This is Episode #152 and today we’ll read Job chapters 1-4 together. Satan gets permission from God to test Job to his limit.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #152 and today we’ll read Job chapters 1-4 together. Satan gets permission from God to test Job to his limit.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Intro to Job
Job is one of the most interesting books. It might surprise you to learn that Job is the oldest book in the Bible. It is believed that Job probably lived about 2000 BC and the book may have been written about the same time. No one knows who the author was. Some scholars suggest that Job lived around the same time of Abraham and was about 70 years old when the events of the book happened.
Basically, Job was a very wealthy man with much integrity. One day in heaven, Satan needles God and accuses Him, saying that Job was only righteous because God had blessed him. Ultimately, God allows Satan to torture Job, both emotionally and eventually physically. It’s awful and this is the story of Job’s journey through what feels like the end of his life. What makes things worse is his four friends – well, actually three friends and one guy that just shows up – who essentially reproach Job for unconfessed sin because everybody knows that bad things only happen to bad people. (You can’t see me right now, but I’m rolling my eyes.) Finally, God Himself shows up and gives everyone involved an attitude adjustment.
This book should be required reading for anyone who faces trials, especially ones that seem unfair or undeserved. Not only does it teach us that God is indeed the boss of us, but it also simultaneously convinces us that God’s shoulders are broad, and He will not crumble at our anger, our frustration, or even our tantrums, nor will He abandon us. This turning to Him in times of our most profound grief deepens and strengthens an intimate relationship with our loving Heavenly Father.
Job Chapter 1
Job and His Family
There was a man in the country of Uz named Job. He was a man of complete integrity, who feared God and turned away from evil. He had seven sons and three daughters. His estate included seven thousand sheep and goats, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large number of servants. Job was the greatest man among all the people of the east.
His sons used to take turns having banquets at their homes. They would send an invitation to their three sisters to eat and drink with them. Whenever a round of banqueting was over, Job would send for his children and purify them, rising early in the morning to offer burnt offerings for all of them. For Job thought, “Perhaps my children have sinned, having cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice.
Satan’s First Test of Job
One day the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord asked Satan, “Where have you come from?”
“From roaming through the earth,” Satan answered him, “and walking around on it.”
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil.”
Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Haven’t you placed a hedge around him, his household, and everything he owns? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he owns, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
“Very well,” the Lord told Satan, “everything he owns is in your power. However, do not lay a hand on Job himself.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence.
One day when Job’s sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job and reported, “While the oxen were plowing and the donkeys grazing nearby, the Sabeans swooped down and took them away. They struck down the servants with the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
He was still speaking when another messenger came and reported, “God’s fire fell from heaven. It burned the sheep and the servants and devoured them, and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
That messenger was still speaking when yet another came and reported, “The Chaldeans formed three bands, made a raid on the camels, and took them away. They struck down the servants with the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
Blessed be the Name of the Lord
He was still speaking when another messenger came and reported, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house. Suddenly a powerful wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on the young people so that they died, and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
Then Job stood up, tore his robe, and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshiped, saying:
Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will leave this life.
The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Throughout all this Job did not sin or blame God for anything.
Job Chapter 2
Satan’s Second Test of Job
One day the sons of God came again to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before the Lord. The Lord asked Satan, “Where have you come from?”
“From roaming through the earth,” Satan answered him, “and walking around on it.”
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil. He still retains his integrity, even though you incited me against him, to destroy him for no good reason.”
“Skin for skin!” Satan answered the Lord. “A man will give up everything he owns in exchange for his life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
“Very well,” the Lord told Satan, “he is in your power; only spare his life.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence and infected Job with terrible boils from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery to scrape himself while he sat among the ashes.
His wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
“You speak as a foolish woman speaks,” he told her. “Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?” Throughout all this Job did not sin in what he said.
Job’s Three Friends
Now when Job’s three friends — Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite — heard about all this adversity that had happened to him, each of them came from his home. They met together to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they looked from a distance, they could barely recognize him. They wept aloud, and each man tore his robe and threw dust into the air and on his head. Then they sat on the ground with him seven days and nights, but no one spoke a word to him because they saw that his suffering was very intense.
