The Integrity of Job


So often, when I have a conversation with unbelievers and skeptics they will bring up the book of Job.  Their argument is, why did God single out Job and bragged about him to Satan?  Job did all the right things and loved the Lord, yet He allowed Satan to take everything that Job had, his family, servants and possessions.

Why would God do that to someone who loves Him. Isn’t He suppose to be a loving God?  At first glance I admit, it might look that way, here is a guy just going on about his day thinking about his sons and daughters when tragedy strikes him out of nowhere.  In one day he looses it all,  his sons and daughters and his livelihood. Everything that he worked and lived for, up in smoke. Job had no clue what was going on and why this came upon him. He did not have the benefit that we have when we read the story in the Bible.

The first two chapters give us a unique look behind the scenes, a look into the spiritual world unseen from the human eye. “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Job 1:6, 7. Satan was most likely prowling the earth as a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour.

“Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”Job 1:8. Poor Job, he had no idea that God and Satan had a conversation about him. It almost seems like God may have been bragging a little bit about Job. Satan seized the moment:  “Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. “Does Job fear God for nothing? “But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” Job 1:9-11.

It is interesting to hear Satan say that God had a hedge i.e a protection around Job, he was blessed by God in all he did. I believe that believers in Jesus Christ have a hedge around them just as Job did. Satan in his arrogance challenged God by stating, hey if you take everything away that he has, he will not love you and curse You to Your face. Satan thought that Job or for that matter any other believers only love God when He blesses them, but turn from Him when tragedy or tribulations arise. God in His sovereign will gave Satan the permission to hit Job with afflictions.

“And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.” Job 1:12.

That was the moment when Jobs world would be turned upside down. We read that Job lost his seven sons and three daughters in one day as well as all of his livestock. What a terrible day in the life of poor Job. Yet in all this tragedy, he did not curse God. As a matter of fact, he praised God.

“Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” Job 1:20-22.

I don’t think that was what Satan intended, he was hoping that Job would blame God and turn from God. The opposite happened, although deeply grieved, he did not forsake or denounce the Lord. I can only imagine that Satan was a bit furious.  Some time later Satan appeared before God again and we have the same conversation in chapter two of Job.

“And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.” Job 2:2, 3.

We need to read this verse very carefully, God allowed it because Satan incited Him and God allowed Satan to destroy everything that Job had. I believe what we can glean from this is, that without God’s permission, Satan can’t do a thing to harm believers. This second time around Satan wanted even more.

“So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. “But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.” Job 2:6.   It was Satan’s  desire to physically harm Job in hope that he would curse God.

Again, God only allowed Satan to strike Job, but not to kill him.  “So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.” Job 2:7. Here is Job, covered in painful boils and now even his wife asked him to curse God. “Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job 2:8.

In ancient times, people thought that the person that was punished so severally must have done some kind of sin to deserve something like that.  This time even his wife wanted him to curse God and die. But Job just answered: “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” Job 2:9.

Even now Job does not curse or blame God for his sufferings. Now I don’t know how I would have reacted if I were to be in the shoes of Job. As the story goes on, three of his friends come to comfort him, but as it turns out they were no comfort at all. They either blamed Job for everything that happened to him, because they thought that he must have sin in his life and lost favor with God. In the end however it turns out that these three wise men  weren’t all that wise. At the end God intervenes and rebukes his friends. What happened to good old Job? God restored everything to Job and more, He restored everything ten fold.

I think we as believers can learn a lot from the story of Job. We do have a hedge around us that protects us from many things of the world. At the same time, we are not immune from pain and suffering. Many Christians are going through various hardships, from persecutions and tribulations to financial issues to many other tragedies in their life’s.  We are not exempt, but ultimately, God is in control of all things and nothing happens without a purpose and His permission. Sometimes God uses sufferings and tribulations for His divine purpose and to work in people’s life’s. I may not understand why sometimes, but God knows and nothing is done without a reason and a purpose.

Even the Apostle Peter was subject to Satan on more than one occasion.  “And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.” Lk 22:31.

Peter had to go to some trials, He denied the Lord three times and he had hardships and was imprisoned and crucified upside down in Rome, just as the Lord told him when He was still with them. So were many of the other disciples. All of the Apostles except John died a martyrs death. The Apostle Paul experienced many afflictions, beatings, imprisonment and ultimately death by beheading.  This is what Paul thought about sufferings in his lifetime:  “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”Rom 8:18.  

