Who was Job? To answer that is also to know what a holy man of God is like? On the entire planet there was none like Job in his day:
Who Was Job In The Bible
Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil” (Job 1:8).
What an endorsement from God Almighty, who perfectly knows every man's heart. If you are acquainted with the Job in the Bible, his wife was evil (2:9) and the only friends he had that came to comfort him were vicious, false accusers. There is no record that Job drew any spiritual strength or encouragement from anyone around him, even before his monumental test. (Too often people wrongly think they must have godly people around them, that can be observed as examples, before they can walk in a holy manner. That was clearly not the case with Job.)
Everyone Should Know How Job Felt About His Own Words
Why was Job so Godly? In part, because Job was a lover of God's word. In fact, he realized the treasure that it truly is:
I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread (Job 23:12).
If Job had to make a choice between having natural food for his physical body or spiritual food from God's word, he would choose the latter. Think about that. His view of Scripture was very high! That is one of the greatest secrets to spiritual success—treasuring God's word.
The Godly unnamed writer of Psalm 119 had a similar view of God's word:
The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold (Psa 119:72).
Besides Job loving and valuing God's word, he was a man who feared God and shunned evil, as already cited. If you study God's word, it won't be long before you see these virtues magnified in Scripture over and over. One such example is the following:
And he said to man, “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).
Job treasured God's word, feared the Lord and shunned evil, but there is more.
Another particular passage that is striking is the following one about Job. Notice what he knew about the sin of lust and what he did about it:
I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl. For what is man's lot from God above, his heritage from the Almighty on high? Is it not ruin for the wicked, disaster for those who do wrong? Does he not see my ways and count my every step? (Job 31:1-4)
Job, who knew he was righteous, also knew his spiritual identity would change to wicked by lusting at a girl. He wasn't deceived by some untrue teaching that sin for the righteous would not bring forth spiritual death (Ezek. 33:18; Rom. 8:13; James 1:14-16; etc.) or our future sins are already forgiven before we commit them (1 John 1:9; Gal. 5:19-21). Neither was he duped into thinking that lust was just some trifling sin that everyone is doing and therefore he shouldn't be concerned about it in his own life. No! He knew the truth about all these and was serious to the point of making a covenant with his eyes to keep himself pure (cf. 1 Tim. 5:22 cf. Mt. 5:8).
Notice also what the Lord Jesus taught about the seriousness of lusting in the heart:
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell (Mat 5:28, 29).
(Jesus taught lust in the heart will send one to hell. What a powerful condemnation to any form of pornography, even from watching TV.)
Going back to Job 31:1-4, Job also knew there are no secret sins, which is also reflected elsewhere by what he said:
If I sinned, you [God] would be watching me and would not let my offense go unpunished. If I am guilty—woe to me! (Job 10:14,15).
There may be sins that are secret from man, but not from God. Part of the reason for this problem in our day is some people have a wrong concept of God. They have been deceived into thinking our sins are hidden from God because all He can see is the blood of Jesus since we have come to salvation. (May no one who ever reads this believe such a deadly lie as that.)
Furthermore, religious people tend to be more fearful of man than God, who alone can destroy both their body and soul in gehenna (Mt. 10:28). Job knew sin would get one in serious trouble with God and therefore was earnest about shunning it in his own life. He feared God and this was to his credit and a major advantage. But that is not all. Notice also what he did for his own children, thinking they might have possibly sinned:
His sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job's regular custom (Job 1:4,5).
Job was sin conscious, just like Paul, Peter, James, etc. and which we too need to be, if we are going to shun sin like he did.
Another honorable trait of Job centers around his words.
As long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit (Job 27:3,4).
Can you sense Job's spiritual determination from that statement? What a wonderful thing to read, especially in a day when so many profess to be Christian and are deceitful. Apparently, Job knew something about how words can spiritually defile a person and also took this part of his life very serious. Sadly, many who profess salvation in our day have little or no understanding of the defiling power of words. Ponder this NT passage to reinforce the importance of words:
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless (James 1:26).What Was Job's Test and Satan's Goal
Righteous Job was not too busy to help the hurting around him that were in desperate need. This is very rare, especially among the rich, as Job was:
Job's Merciful Acts
I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him. The man who was dying blessed me; I made the widow's heart sing. I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban. I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger. I broke the fangs of the wicked and snatched the victims from their teeth (Job 29:11-17).
This echoes truth from the New and Old Testaments of how we should view the hurting and needy. Here are just two related passages of dozens about the poor, widows, lame, blind, etc.:
But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous (Luke 14:13,14).
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (James 1:27).
Righteous Job defended himself against false accusations and character assassination from his so-called comforters, who wrongly accused him of sinning and that being the reason why unprecedented calamity crashed down of him. Job rebuked his false accusers at times:
You, however, smear me with lies; you are worthless physicians, all of you! If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom (Job 13:4,5).
But then at other times, he revealed he had no bitterness towards his false accusers who were crushing him with their false words (19:2), for if the circumstances were reversed he would comfort them:
I also could speak like you, if you were in my place; I could make fine speeches against you and shake my head at you. But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief (Job 16:4, 5).
There is yet more good fruit from Job, which also reflected his pure heart:
Job's Other Actions
If I have denied the desires of the poor or let the eyes of the widow grow weary, if I have kept my bread to myself, not sharing it with the fatherless—but from my youth I reared him as would a father, and from my birth I guided the widow—if I have seen anyone perishing for lack of clothing, or a needy man without a garment, and his heart did not bless me for warming him with the fleece from my sheep, if I have raised my hand against the fatherless, knowing that I had influence in court, then let my arm fall from the shoulder, let it be broken off at the joint. For I dreaded destruction from God, and for fear of his splendor I could not do such things. If I have put my trust in gold or said to pure gold, “You are my security,” if I have rejoiced over my great wealth, the fortune my hands had gained, if I have regarded the sun in its radiance or the moon moving in splendor, so that my heart was secretly enticed and my hand offered them a kiss of homage, then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high. If I have rejoiced at my enemy's misfortune or gloated over the trouble that came to him—I have not allowed my mouth to sin by invoking a curse against his life—if the men of my household have never said, “Who has not had his fill of Job's meat?”—but no stranger had to spend the night in the street, for my door was always open to the traveler (Job 31:16-32).
Job had great wealth (31:25). Yet unlike many with his kind of riches, it did not lead to his spiritual downfall. (Job proves it is possible to be rich and Godly at the same time, though this is very rare and very few can.)
Job was tested unlike any other in the Bible. During the midst of his fiery trails, that both perplexed and discouraged him, he thought he was going to die and wanted to. Yet during those times he was still trusting/hoping in God:
Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him. (Job 13:15).
In the end circumstances turned and once again God's blessings flowed down upon him, as it did before he was so severely tested and suffered such loss.
Job is an example of perseverance, which we all need to enter God's kingdom:
As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy (James 5:11).
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers (1 Tim. 4:16).
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him (James 1:12).
So what was Godly Job like? He treasured God's word, feared the Lord, shunned evil, knew his righteous identity could change to wicked, was aware that there are no secret sins, was merciful to the hurting, kept a tight rein on his tongue, held no unforgiveness against those who hurt him, kept trusting in God and was persevering through much opposition. Now you know the answer to the question, Who was Job?
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