Today’s post is written by Peter Davey. Through 4 inspiring posts over the next few months, Peter is going to give us a fresh insight into the life of Job. Peter has used the New Living Translation (NLT).
The Life of Job
The beauty of the language in Job is inspiring. Desperate experiences seem to open him to understand things far ahead of his time.
Job is introduced to us as a successful businessman, a wealthy farmer and landowner ‘he was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area’ with a family of seven sons and three daughters. Consistent with his status, ‘he … had many servants’ (1.1-5). Without warning Job suffers the loss of everything. The book reveals his complaints to God, advice of his friends and concludes with his complete restoration.
Life beyond death
In the midst of the anguish of his physical and emotional distress and as he faces (for the tenth time) repeated rebukes from his ‘friends’ he utters words that reveal an astounding revelation of the certainty of eternity and a physical existence beyond death.
“… I know that my Redeemer lives and He will stand upon the earth at last… …yet in my body I will see God! … Yes, I will see Him with my own eyes.” (19:25 -27) (14.14) (13.15)
Job speaks of the awesome power of God as seen in nature with staggering beauty: ‘…He does great things too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles’ … (9.4 -10)’ He describes God’s wisdom and power, counsel and understanding (12.10-12, 12.13-15) and concludes ‘… these are but the outer fringe of his works’ (26.14) whilst Elihu declares ‘How great is God – beyond our understanding…’ (36.22-33; 37.1-18).
Despite everything that happens Job continues to maintain his integrity and profess his innocence – which neither his friends, Satan or God contradict!
Job complains …’I am a just and blameless man, yet they (his friends) laugh at me.’ (12:4)
‘He (God) is not a mere mortal like me that I might answer him… If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together…’ (9.32-35)(16.18-21)
Who can fail to be awed by his initial response at the beginning of his tragedies: …”I came naked from my mother’s womb, … I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave … … and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!” (1:21)
Satan ‘complains’ that God has protected and blessed Job; you have … ‘put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has’… ‘so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.’ (1.9-10) Bildad concurs that if he is innocent Job’s life will turn around and silence his accusers. (8.20-22)
Next time: What about Job’s wife?
I hope this look at Job’s life will whet your appetite to read Job again!
Peter is married to Jill and together they have been in Christian ministry since the early days of their marriage. They have four grown up children and dozens of grandchildren and are a great addition to the Jubilee family in their example and wisdom of years.