Job 1:1-3 ESV
There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.
Job was the greatest man of his day and age. Not only was he incredibly wealthy, he was blameless and upright. God blessed him richly. Job served God with all his heart.
Job 1:4-5 ESV
His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.
Job’s was wealthy enough that his children didn’t have to work. They spent all their time partying. Job was careful to intercede and offer sacrifices on their behalf, just in case they sinned.
Job is one of the most underrated books of the Bible. Job is the oldest book of the Bible, probably written between 1900 and 1700 B.C. Some scholars date Job to the between 600 to 700 B.C., but there are several which suggest an earlier date. The Hebrew of Job is very ancient and is sometimes closer to its cousin Arabic. The time period in which the events of Job take place is roughly the age of the patriarchs; Job may have been a contemporary of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There is no mention of Israelites, the Law, or Levitical priests. As the head of his household, Job acted as priest offering sacrifices on behalf of his family.
In many ways, we modern Christian Gentiles can relate to Job better than most other Old Testament figures. Job is not a Jew. He doesn’t observe Sabbaths or dietary laws. His battle is spiritual rather than physical. He does not struggle against Canaanites or Philistines, but against Satan. He does not fight for a promised land, but for his health and wealth to be restored.
Although most Christians are unfamiliar with the book of Job, for the most part we all know the basic story. Job, a wealthy but righteous man suffers through no fault of his own. Job is known for his great patience.
In addition to the well known theme of innocent suffering, Job is also about human wisdom vs. divine wisdom. It also contains detailed creation accounts. Even though Job is the oldest book of the Bible, it contains much that is still relevant to us 4,000 years later.
The book of Job addresses questions 21st century humanity still stuggles with: the problems of suffering and evil.
But Job is not simply a righteous sufferer–he is a victor through faith. In spite of all the trials Satan puts him through, Job holds fast to his integrity by trusting in God. He is a perfect example of 1 John 5:4 …this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith (ESV). Job’s faith is rewarded in the end.
Job 42:10-12, 16-17 ESV
And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold. And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. And he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys…. And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations. And Job died, an old man, and full of days.