job 19:25-27 “And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. 26 Even after my skin is flayed, yet without my flesh I shall see God; 27 whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes shall see and not another. My heart faints within me.”
- Job 23:13 “But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does.”
- Job 33:13-14 “Why do you complain against Him, that He does not give an account of all His doings? 14 Indeed God speaks once, or twice, yet no one notices it.”
- Job 37:13 “Whether for correction or for His world, or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen.”
- Job 38:2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?”
- Job 40:1-2 “Then the Lord said to Job, 2 ‘Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it.’”
- Job 42:5-6 “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees Thee; 6 therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.”