By Wayne S. Walker
One book in the Old Testament concerning whose background we know almost nothing for certain is the book of Job. We do not know the author, although some think that it might have been Moses. We do not know the precise time frame in which the account takes place, although some believe that it could have been during the patriarchal age. We do not even know exactly where Uz was.
However, Job is part of the inspired Scriptures, and therefore contains a message from God. And even though it is part of the Old Testament, which we understand is not God’s law for us today, still it has been preserved for our admonition and learning. So in this article, we want to look at Job 1:1-22 and see what we can learn from Job.
First, we see Job’s character in verses 1-5. He was blameless. This does not mean absolutely sinless because “all have sinned” (Rom. 3:23). Rather, it refers to one who is striving his best to live so as to be guilty of no blame in God’s sight. We are to be “blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation” (Phil. 2:15). Of course, even though we have sinned, whenever we receive forgiveness, then we are truly blameless before God. Also, Job was upright. This simply refers to one who constantly tries to do that which is right in the sight of God (Ps. 7:10). “Blameless” has somewhat of a negative connotation, speaking of one who refrains from doing that which will bring blame, whereas “upright” has a more positive connotation, speaking of one who seeks to do what is right.
In addition, Job feared God. This fear does not mean being afraid of or terrified by, but having a deep reverence, respect, and awe for. We are to “fear God and keep His commandments” (Eccl. 12:13-14). Furthermore, Job eschewed or shunned evil. This simply means to stay away from evil. We are told to abstain from every form or appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5.21-22). So in all these areas, Job is a good example for us.
Moreover, Job was very wealthy (vs. 2-3). There is nothing necessarily wrong with being wealthy, although God does warn us often to be careful about our attitude toward riches (1 Tim. 6:9-10). And Job was evidently very concerned about his family (vs. 4-5). We would assume that he undoubtedly tried to do what God told Israelites to do about teaching their children (Deut. 6:4-7). This illustrates what God expects parents to do in bringing their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). Job’s children were evidently grown by this time because they had their own houses, though in a patriarchal society they still probably lived close to home. Yet Job was still interested in their spiritual welfare and wanted them to be right with God.
Job’s attack by Satan.