Paul looked at the eternal not the temporal. In this life, Christians who follow the Lord will face opposition, trials and tribulations. The Lord told us so. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

We as Christians have an enemy that is relentless, the world, the flesh and Satan. I believe that most of our afflictions are not caused by Satan but by our own flesh. The flesh is warring against the Spirit. Many people want to blame Satan for everything that is going on in their life’s, but I think many times it’s just the flesh and the world. Of course we should never underestimate Satan, he is called the prince of this world and if Christians are living in the world as if the world were their home, then they are subject to Satan. The Bible speaks of Satan as the accuser of the brethren, he accuses us day and night before God.  (Rev 12:10)

Sufferings and pains are not easy, but they do strengthen a believers faith and draws them closer to the Lord. That’s what happened to Job, Peter and Paul as well as many others throughout history. In the end everything turned out well for Job and Satan was proven wrong.

That’s what Satan wishes to happen to the believers today. He wants us to curse God as soon as some kind of trial, sufferings or pain come our way. Most of us may never face the kind of tragedy Job was confronted with, although there are many that have had tragedies of various degrees in their lives. The question becomes , if any one of us who believes in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior gets confronted with tribulations and trials similar to Job’s, will we keep the faith and integrity that Job demonstrated?

I hope and pray that none of us will ever face something like Job, but if we do I hope that we will stand tall and firmly rooted in the Lord. There is a spiritual warfare raging. Satan knows that he only but a short time left. We need to fight the good fight and stand against every fiery dart that the enemy may throw at us.

No matter what happen in this life, the destination of the believer is to be with the Lord. God will never leave us nor forsake us as long as we abide in Him, no matter what may come our way.  Satan is already defeated and he will try anything to distract or harass the believers. We need to stand on the promises of God. We as believers are secured in Christ and nothing can take that away.  The book of Ephesians is all about our position in Christ through the Holy Spirit.

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” Rom 8:38, 39. 

We are secure in Christ and we are not of this world. The world can’t touch us, unless we allow the cares of this world to dominate our lives.  As long as we abide in Christ to live after the spirit rather than the flesh and we resist the Devil and his temptations and lies, we can overcome every obstacle and tragedy that we may face. All things here on the earth are temporal and will fade with time, our destination as believers is eternity. We need to set our eyes on the eternal and look up, our redemption draws close. Maranatha Lord Jesus. 

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Categories: Apologetics, Believe, Bible, Biblical Perspectives, Christianity, Eschatology, Faith, Jesus Christ, John 3:16, Salvation, Spiritual, Truth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

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19 thoughts on “The Integrity of Job

  1. Pingback: Why Must We Suffer? « Jessie Jeanine

  2. Pingback: turn away from evil « JRFibonacci's blog: partnering with reality

  3. When you say that all things were restored to him… it is not clear to me that you take into account that 10 of his children died in the experiment and that cannot be restored… unless they are expendable and replaceable which was my original unease.

    I posit that there is a chance that the details of the story are not meant to be relied upon… meaning that the children (just as other details) are expendable in the context of just being props in a story.

    Consider this… Jesus hardly said: hey guys let me tell you a parable… instead he seemed to just start talking and the listener was meant to understand that it was one.. nobody expects the parable of Lazarus to have taken place or even be representative of the heaven or hell set up.

    In that light you really no longer have to ask yourself “why would God…?”, he just very well might not have.

    Just a thought…

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  4. Thanks for your comment. I could have used a different word than bragging, but it is not Job that gives us a “c-span” view, it is God. He shows us a unique view behind the scene, the spiritual realm unseen by finite man. I don’t have the answer why God allowed the things that happened to Job and his family. Whenever we ask why did God, it is not always easy to answer or to understand. His ways are higher than ours and His thoughts are not our thoughts. There are many things going on in the spiritual realm unseen by us everyday, a battle behind the scene between the forces of good and evil. Read the book of Daniel, another look behind the scene in the spiritual realm in chapter 10 verse 20. The prince of Persia, modern day Iran was not the physical prince but the fallen angel that rules over Persia. Satan and his army of fallen angel wage war against God’s people everyday. Most people look at the world from a human mindset and not from a spiritual view. With all the things that are going on in the world today, e,g the Middle East, Africa, there is a spiritual battle behind it. This behind the scene look shows I believe that God allows Satan do do certain things. Satan can’t do anything without the permission of God, he is a created angel that rebelled. Yes, he knows all about the omnipotence, omniscience etc. about God. The story of Job is an awesome story as you stated and shows that God allows for certain things to happen. Why his children? Don’t know, but I’m sure that God knows and that they are with Him. In the end everything was restored to Job. I think that believers in Jesus Christ are not exempt from trials or sufferings. Trials and tribulations draws people closer to God. I don’t have all the answers, but one thing I know for sure, God is on the throne, He is in control and one day all things will come to an end. God has a appointed time, once the divine time clock stops, that is it for Satan and his dominions. When Jesus Christ returns as King of kings, Lord of lords and set up His kingdom forever, He will return not as the suffering servant but as the Lion from the tribe of Judah. He is the judge of all things, all things were created by Jesus Christ and Him all things consist.

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  5. I really like the story of Job….and I know it is not your point to dissect the entire story…but since you pointed out that God might have been bragging about Job…
    I took notice. However, you never really address why that would be and how that fits in the overall scheme things (since Job seem to give us some c-span view on the innerworkings of God’s deliberations), let alone how that contributes to give us a sense of being cared for.

    Not only there is bragging, there is also a very “Testosterone-like” wager… which is the most natural consequence of bragging…

    Are those details relevant? If so, are they revealing the character of God or are they indicative of type of literature we are dealing with? Depending on the details that get obfuscated we arrive easily to different views of God and the way things work… in the spirit world.
    My question is: which details should be kept and which should be ignored.(or put in the God-Works-In-Mysterious-Ways bin)… why?

    Other details:

    -Ok, so Job got singled out. Pohoo. Fine. But, what do his children have to do with it? Is their life not important? They seem to be just one of the things that happened to Job. (in a twisted way it reminds me of 1 Chronicle 21:17)

    – Is Satan the Agent of God?

    – Lastly my favorite detail… has Satan… been informed of God’s omniscience, omniprensence…. and omni… other stuff?

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  7. Pingback: Got Faith, Where Is It? Part II « Anointed Place Ministries

  8. Thank you, I am blessed to hear that. May the Lord richly bless you and give you His peace that surpasses all understanding.

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  9. akin1983

    AM SO BLESS BY THIS MINISTRATION.
    And another thing that i learn is According to (job 36:15),say hard times and trouble are God’s way of getting our attention

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  10. Pingback: parody: blame exhausts the naive « JRFibonacci's blog: partnering with reality

  11. Thank you. Yes, the book of Job has so much wisdom, endless books have been written about the story of Job. I enjoyed Jonathan’s blog on it. Thanks for commenting.

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  12. I was about to tell you about Jonathan Stone’s post on Job entitled Scrream, but see that he did it already! I enjoy explorations of this book. Good stuff here. I touch on some of the subject of Job here: http://emilyelizabethstone.com/2011/09/12/wrestling-playing-tennis-and-ramming-cars/

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  13. Pingback: He that digs a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaks an hedge, a serpent shall bite him « bummyla

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  15. Pingback: Job, Me and Lent « An American Point of View

  16. It’s entitled “Scream.” Here is the link: http://jonathanstone.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/scream/

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  17. Thank you Jonathon, what is the title of your post on Job?

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  18. Great post, thanks for sharing! I recently wrote on the book of Job as well! Blessings!

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  19. Hi Freddy, the Scriptures tell us that God does not willingly cause us to suffer or have hardship but such is the order of the fallen World and us in it, the Scriptures also tell us we will all go through Testing as God’s Redeemed Children the same as Job did and it will be from the hand of Satan not God although He will bring good from it and as He keeps us strong to the end in Christ Jesus, no Temptation will be greater then we can bear but physically like Paul and the other early Christians we will suffer or even be Martyred but not consumed, Spiritually we will rise up with wings of eagles with God and be perfected in His Love not just when we die but now and so we will walk as Jesus walked blamless and pure in an evil generation in which we will shine like stars – Daniel 12:3

    Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

    Until Job was tested he was the same as we all are before Salvation under the Domain of Satan and that is why Satan was able to challenge God, we are set free by accepting Salvation through Jesus Christ shown by our heart repentance and then turning from evil and doing good by the empowering Holy Spirits. Job did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit, that did not happen till after Pentecost but he was covered by grace and the promise of Salvation this is why he did not understand the things of God we can see this in later Chapters, but we do because we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:9-16

    Christian Love Anne.

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