Thursday, January 5, 2017
Daily reading assignment: Job 1-2
The Book of Job is believed to be the oldest book in the Bible. It is the ancient story of a man of God that was wealthy beyond one’s imagination. A father of seven sons and three daughters whose possessions are enumerated as 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 oxen, 500 donkeys, and a large household of servants (Job 1:3). It is not Job’s wealth, but his godly character and walk with God that is the central focus of today’s devotional reading. We read of Job, he was “perfect [blameless; a man of integrity] and upright [righteous; pleasing to God], and one that feared [revered] God, and eschewed evil [refused sin and wickedness]” (Job 1:1, 8).
Although a godly man, it appears the same was not true of Job’s adult sons and daughters who are portrayed as enjoying feasts, eating and drinking (Job 1:4). Fearing his children might have sinned, Job, acting as the priest of his family, “offered burnt offerings” reasoning, “It may be that my sons have sinned” (Job 1:5).
Having introduced Job, verse 6 begins the narrative of a heavenly drama witnessed by the angels of heaven [i.e. sons of God] between Satan and the LORD [Jehovah; Eternal, Self-existent God].
Job is the subject of the LORD’s discourse with Satan and He sets forth the man as an example of godliness and virtue above the men of the earth (1:8). Satan, the adversary of God and His people, questioned Job’s spiritual character asking, “Doth Job fear God for nought? [lit. for nothing; without cause]” (1:9) Satan assailed Job’s virtue, suggesting he was a man who worshiped God because he had been uniquely blessed with wealth and possessions (1:10). Satan challenged God to take away Job’s wealth, possessions, and health and he would curse God (1:11; 2:4-6).
Knowing the heart of His servant, God allowed a series of trials and troubles to fall upon Job that would ultimately take from him his children (1:18-21), possessions (1:13-17), and his health (2:7). Remarkably we read of Job, “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (1:22). Even when his wife, who had like Job lost everything, turned against him, we read of Job, “…In all this did not Job sin with his lips” (2:10).
Chapter 2 concludes with the arrival of “three friends” who came to comfort and sympathize with Job. Suffering and sorrows had so physically altered Job’s appearance that his friends did not recognize him (2:12a). Stunned by the losses suffered by Job and his appearance, the men wept and then sat in silence (2:12-13).
Job’s friends will soon question “why”, the reason, for the losses and sorrows that had befallen him. They will eventually suggest Job had sinned and God had exercised His judgment upon him.
I close with this thought: What manner a man or woman would you be should you suffer the loss of family, friends, and possessions? For me, that is a frightening thought. Is my faith and trust in God only as strong as my physical comforts?
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith