Survey of the Book of Job, Ot Survey Essay

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Job Essay

Old Testament Survey

The Book of Job is an instrumental story of a man named Job who is used by God to demonstrate the reasons for suffering in a person’s life and to reveal God’s role in evil. Immediately in Job 1.1 we learn four significant truths about Job. Job “was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” (The Holy Bible). These significant attributes of Job set the foundation of who Job is and why he is chosen by God to undergo some unique calamities. From the start, we learn Job is a follower of God, he is wealthy, and he loves his family. God initiates a conversation with Satan highlighting the fact of Job’s obedience to God. Satan responds, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has… But stretch out your hand and touch all he has, and he will curse you to your face” (The Holy Bible Job.1.10-11). God grants Satan permission to afflict Job’s possessions. From Job 1:13-22, we learn of the initial four calamities that Job underwent. First, the Sabeans took Job’s oxen and donkeys and killed his servants. Second, fire burned up his sheep and killed his servants. Third, the Chaldeans took his camels and killed his servants. The fourth and most devastating blow was a great wind which came and knocked down the house all his children were in, killing them all. Job refuses to curse God and so Satan, with God’s permission, afflicts Job with sores all over his body. Job, although despairing, does not blame God for his sorrows. Job’s three friends come to visit him to offer support. Instead of comforting Job, they begin to blame Job for his current circumstances. Job not only refutes them but pleads with God to let him die. Through much debate, God ends the confrontation by posing many rhetorical questions to Job to demonstrate how little Job understands God. Job’s response is to repent. God rebukes Job’s friends and restores Job’s original wealth and status two fold. The initial information we are given about Job gives more significance to the lessons learned through Job’s afflictions. From God’s presentation of Job to Satan, we learn that God held Job in high regard. God states to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away evil?” (The Holy Bible Job.1.8). God himself said that there was no one like Job, which helps us to understand why bad things happen to good people or perhaps why we shouldn’t question it. We learn this answer as the story progresses. The first three of Satan attacks destroyed all of Job’s wealth. The fourth attack removed his family while the fifth attack inflicted physical bodily suffering. The significance of these afflictions was an attempt by Satan to push Job to curse God. Satan believed Job followed God because of hedge God put around Job. We learn that Job’s love for God came from a belief and reverence of God, not because of Job’s physical or material good fortune. The dialogue between Job and his friends reveals several important truths. We see that these men are arguing against the other with the belief that their understandings of God’s motives are correct. Job makes the least of the assumptions and holds to the knowledge that although he doesn’t know all the answers at present, one day God will reveal Himself and judge all. These dialogues are significant because they pushed Job to question God’s motives. Job never acted against God, he only questioned what God was doing, retaining his righteousness. God interrupts the conversation and shows Job how little understanding he has of the world around him. Job admits his ignorance and understands he has no right to question the purpose behind evil. To do so would be to make a claim of complete understanding of God’s purpose for us and man. Job and his three companions argue over why Job has been