Job was an upright and very wealthy man who lived in antiquity. He went through a time of great suffering and was accused of many sins but he did not abandon God. In the end, God Himself defended Job’s cause and restored him.
Job lived in a land called Uz, in the Middle East. He was very wealthy and had a lot of property:
- 7 thousand sheep
- 3 thousand camels
- 500 ox jutes
- 500 donkeys
At that time, so much cattle was a big fortune! Job also had seven sons and three daughters, who were very close ( Job 1: 1-3 ).
But Job’s most striking feature was his integrity. Job feared God and avoided evil. He encouraged his children to obey God as well. Job was concerned about the spiritual life of his entire family ( Job 1: 4-5 ).
God was very happy with Job. He was an example that it is possible to live rightly, rejecting sin. But Satan suspected that Job only obeyed God because of the material blessings that God gave him. Satan accused Job of acting out of interest, not true devotion ( Job 1: 9-11 ).
To prove that Satan was wrong, God let Satan take everything from Job except his life. In one day, Satan took all his goods from Job and killed all his sons. Then Satan struck Job with a terrible disease. Seeing his suffering, Job’s wife suggested cursing God and dying. Even so, Job continued to worship God and did not sin ( Job 2: 7-10 ).
Look here: why did God allow Job to suffer?
Job and his friends
Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar were Job’s friends and came to comfort him. They were really saddened by their suffering but, as they did not believe that God could be unjust, they accused Job of having hidden sin ( Job 8: 3-6 ).
Job was not aware of any sin that he had not confessed to God. He did his best not to sin. Everything he did was to please God! He did not understand the reason for his suffering and wanted an answer from God ( Job 13: 22-24 ).
See also: Is God just?
Job’s friends insisted that suffering is punishment for sin. They urged Job to repent, to be blessed again. But all these words only frustrated Job more. Then a younger man, named Elihu, suggested that it is not possible to understand everything that God does but we should not accuse Him of injustice, because He knows more than we do ( Job 37: 23-24 ).
God speaks to Job
After much conversation between Job and his friends, God responded to Job. He did not explain the reason for his suffering but showed Job His power and wisdom. Job could trust God , because He knew what He was doing. Job was satisfied with the answer and repented of questioning God ( Job 42: 4-6 ).
God rebuked Job’s friends for not speaking correctly ( Job 42: 7-8 ). Job was approved by God, and when he prayed for his friends, God restored him . Job got his health back, got twice as much as he had, and had ten more children. He died in old age, blessed by God.