There lived in the east in the land of Uz a perfect and righteous man named Job. He possessed great wisdom and great understanding. He was loved by God. He was blessed with 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 oxens, 500 she asses, seven sons, and three daughters.
The sons of God and Satan came before God one day. Satan, the devourer and destroyer, had gone, " to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it." Job 1:7 God proudly tells Satan, " Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?" Job 1: 8 Satan retorted, "Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face." Job 1:10-11 Satan was challenging Almighty God. Satan frankly doubted the faithfulnes and perfectness of God's beloved Job. God responds to this challenge with perfect confidence. "Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand." Job 1:12 God has given Satan permission to test Job's love of God by taking away his possessions and substance; however, God did not grant Satan permission to harm or physically hurt his beloved Job in this test. Satan accepts the conditions, and he immediately goes out ready to begin. Satan believes that any man, who loses those precious things which he owns, will turn his back on God and curse God's name.
Trouble poured down upon Job like rain one day. First, a messenger brought him news that the Sabeans had killed his servants, tending his oxen, and had stolen all of the oxen and the she-asses. A second messenger appeared to inform Job that a mysterious fire from the sky had burned up all of Job's sheep, along with all of his servants tending the sheep. A third messenger arrived to tell Job that the Chaldeans had killed all of Job's men watching the camels and had driven all of his camels away. A fourth messenger delivered more bad news, all in the same day, one right after the other. He told of a great wind from the wilderness area which came unto Job's eldest son's home, while all of his children- seven sons and three daughters- were happily eating and drinking, and killed them all. All was now lost. Job in a matter of minutes had lost everything. He stood up, tore his robe from off him, cut off his hair from his head, and fell to the earth, and wonderously, started to praise God. He spoke these words to the Lord God in heaven, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither; the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all of this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly." Job 1:21-21
"Blessed be the name of the Lord," said this man who still loved God. He would not turn his back on God, and he refused to curse God. SATAN HAD LOST ! What would Satan do now? Everyone knows that Satan is not a good loser.
The sons of God and Satan appeared before God on yet another day. The Lord said to Satan again, " Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause." Job 2:3 Satan retorted back," All that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face." Job 2:4-5 What else could God do now but accept this new challenge of Satan? Still confident that Job would be victorious, God answered Satan, " Behold, he is in thine hand: but save his life." Job 2:6 Satan again went out to destroy.
Satan places on the body of Job sore boils from his head to his feet. Job's foolish wife said to him that he should " curse God and die."Job 2:9 He would not, even though the request came from his own wife and the mother of his children. Three of Job's friends visited his home. They were Eliphaz, the Temanite, Bildad, the Shuhite, and Zophar, the Naamathite. They came to mourn with him and to comfort him. Job 2: 11 They could not believe what they saw. Job was unrecognizable to them. They cried, tore their clothes from off them, and put dirt on their heads. For seven days and seven nights they stayed with him, and they spoke not a word. Job was so very ill, and they were helpless to do anything that could help him. Finally, they started to speak and tell Job the reason why he was in this horrible condition in the first place. Eliphaz said, "Who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?... They that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same." Job 4: 7-8 Bildad said to Job, "God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers." Job 8:20 And Zophar said to Job, "Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed?" Job 11:3 Zophar continued, "But oh, that God would speak, and open his lips against thee: And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth." Job 11:5-6 And Zophar went on to tell Job that God "knoweth vain men: he seeth wickedness also." Job 11: 11 These men bring Job no comfort. They mock him and scorn him. Job is already in so much pain, and now he has to listen to these painful comments from men of God who called themselves his friends. Job will say much to the men, and then he will end his discourse. He told them that his "flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; (his) skin is broken, and become loathsome." Job 7:5 Job declared to the men, " Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him; but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him. Hear diligently my speeech, and my declaration with your ears. Behold now, I have ordered my cause; I know that I shall be justified." Job 13:15-18 Job sadly revealed, "Miserable comforters are ye all."Job 16: 2 Job told the men, "My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God." Job 16:20 Job reported to the men all that happened to him, since the sickness fell upon him. "He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head. He hath destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and mine hope hath he removed like a tree. He hath rekindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies. His troops come together, and raise up their way against me, and encamp round about my tabernacle. He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me. My kinfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me. They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I am an alien in their sight. I called my servant, and he gave me no answer; I intreated him with my mouth. My breath is strange to my wife, though I intreated for the children's sake of mine own body. Yea, young children despised me; I arose, and they spake against me. All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me. My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.." Job 19:9-20 Yet, even though these things have befallen poor Job, he confidently added in Job 19:25, "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." What courage, what deep faith, what deep love for God! Job had not done anything wrong. He had not sinned. However, the three visitors were not convinced of this. They tried the very depths of this afflicted man's soul with their unwise statements and poor counseling. "So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes." Job 32:1 They just stopped talking for a short time to Job; he would not accept their thinkings. Finally, Job stubbornly insisted, "I am clean without transgression, I am innocent: neither is there iniquity in me." Job 33: 9 Elihu proceeded to speak, much to the dismay of Job. Elihu said that (God) " openeth also their ear to discipline and commandeth that they( all men ) return from iniquity. If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures. But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge." Job 36 10-12
Finally, God entered in a whirlwind. He asked, " Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? " Job 38: 1 God said to Job, "Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it."Job: 40:2 Job was very frightened before God. "What shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth." Job 40:4 He later told God, " I know that thou canst do every thing: and that no thought can be withholden from thee." Job 42:2 The following statements are from the Bible; they are the written record of all that happened after Job spoke this last statement before the Lord, " Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. And it was so, that.... the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering: and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job."Job 42: 6-8 Job, rightfully so, had a great big smile on his face. He had pleased God. He was right; the three men were wrong! Yet, he still had the sore boils on his body from his head to his feet. Would the Lord heal him or continue to let him suffer and eventually die? Let us see. The three went on to do exactly what the good Lord ordered them to do. Job prayed for his friends when they returned.
God was very well pleased with Job. "And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold. So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. He had also seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch. And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren. After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations. So Job died, being old and full of days." Job 42: 10-17
Yes, God had healed Job of his affliction! God had blessed him twice as much as before! Job prayed for those men who scorned and mocked him, his enemies. He did not seek to hurt them. He did not seek vengeance upon them. He forgave them, and he prayed for them. What a wonderful thing to do for your enemies!
Job had again won the bet for God with Satan! Job had remained faithful and true. He did not turn his back on God. He did not curse God. He did not curse God when he lost all of his material things and his children. He still did not curse God when he was threatened with loss of life. Job set an example for all men to follow. No matter what may come against you, continue to praise and thank God! Jesus is Lord!
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