Book of Job is Edomite literature. The Septuagint says Job was an
Edomite, or descendant of Esau. It is said to have been the very
earliest of the sacred writings. It was written before the giving of the
law through Moses, and is a Book that has no direct connection with any
other part of the scriptures. It is very interesting, when we remember
that Job had no written revelation on which to base his conclusions.
The Lord gave His estimate of Job by saying that he was "a man
blameless, true, reverent, abstaining from every wicked practice". This
pictures a very fine character. He was blameless, or without blame, in
all his dealings. The Septuagint says he was a king. It seems evident
that none of his subjects in the little kingdom of Uz, of Ausitidi, had
any complaint to make. He was a kind ruler. He was a man who was
true---his word could be depended on. He revered God, worshiping Him
daily. He did not practice anything that was calculated to bring misery
to anyone. Wickedness means misery-gush. It is usually thought that
wickedness means using profanity. Not so. A man may be perfect in his
speech, and yet practice that which will make others miserable. Or he
may make himself miserable by negative thoughts.
It seems to me that Job had considerable confidence in himself. It does
not seem to have occurred to him at the first, that he had any special
need of God, since he was so careful in his life. But he had no
confidence in his sons. He was often making sacrifices for them and
purifying them, for he constantly feared that they would sin and think
evil in their hearts against God. This Job did every day. His life was
one of constant misgivings concerning the boys, lest they be not as good
as he. It is said that he abstained from every wicked PRACTICE, but it
is evident that he did not abstain from THOUGHTS that made HIMSELF
There was another fault in Job. We are to remember that the desirable
traits of which the Lord spoke, had to do with his dealing with others.
He was not so kind to himself. Not only was he constantly torn in spirit
by his fear concerning the conduct of his sons, but he was afraid that
sickness would come to himself. Thus his life, inwardly, was far from
When a man is depending on self, rather than God, it is not strange to
see him get further and further from the right way, in his thinking and
in his words, under the stress of affliction. And it is evident that Job
was depending on self, to a great extent.
When news reached him that all his property had been taken and all his
sons and daughters killed, he was surprisingly calm over it. He did not
miss the mark in what he said about it, nor did he charge God foolishly.
This is one of the finest passages in the Book. Another fine one is the
record of what he said after he had become afflicted, and his wife tried
to persuade him to speak against the Lord, and die. In the first
instance he said that the Lord had given him all, and then had taken it
away, and he blessed the name of the Lord. In the other instance he
asked his wife, "If we have received good from the hand of the Lord,
shall we not endure the evil?"
But Job did not continue in this mood. His three friends who came with
the best of intentions, erred in their efforts to help him; for they
claimed that his afflictions had come because of wicked deeds that he
had done, in spite of the fact that the Lord had said that he abstained
from every wicked practice. In their prolonged debate with Job they said
many worthy things, but missed the mark entirely, in their efforts to
tell Job why he was afflicted. Job began to be bitter, soon after these
"comforters" reached him, and his speeches contain much complaint, not
withstanding he spoke considerable truth---far more than was spoken by
James is supposed to have said, many centuries later, "You have heard of
the patience of Job", but what he really said was, "You have heard of
the ENDURANCE of Job." The book is filled with his endurance, but we see
The debate that raged between the sick man and his friends finally ended
in a "draw". We read at the close of chapter 31, and the beginning of
chapter 32, "And Job caused his declarations, and his three friends
ceased to answer Job, for Job was righteous in front of them". That is,
he was right so far as answering their argument was concerned. His wrong
lay in his attitude toward God, and his lack of understanding as to why
he was afflicted.
Elihu, or Eliois, enters the argument at this point. The "El" of his
name is the Hebrew word for God. He comes as God's spokesman, and
prepares Job to hear when the Lord speaks to him directly, later. Elihu
was indignant, at Job for justifying himself, and at the three friends
for their inability to tell Job what he needed to know. He had heard all
the debate, but had said nothing because he was young.
He told Job, "There is spirit in mortals, and the breath of the Almighty
is that which teaches". In other words, because man has spirit, he can
be taught by the breathing of truth into his heart by Him Who holds all.
The Almighty is, in reality, the "All-Holder". God is the one who holds
all. It all belongs to Him. This includes man in a special sense,
because man, as the spirit, is in the image of God. He can be taught by
the same One of whom Paul wrote later, saying that all scripture is
God-breathed. No one is ever taught in reality, until the inspiration of
God touches his spirit and opens up truth to his understanding.
Elihu challenged Job saying, "The spirit of God formed me, and the
breath of the Almighty teaches me." He asked Job to answer him if he
could. He bids him to not be afraid, since he and Job both have been
formed of soil, alike. This being true---both being human---his words
would not terrify Job.
