Summary: The Study Of Job: Why Do The Righteous Suffer?
The Study Of Job: Why Do The Righteous Suffer?
2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
The book of Job deals with a question which has troubled men in all ages: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Why does God allow us to suffer if He really loves us and we are faithful to Him? Job teaches us that human suffering may be caused by many things. Because we suffer does not necessarily mean God is angry with us. It does not necessarily mean we are being punished for our sins.
We do not know who wrote the book of Job. The Jews have always believed it was written by Moses. Some think Job was written by Solomon. We do know it was given to us by the inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16,17). Job probably lived during the Patriarchal Age. He served as the priest for his family which was done during that time (Job 1:5). Since the Law of Moses is not mentioned, this indicates Job lived before the Law was given at Mt. Sinai. The book of Job shows the way of life which was common during the Patriarchal Age.
Job was a real man who actually lived on this earth. Ezekiel mentioned him along with Noah and Daniel (Ezekiel.14:14, 20). James pointed to Job as an example of one enduring suffering with patience (James 5:11). Archaeologists have found in the records of ancient Babylonia the story of a man named Job who suffered greatly.
The Bible tells us three important things about Job.
• First, he was a good family man. Even though he lived in an age when it was common for a man to have many wives, he had only one (Job 2:9). Job had respect for God’s original marriage law which was given in the beginning (Genesis 2:21-24; Matthew 19:3-9). Job had a large family of seven sons and three daughters (Job 1:2).
• Second, Job was a very rich man. The Bible says he was “the greatest of all the people of the East” (Job 1:3). He owned thousands of sheep, camels, donkeys, and oxen. He also had many servants (Job 1:3).
• Third, Job was a very good man. The Bible says that he was “blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1). He rose up early in the morning to offer sacrifices to God on behalf of his children (Job 1:5). God held up Job as a good example to Satan. He asked Satan: “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil” (Job 1:8)?
Satan suggested to God that the only reason Job served Him was because God blessed him. He said that Job would curse God if God took away His blessings. God gave Satan permission to test Job. He only placed one restriction on Satan. He was not allowed to harm Job himself (Job 1:9-12).
Satan tempted Job by taking away all his wealth. Then he sent a storm which killed all of Job’s children at one time. Job did not curse God as Satan had said he would. He worshiped God and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21,22).
God again pointed out Job as a good example to Satan. Satan said: “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has, he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face” (Job 2:4,5). God gave Satan permission to afflict Job’s body, but restricted him from taking Job’s life. This shows us that God is stronger than Satan. He limits Satan’s power (Read 1 Corinthians 10:13).
Satan afflicted Job with sores which covered his entire body. Job had lost his possessions, his children, and now his health was taken away. Job’s wife told him to “Curse God and die” (Job 2:9). Job replied, “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” Job continued to trust in God and refused to blame God for his problems.
Job had three friends. These friends learned of Job’s suffering. They came to see him. Their names were Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. The Bible says they sat in silence for seven days before him. They argued that Job was a very great sinner. They told him God had sent this suffering on him because of his sins. They urged him to repent and confess his sins before God. Job knew this was not true. He knew he was innocent of wrong-doing. He did not know why he was suffering. He knew, however, that it was not because of his sins.