The Book of Job is thought the earliest book written of the Bible with a story that involves the days of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph). Readers are introduced to the story of a man whose faith and devotion to God is challenged. He loses all that he has, including his family, health and wealth. He wonders why all of the things that happened in his life has occurred. In this article, you will learn more about the Book of Job and its significance in the Old Testament.
Many believe that the Book of Job was written by a host of authors that may include Job, Elihu, Moses and Solomon. The date at which the book was written depends on who is responsible for the text. For instance, if Moses wrote the book, then it dates back to 1440 BC. If Solomon penned the book, then the date of the writing is around 950 BC. When reading the Book of Job, you will learn that God has power over what Satan can and cannot do. The topic of suffering is mentioned throughout the book. The wicked will receive what they have coming to them, but sometimes, the sin and suffering of the world and individuals cannot be explained or blamed on another. For some, suffering is a test of strength or signifies a learning tool.
The start of the Book of Job paints the picture of heaven. It is here that Satan comes to accuse Job before God. He believes that Job only serves God because God protects him. Satan wants permission to test the faith and loyalty of Job. God gives the OK, but Satan must stay within certain limitations. When misfortune befalls Job, he begins to question why do the righteous suffer. Job receives comfort that comes in the form of his three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, who speak with him about the series of tragedies that he has experienced. They are convinced that his suffering is a result of punishment for sin that he has committed throughout his life. Despite his suffering, Job still remains devoted to God. He sticks by his belief that he has not been a man of sin.
Job speaks with a fourth man named Elihu, who tells him to humble himself and submit to whatever God sends him as a trial. Job asks God Himself and learns a valuable lesson in the process ”“ that you need to completely trust in the Lord. In the end, God restored his health, happiness and wealth more than what he previously had.
Significant verses that appear in the Book of Job include:
- “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” (Job 1:21)
- “Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said, ‘Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?'” (Job 38:1-2)
- “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:5-6)