There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil, Job 1:1.
When Job lived and who it was wrote this book we cannot be sure. That Job really did live may be seen by the other scripture references to him, Eze 14:14, 20; James 5:11.
That this book is inspired may be proved by a comparison of Job 5:13 and I Cor 3:19.
That we should study this book may be seen from James 5:11.
It is my intention, the Lord willing, to study the book of Job on future Lord’s Day mornings by considering a number of portions from it. We shall start with the very first verse where we are introduced to the main character of the book.
The land of Uz is commonly believed to be the land of Edom which lay to the south east of Israel. When you read this book you will notice two notable omissions.
First of all Job’s lineage. Apparently he was not related to Abraham and therefore not of the chosen race yet he is held up as a model believer for all ages to consider. It is not our family ties and earthly associations which count as evidence of God’s favour but our holiness of life.
Again, there is no mention of ceremonial observances. He most likely lived before the giving of the Law. There is mention only of a simple altar upon which the blood of the sacrifice typifying Christ was shed, 1: 5. It is not by rituals that men are saved and accepted with God. It is by faith in the blood of Christ.
We are introduced to Job by a description of his spiritual character in the opening verse. I wish to look at what it says.
I. HERE IS THE UNIVERSAL AND AGELESS MARK OF A TRUE BELIEVER.
Job feared God. We are not told of Job’s relationship with Abraham and the chosen people. We are told of his relationship with God. That is the all important relationship. He reverenced God's majesty, he regarded His authority and feared His wrath and that among a people of darkness.
1. Such a fear is born of a right view of God. God revealed Himself to Job. The fear of the dying thief began with a right view of Christ, Luke 23:40.
2. Such fear is a key ingredient of holiness. II Cor 7:1.
3. Such a fear has been taken as the true badge of a believer. The first use of this word shows this. Gen 22:12. This is what God wished to find in Abraham. So does its last occurrence, Mal 3:16, 4:2.
II. THIS REVERENCE FOR GOD WITHIN HIS HEART SHOWED ITSELF IN HIS CONDUCT.
He set the will of God before him as his rule, the glory of God as his chief end and the approval of God as his reward.
1. He was perfect. It does not mean that he was without fault. Job confessed he was a sinner, 7:20. The word means that he was complete and wholesome. A clear picture of the unwholesome or incomplete person is given in Hosea 7:8, Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned. The idea is of a person two-faced. Job was one given to following the Lord in all matters and at all times. He did not perform to be seen of men.
2. He was upright. This refers to his dealings with men. He was honest and straightforward with all. There was no double-dealing, no hypocrisy no duplicity. He followed that which was right when dealing with all men. I Peter 3:13.
3. He eschewed evil. He avoided evil at all costs. The fear of God closed his ears and his eyes to the temptations of sin. It stifled the impulses of the flesh. The one thought, Thou God seest me (Genesis 16:13), guided all his dealings with the Lord and with men. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil, Pro 8:13. By the fear of the LORD men depart from evil, Pro 16:6. Joseph — How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? Gen 39:9.
III. THUS JOB BECAME AN EXAMPLE TO US ALL.
Here is where true greatness lies. Little did Job know of the mighty service he would perform for countless millions of saints as he endured his trials. Yet his record was written for our comfort. We may all turn that which is a trial for us into a comfort for others.
God held up Job before the devil as an example of grace, 1:8, 2:3. How often it is the devil who holds up the Christian and mocks God. Two things are linked with Job in the references to him in later books.
1. Job is linked with prayer. Eze 14:14-20. In the midst of life's troubles you will need to know how to prayer if you are not to be overcome.
2. Job is linked with patience. James 5:11. Often the most upright have to bear with afflictions and troubles. Let Job be your example.