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I want to begin our study of Job, by pointing out that there is a substantial amount of resource material to be found concerning Job and his many experiences. Perhaps his troubles will increase our desire to look at this man in the light of divine scripture. In our study of Job’s life, we encounter many problems that are timeless. God's people have faced similar situations throughout the ages. As he faced many of the same difficulties we encounter, we learn how we may face them and become victorious over our trials. If there is one overwhelming point to the book of Job, it is that by God's blessings - his latter end was better than his beginning (Job 42:12).

As we study the book of Job, we cannot be certain of its author, nor can we accurately establish an exact time period for the life of Job. However, these are evidently unimportant to God. The important thing is how Job faced his troubles, what he did in response to them and how greatly he was blessed by God. These truths are important, regardless of when or where a person may live.

There are various breakdowns and outlines to the book of Job. Each one divides the life of Job into periods or scenes. However, I want us to consider an outline that divides his life into twelve scenes.

1. The first scene is Job and his family in the peaceful surroundings of service and devotion to God. This tells that Job was a godly father who was unspoiled by his prosperity. The last brief glimpse of Job before he encounters trouble, is his worship of God (Job 1:1-5).

2. Scene two shows satan entering the divine presence of God and insinuating that Job selves God because of His blessings. God responds by allowing satan to test Job. This is done by afflicting Job, through the loss of his children and property. Yet Job retains his integrity through it all (Job 1:9-22).

3. Scene three starts as satan re-enters the picture, now insinuating that if Job's body was afflicted, he would surely fail the test. Again God allows satan to proceed with this test, which also fails. (Job 2:1-10).

4. Scene four reveals the arrival of Job's three friends. There are seven days of silent sympathy for Job in his awful condition. In reality, what human words can help when souls face such darkened scenes of life?

5. Scene five, like most of us Job's patience begins to wear thin under the constant sufferings of spirit and body. He now begins to speak some complaints (Job 3).

6. Scene six gives the account of the long and fruitless discussions between Job and his three friends. They discuss with Job his sufferings and each of them, in some measure, feels his sufferings are due to his sins. Job refutes their ideas and asserts his innocence before God (Job chapters 4-31).

7. In the seventh scene, Elihu enters the discussion. He is angry and reproves the three friends of Job, for not satisfying him (Job chapters 32-37).

8. In scene eight, God enters to answer Job out of the whirlwind. The Lord gives Job words of enlightenment and reproof, (Job chapters 38-39).

9. Scene nine is brief, for it is Job's confession (Job 40:3-5).

10. Scene ten shows God speaking to Job a second time (Job 40:7-41).

11. With scene eleven, comes a second confession from Job. This is followed by the Lords rebuke of the friends of Job, for their foolish words. God commands them to offer sacrifices (Job 42:1-9).

12. The closing scene finds Job performing a noble deed. Though his friends had not understood and even mistreated Job, yet now he prays for them. Jesus did the same, so Job manifests here a divine attribute. God restores his prosperity two-fold and Job enjoyed many good days and lived to a ripe old age (Job 42:10-17).

In the forty-two chapters of this book and the many varied experiences of Job; there are a multitude of lessons to be discovered and learned. I want us to examine a few in this study. In the very outset, we discover the outright resistance of satan, against those who endeavor to live godly. Paul warns us in the New Testament, that all who endeavor to "live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecutions" (2 Tim. 3:12). Satan has not changed through the centuries that separate us from Job. Satan still wants to destroy us! "Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat" (Luke 22:31).

However, with this depressing truth, God also sends a glorious testimony in the book of Job. Satan is not the final victor; God is! Our victory is won by God and given to us through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57). God Who lives in us by the blessed presence of the Holy Spirit, is the same God who strengthened Job and blessed him with victoly in the end. We can expect the same to follow our trials and temptations. When we have passed through the river and fire (Isaiah 43:2), we shalt have the blessings of victory, "because greater is he that is in you (God), than he that is in the world (satan) (1 John 4:4). God is the source of all blessings (James 1:17) and though satan may take away, God is able to give more abundantly.

In the many experiences of Job, four great mistakes are manifest. (1) Satan's mistake was that he thought Job served God only for what he could get out of it (Job 1:9-10). True service is not rendered for what we can get, but what we can give to God (Psalm 29:2). (2) Job's wife's mistake was that she thought all was lost, when they lost the tangible and visible things of life (Job 2:9-10) Jesus taught us that real happiness is not found in the abundance of our earthly possessions (Luke 12:15). (3) Job's friends' mistake was, they thought that the sufferings of Job were caused by his sins (Job 22:5). However, Jesus taught His disciples that some suffer so that God may be glorified (John 9:3). (4) Job's mistake was that he thought God may be unkind in these dealings (Job 27:2). Nevertheless, though we may not now see it, God is working all things for our good (Romans 8:28).

To these clearly defined lessons, God has enclosed one not so obvious. The center of the entire Old Testament is found in the twenty-ninth chapter of Job. Also the central theme of the entire Bible, is found in the nineteenth chapter, the Redeemer (Jesus). Job speaks of Him as (1) my Redeemer, (2) a Redeemer who lives and, (3) that He shall be seen at the resurrection of the dead. The central message of all the Bible, is the message of Christ as Redeemer and the hope of resurrection by Him!

Job also makes one of the greatest declarations concerning wisdom to be found in the Bible. He concludes chapter twenty-eight with a definition of wisdom. He said, “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom...” (Job 28:28). Remember also that James 1:5 says. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

Two other books of the Bible mention Job. One is from the Old Testament and acknowledge the righteousness of Job in the midst of a wicked world (Ezekiel 14:14). This is indeed a vital point of truth; we do not have to drift along with the tide of wickedness that surrounds us. God will give us grace to stand apart from the world, as we stand against satan. In the New Testament, James mentions "the patience of Job" (James 5:11). Another vital point is made, we are to wait upon God; for blessings come according to His time schedule. In His time and way, His will is performed; so let us patiently wait!

In closing, let me make one final point of observation. God describes Job as "my servant Job." This is God's declaration of Job both before his afflictions began (Job 1:8) and also after they ended (Job 42:8). Paul is also called "a servant of God" (Titus 1:1) and David exhorts us to "serve the Lord with gladness" (Psalm 100:2). In the light of such truths, these questions face us: (1) Am I really a servant of God? (2) Am I glad to serve God? (3) Would I continue to serve God through such hardships as Job endured? May God be glorified by our lives, as He was through the life of Job.

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This page last updated on June 17, 2014