I love the book of Job!
On the face of it, Job seems like a pretty miserable book – if you’re not familiar, Job was a wealthy, well respected and Godly character in the Old Testament who had everything taken away from him – children, wealth, respect and health. His wife told him to “curse God and die”, such was the state of his existence.
But Job refused to speak evil of God and the main part of the book is a discussion between Job and his three friends, who were sure Job was being punished for some terrible crime against God.
And yet throughout Job keeps his faith – he says to his friends
“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God”Job 19 v 25-26
In the midst of all that hardship, Job’s belief in God’s bigger picture, centred on the hope of resurrection from the dead, kept him going.
It’s a book that teaches us about the mercy and love of God. He teaches Job through his suffering that we can’t earn favour with God, but if we believe in his power to save then he will love us despite our imperfections.
God uses Job and his faithful example to teach his 3 friends that they couldn’t be saved by their own good works. We all need God’s grace and mercy if we’re to be saved from death.
A Beautiful Light
So in a book that seems on the surface dark and sad, there’s a beautiful light shining through it. I think it shows the lengths God was willing to go to to teach Job and his friends about His true character – God isn’t a vengeful Deity, but a loving God looking for our love. As Job says,
“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.’Job 42 v 5
James says in his New Testament letter,
“You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy”James 5 v 11
Job’s example reminds me that no matter what happens in my life God is in control, and if I have faith in him he’ll bring me to His kingdom.
And I nearly forgot – Job has a happy ending! Job is returned to prosperity and influence, with more children and the prospect of seeing those taken from him at the resurrection when God’s kingdom is established on earth.