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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Job

(Return to Old Testament Contents)

 

FRAMEWORKS: Job 1: Job under attack (Pt.1)

 

v.1-3 Introducing Job

v.4,5 Job's Spiritual Oversight of his family

v.6,7 In heaven – Satan's Activity questioned by God

v.8-11 When the Lord praises Job, Satan challenges Job's security

v.12 The Lord consents to Job being tested by Satan

v.13-15 Satan's first attack on Job – raiders – property stolen, servants killed

v.16 Satan's second attack on Job – destructive fire

v.17 Satan's third attack on Job - raiders

v.18,19 Satan's fourth attack on Job - hurricane

v.20-22 Job's Response

 

v.1-3 Introducing Job

 

v.1 In the land of Uz [thought to be somewhere to the south of what came to be Israel] there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. 

v.2 He had seven sons and three daughters, 

v.3 and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. 

 

[Notes: The picture of Job is of a rich and prosperous farmer with a big family. The most important thing about him is that he was seen as righteous. He clearly stood out above all others in that land. He has everything and that, together with his righteousness, is perhaps why he was chosen to demonstrate faithfulness in the face of adversity.]

 

 

v.4,5 Job's Spiritual Oversight of his family

 

v.4 His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 

v.5 When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job's regular custom. 

 

[Notes: The practice of righteously ‘covering' his family, after family celebrations, where wine might have flowed and intemperate words spoken or thoughts thought, was part of his righteous outlook on life, seeking to keep his family in a good place before God.]

 

 

v.6,7 In heaven – Satan's Activity questioned by God

 

v.6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. 

v.7 The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” 

 

[Notes: From the ongoing life of a great man on earth, the picture turns to the throne room of heaven where, apparently, God requires all His angels, bad as well as good, to appear before Him for an accounting. On this occasion the Lord questions Lucifer about where he had been and he replies, checking out the earth.]

 

 

v.8-11 When the Lord praises Job, Satan challenges Job's security

 

v.8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” 

v.9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 

v.10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 

v.11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” 

 

[Notes: The Lord prompts him by commenting on Job who is clearly righteous. Well, he has cause to, Satan responds, you've blessed him so much. Take all his material wealth away and it might be a different story.]

 

 

v.12 The Lord consents to Job being tested by Satan

 

v.12 The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. 

 

[Notes: The Lord knows otherwise and so permits Satan to remove (implied) all his wealth. Now note a crucial point in this story – Satan can only go as far as God permits. He is, remember, merely a created angelic being subject to Almighty God.]

 

 

v.13-15 Satan's first attack on Job – raiders – property stolen, servants killed

 

v.13 One day when Job's sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, 

v.14 a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, 

v.15 and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” 

 

[Notes: In the four attacks on Job's property that follow, Satan's name is not mentioned but it is clearly his work. He first of all stirs up the Sabeans from the south, from southern Arabia. It only needs a whisper in the mind of sinful men to stir them into evil action, especially when it is against those who are righteous and affluent! These marauders take all his oxen and donkeys and kill the servants using them. Strike one!]

 

 

v.16 Satan's second attack on Job – destructive fire

 

v.16 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” 

 

[Notes: The second attack was using fire - ?lightning – that killed sheep and shepherds alike. Satan clearly had been granted God's power for this particular activity.]

 

 

v.17 Satan's third attack on Job - raiders

 

v.17 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” 

 

[Notes: The Chaldeans were another group of marauders, this time coming from the east, who again are easily stirred by a whisper into the mind to come and plunder Job's property.].

 

 

v.18,19 Satan's fourth attack on Job - hurricane

 

v.18 While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, 

v.19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” 

 

[Notes: The final attack on his property is another use of supernatural power, this time stirring up a mighty wind that demolishes the oldest brother's house, killing him and his brothers and sisters feasting there.]

 

 

v.20-22 Job's Response

 

v.20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 

v.21 and said: “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” 

v.22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

 

[Notes:

•  So considering why bad things happen to good people, rather than ‘why' in terms of a cause found in the main character, the ‘why' is shown, initially at least, more of a ‘how' and that is seen in a dialogue between God and Satan and Satan's resultant action against Job. Why these things happen from a purely human perspective is the focus of the ‘discussion' that follows in chapter 4 onwards between Job and his three friends.
•  To cope with a story that involves Satan wiping out of all the many children of this rich man, not to mention his servants, flocks etc., we really need to pray for the wisdom to see the really big picture – that existence is both material and spiritual, a physical earth and a spiritual heaven. Link to this we need to be mature in understanding that human life is of limited duration but after it, ‘death' continues on into the presence of God. For a variety of reasons, life is often shortened in this ‘fallen world' and chapter 1 reminds us, at a very basic level, that these ‘life-termination factors' can be human or ‘natural disasters'. Rather than be over-concerned about those who have passed on, as unpleasant as it was, our focus must be on the one who is left – Job. [We may wish to reflect on the God who anguishes in scripture with those who are in anguish.]
•  These multiple tragedies cause anguish in Job BUT his attitude towards it all is impeccable and he does not blame God. He knows that the bringer of evil is the enemy. The Lord may permit it for His (and maybe our) purposes but the Lord Himself would not raise His hand against Job. Job does NOT sin.
•  God's assessment of Job should be kept in mind as noted in v.8 of chapter 1 and the conclusion in v.31.]

   

Lessons:

1. God is sovereign and all knowing and knows what we can each tolerate.

2. When Satan is allowed to attack it is only with God's permission, for His purposes and our purposes, and is limited within that.

3. The big challenge when life is difficult and we cannot see the cause, is to remain righteous and faithful and trust the Lord.]

  

CONTINUE to Chapter 2