“That man was blameless and upright”

 

I’m interested in the book of Job right now.  The entire book of Job hinges on verse 1.  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.   That’s the key to the book of Job.  And, I’m afraid that’s the one thing we forget as we read the book of Job.  Satan is only mentioned in the first 2 chapters of the book of Job, but his work is present throughout the 42 chapters.  Remember, Job was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.  But, Satan, the accuser, is there throughout this book, accusing Job, blaming him for all that happens to him.  Eliphaz,  Bildad and Zophar show up when they hear what has happened, and at first they simply sit with Job.  They have nothing to say, and they simply sit in silence with him, comforting him.  This was their correct response.  But Satan shows up in them after Job begins to cry out to God, and each one begins accusing.  3 times each one accuses, 3 times Job answers.  Job’s friends play the role of Satan, accusing him for all the bad things which had come upon him.  


But we know that Job was blameless in all that happened to him,  what happened to him was the result of a challenge, a bet if you will, between God and Satan.  And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.   Job was a very wealthy man, probably the wealthiest in the world in his time.  God rightly points out to Satan the good man he has in Job, Satan immediately accuses and projects his own evil onto Job, who was as we know, blameless.  God allows Satan to attack, and then when Job passes the test, he allows him to attack Job again.  That is when the testing gets REAL.  But, really, the book of Job, as we read it, is a test for US as well.  We are tested because as we read this book, we jump on the bandwagon with Job’s accusers.  As they make their accusations, we identify more with the accusers than with Job.  After all, Job was….blameless.   But we identify with his accusers (friends??).   We are not blameless.  So like Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, and later, the worst accuser Elihu, we look at all that happens to Job, and our basic human emotions kick in.  We want to make sure, like Job’s “friends,” that we know none of these things could happen to us.  God must have been punishing Job for something, right?   So, we identify with Satan here, the great accuser.  As we read the diatribes made by these three friends, we see ourselves.  We begin to agree with the accusers.  Our good God would not have allowed all this harm to come against Job unless he had done something to deserve it.  The “friends” of Job did not have this book to read as they went through this with Job.  They didn’t have it clearly spelled out for them – 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.  But, we do have this book to show us the correct – and incorrect – response when we see bad things happen to people we live and care about.  In this life we will go through trials.  Sometimes bad, tragic things happen and we don’t understand.  They happen to us, they happen to those around us.  Romans 8:28 tells us “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”.  The book of Job reminds us that we are not God.  While He will work all into His purpose for good, we do not know how today’s tragedy will work out for Gods glory tomorrow.  So when we have friends and loved ones go through tough times, and they don’t understand why, stop trying to help them “feel better.”  You can’t.  You don’t know why this tragedy had to happen, or how God will use it for good.  Just love your loved one by being present, they will know you are there.


“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. 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. Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭1:1-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/job.1.1-12.esv

 

John Lewis

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4 thoughts on ““That man was blameless and upright”

  1. Job has always concerned me, the fate of man subject to a bet between God and Satan. My inclination is that this is nothing more than a parable, where God says what something would be like if it happened. But I don’t think God would ever bargain on our faith. How many take Job as a literal story?

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    1. Job, as I understand it, is a history. Job was a real man, these were real events. Could possibly be the oldest book in the bible. Authorship is unknown, the chapters of Elihu added much later, that’s why it doesn’t fit, and is not answered by God…disturbing as it may be, Job is not a parable.

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  2. I’ve never read it as a literal event. It has always seemed more like allegory. The story of Job is unique, with the description of God and Satan interacting and then the scenes with humans grappling with their understanding of it. It reads almost like a play. But as with many passages in scripture, what is important is the message, which is neither strengthened nor diminished by whether it is literal or not. To some, talking snakes, man-swallowing fish, and such make the Bible sound like a fairy tale. For me, I think there are a lot of passages that were not intended as literal historical records but many take as such (for example, the number of days to create the Earth). When I read the Bible, I try to recognize literary devices while at the same time grasp the meaning and intent. In this story, the disturbing nature of it has always nudged me to the allegory side; then it makes perfect sense.

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    1. I don’t really know about Job specifically. I did a quick search after reading your post, it looks like Job and those specific events happened. It reads like a history, with historical details, right down to the amount of his wealth. To dismiss it as parable because of supernatural content, is dangerous…we could apply the same to the New Testament. Belief in the supernatural is required for belief in Christ or God. This world would not have been created without the supernatural. Like I said, just a quick search, but I’ll recommend Raystedman.org or christiancourier.com

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