Down to the close of chapter 37 Elihu speaks for God, and Job listens,
knowing that he is hearing the truth. The breath of the Almighty, all
the while, is teaching him, and he is learning that which he did not
know before. It is wonderful reading. I commend it to those who would
hear words from God's spokesman.
Job has been prepared to hear the inner voice now. So the Lord begins to
instruct him without the mediacy of Elihu. This begins with chapter 38,
and continues to the close of chapter 41. What wonderful literature this
is! The Lord talks about things on earth, in the sea, in the clouds, and
in the sky. He Who made these, is here telling about them. No scientific
book can tell more. Why not read these few chapters, and learn what the
greatest Scientist has to say about His own works---the things which He
Job is "deflated" by the minute, as the Lord talks to him, and, although
he is repeatedly challenged, he opens not his mouth. The Lord mentions
the clouds, beasts, cattle, water, great animals, the stars, the
founding of the earth, challenging Job all along to dispute with him if
this be possible. He who had complained, accused, cursed, and even
justified himself, now sits quietly and listens to what the Lord has to
say. His meekness becomes more and more pronounced. And, finally, the
Lord ceases to speak.
Now Job speaks again, but in a different vein. Hear his words of
humility: He says he knows that the Lord can do all things, and that
nothing can be hidden from Him. Then he pleads, Hear me, oh, Lord, that
I also may speak, and I will ask You, and do teach me. I have heard the
report of You by the ear, before, but now my eye has seen You.
It is common to hear a person say, I see, when they mean, "I
understand". It is one of our idioms, as it was an idiom of the people
in Job's day. We will say, "He opened my eyes", when we mean someone has
led us to understand a certain matter. Job did not mean that he had seen
the Lord as we see a man. He meant that he had heard of the Lord, and
had thought he understood Him, but he really did not. But now, He had
received a consciousness of God, He had heard Him with the heart. He had
seen Him with the eyes of the heart. He understood the Lord as he had
never done before.
A consciousness of God comes from within. God is in us. His teaching is
internal. He speaks to the heart. And when we become conscious of Him,
our attitude is changed.
The Lord also spoke to one of the three friends of Job. They needed
Job's ministrations. Job was bidden to pray for them. Job had, at last,
spoken that which was right concerning God; they had not done so. The
prayer was that they might be blessed with the same understanding that
Job had. This was brought about through his prayer for them. This was
what might be called "faithvision treatment".
And God turned the captivity of Job. Not only was he healed, but other
blessings came into his life. The prosperity of Job was enhanced, and he
had twice as much as he had before.
The story begins when Job was in daily fear about two things:
He feared that his son MIGHT BE, and perhaps HAD BEEN, displeasing to
the Lord. He spent days and nights for years, in fear for his children.
He was expecting them to do bad, and he was afraid that something bad
would come to them. The continual offerings did not satisfy him. He had
no confidence that they pacified God.
And he feared sickness. After he became afflicted he said that he had
been fearing this very thing.
A person who speads his days in haunting fear is not going to have a
happy life. Much "poor health" can be traced to this very thing. It is a
very devastating emotion---fear is. It undermines resistance. Often,
indeed, had this story been re-enacted in every part of the world.
His afflictions did not stem from some great wickedness done against
others, or against the law of the land. We are accustomed to think of
sin in terms of immorality, or law-breaking. His affliction came from
fear---a very great sin, but not usually thought of as such. To sin is
to miss the mark; to make a mistake. Doubts, fears, apprehension, dread,
hate---these are serious mistakes, and, therefore, serious sins.
It is in the fact of mind, that man is in the image of God. To use the
mind wrongly, or to "let it use us devastatingly", is very displeasing
to God. I think is is more serious than to abuse the body. Neither Job
nor his "comforters" knew to say the correct thing. Their debate availed
Perhaps the reader has noticed how often Christ said to a patient, "Go
and sin no more", when He had healed one. It is evident that sin is
directly connected with sickness. I think it is the sin of wrong
emotions, negative thoughts, worry, fear, etc. It is not immorality. It
is the wrong use of the mind---fear and doubts which cast a doubt on
God's truthfulness. It is a lack of faith.
After Job had "seen" the Lord, his attitude became right. We read no
more of his fears for either, himself or his children. The record says
he had, after his affliction, the same number of children that he had
before. And his property was doubled. This is not a far-fetched story.
These very things can come into the life of one who has the right
attitude---one whose thoughts are correct---one who shows the fruit of
faith in the heart. I am praying for many people, specifically. Some
desire health for themselves or their loved ones; some want money and
other property, so as to be able to live in comfort; some want children;
some want the children they already have, to be pleasing to the Lord and
to be useful citizens; some want protection for their sons who are in
the armed services on the country; some
To all such, I say that a correct attitude toward God and man will go
far in solving their problems. Absence of fear and doubt and a
recognition of the power and love of God shows that Job came into this
attitude. He had the correct attitude toward others also.