Summary: Some people appear to have “character amnesia” of a different sort. When faced with a dilemma, they seem to “forget” the right thing to do and instead choose the easy way out. Character is who we are; it’s not something we “forget.” Those who have a loss
Opening illustration: It seems that young people in China are beginning to forget how to write the characters that comprise the beautiful calligraphy of their traditional language. Some are calling the phenomenon “character amnesia.” Heavy usage of computers and smart phones often means that writing is neglected and some can no longer remember the characters they learned in childhood. One young man said, “People don’t write anything by hand anymore except for [their] name and address.”
Some people appear to have “character amnesia” of a different sort. When faced with a dilemma, they seem to “forget” the right thing to do and instead choose the easy way out.
Let us turn to Job 1 to catch up with this Biblical illustration of a man of profound Godly Character …
Introduction: The name Job comes from an Arabic word meaning “to return,” namely, to God, “to repent,” referring to his end [Eichorn]; or rather from a Hebrew word signifying one to whom enmity was shown, “greatly tried” [Gesenius]. Job is a contemporary of Abraham. Job humbled himself under the hand of God. He reasons from the common state of human life, which he describes. We brought nothing of this world’s goods into the world, but have them from others; and it is certain we can carry nothing out, but must leave them to others. Job, under all his losses, is but reduced to his first state. If in all our troubles we look to the Lord, he will support us. The Lord is righteous. All we have is from his gift; we have forfeited it by sin, and ought not to complain if he takes any part from us. Discontent and impatience charge God with folly. Against these Job carefully watched; and so must we, acknowledging that as God has done right, but we have done wickedly, so God has done wisely, but we have done very foolishly. And may the malice and power of Satan render that Savior more precious to our souls, who came to destroy the works of the devil; who, for our salvation, suffered from that enemy far more than Job suffered, or we can think.
God called Job “a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil” (Job 1: 8). God allowed Satan to take everything Job had - his children, his wealth, and his health. Despite his heart-wrenching circumstances, Job refused to curse God. “In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong” (v. 22). Satan had challenged God’s assertion of Job’s blameless character, but he was proven wrong.
Character amnesia? No. Character is who we are; it’s not something we “forget.” Those who have a loss of character make a choice.
What kind of character we should have (Job’s character)?
1. Blameless & Upright (v. 1a)
Job was not a sinless man, but he was blameless, "tawm," meaning "complete, sound, wholesome, morally innocent, having integrity," and upright, "yaw-SHAWR," which means, "to be straight, level, upright, proper." This fact will be repeated by God Himself two more times (1: 8; 2: 3). Once we read of the terrible things that happen to Job, it will be important not to forget this fact.
In the same sense as Noah, Abraham, and Jacob were; not with respect to sanctification, unless as considered in Christ, who is made sanctification to his people; or with regard to the truth, sincerity, and genuineness of it; or in a comparative sense, in comparison of what he once was, and others are; but not so as to be free from sin, neither from the being of it, which no man is clear of in this life, nor from the actings of it in thought, word, and deed (Job 9: 20) or so as to be perfect in grace; for though all grace is seminally implanted at once in regeneration, it opens and increases gradually; there is a perfection of parts, but not of degrees; there is the whole new man, but that is not arrived to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; there are all and every grace, but not one perfect, not knowledge, nor faith, nor hope, nor love, nor patience, nor any other: but then, as to justification, every good man is perfect; Christ has completely redeemed his people from all their sins; he has perfectly fulfilled the law in their room and stead; he has fully expiated all their transgressions, he has procured the full remission of them, and brought in a righteousness which justifies them from them all; so that they are free from the guilt of sin, and condemnation by it, and are in the sight of God unblamable, unreproveable, without fault, all fair and perfectly comely.
To whom was shown the uprightness of Christ, or to whom the righteousness of Christ was revealed from faith to faith, and which was put upon him, and he walked in by faith, see Job 33: 23, moreover, Job was upright in heart, a right spirit was renewed in him; and though he was not of the nation of Israel, yet he was, in a spiritual sense, an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no guile, the truth of grace and the root of the matter being in him, Job19: 28, and he was upright in his walk and conversation before God, and also before men; upright in all his dealings and concerns with them, in every relation he stood, in every office and character he bore.