Job Chapter 3
Job’s Opening Speech
After this, Job began to speak and cursed the day he was born. He said:
May the day I was born perish,
and the night that said,
“A boy is conceived.”
If only that day had turned to darkness!
May God above not care about it,
or light shine on it.
May darkness and gloom reclaim it,
and a cloud settle over it.
May what darkens the day terrify it.
If only darkness had taken that night away!
May it not appear among the days of the year
or be listed in the calendar.
Yes, may that night be barren;
may no joyful shout be heard in it.
Let those who curse days
those who are ready to rouse Leviathan.
May its morning stars grow dark.
May it wait for daylight but have none;
may it not see the breaking of dawn.
For that night did not shut
the doors of my mother’s womb,
and hide sorrow from my eyes.
Why was I not stillborn;
why didn’t I die as I came from the womb?
Why did the knees receive me,
and why were there breasts for me to nurse?
Now I would certainly be lying down in peace;
I would be asleep.
Then I would be at rest
with the kings and counselors of the earth,
who rebuilt ruined cities for themselves,
or with princes who had gold,
who filled their houses with silver.
Or why was I not hidden like a miscarried child,
like infants who never see daylight?
A Man Whose Path is Hidden
There the wicked cease to make trouble,
and there the weary find rest.
The captives are completely at rest;
they do not hear a taskmaster’s voice.
Both small and great are there,
and the slave is set free from his master.
Why is light given to one burdened with grief,
and life to those whose existence is bitter,
who wait for death, but it does not come,
and search for it more than for hidden treasure,
who are filled with much joy
and are glad when they reach the grave?
Why is life given to a man whose path is hidden,
whom God has hedged in?
I sigh when food is put before me,
and my groans pour out like water.
For the thing I feared has overtaken me,
and what I dreaded has happened to me.
I cannot relax or be calm;
I have no rest, for turmoil has come.
First Series of Speeches
Job Chapter 4
Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
Should anyone try to speak with you
when you are exhausted?
Yet who can keep from speaking?
Indeed, you have instructed many
and have strengthened weak hands.
Your words have steadied the one who was stumbling
and braced the knees that were buckling.
But now that this has happened to you,
you have become exhausted.
It strikes you, and you are dismayed.
Isn’t your piety your confidence,
and the integrity of your life your hope?
Consider: Who has perished when he was innocent?
Where have the honest been destroyed?
In my experience, those who plow injustice
and those who sow trouble reap the same.
They perish at a single blast from God
and come to an end by the breath of his nostrils.
The lion may roar and the fierce lion growl,
but the teeth of young lions are broken.
The strong lion dies if it catches no prey,
and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.
A word was brought to me in secret;
my ears caught a whisper of it.
Among unsettling thoughts from visions in the night,
when deep sleep comes over men,
fear and trembling came over me
and made all my bones shake.
I felt a draft on my face,
and the hair on my body stood up.
A figure stood there,
but I could not recognize its appearance;
a form loomed before my eyes.
I heard a whispering voice:
“Can a mortal be righteous before God?
Can a man be more pure than his Maker?”
If God puts no trust in his servants
and he charges his angels with foolishness,
how much more those who dwell in clay houses,
whose foundation is in the dust,
who are crushed like a moth!
They are smashed to pieces from dawn to dusk;
they perish forever while no one notices.
Are their tent cords not pulled up?
They die without wisdom.
My heart just broke as Job lamented the day he was born, didn’t yours? He was so meticulous about maintaining righteousness before God, such integrity. He did nothing to bring this attack on and yet here he was. Life is like that, isn’t it? Would he – or we – trust more if we knew God was behind it? If our days are ordained, isn’t God always behind trials? How does our perspective shift if we put ourselves in Job’s place but have the benefit of knowing the outcome? Hmmm…I think we should keep these things in mind as we follow Job on this journey. This I know: we must always be on the lookout for God in our every-days. Even in the midst of trials…maybe especially in the midst of trials.
Please weigh in with me on this important issue at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. These actions and reactions to trials are what non-believers see. They should make us look different than the world’s. Our peace should make people ask, “Why aren’t you freaking out?” That of course gives us the opportunity to ask, “Have you met my friend, Jesus?”
See You Tomorrow!
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will by changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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