Job Bible Story Summary with Lesson

by Jack Wellman on December 31, 2011 · Print Print · Email Email

Just about everyone has heard of the suffering of Job in the Old Testament. You might have heard someone say, “They have the patience of Job.”  There is good reason for that saying.  According to biblical scholars, the Book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible.  If you were to fit it chronologically, it should be place in the early chapters of Genesis.  What can we learn from the Book of Job?  Is there application for the believer’s life today?  Was sin involved in Job’s suffering?  Is there sin in all suffering?  Why does God allow suffering?

The Accuser

All was going well with Job.  He had it all: A large family, wealth, and blessings of every kind imaginable.  At that time, Job may have been the richest man on the face of the earth.  Job 1:2-3 describes his wealth as “He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.”  Clearly, Job had it all.  This must have bothered Satan because he came to God.   What did God say to Satan about Job?  God bragged on Job in 1:8, saying, “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.”   Can you imagine the God of the Universe bragging on Job from heaven?  Might He also brag about you and your righteousness found in Jesus Christ?  It is entirely possible however Satan was not convinced and said to God, “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.  But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face” (Job 1:9-11).

Satan’s name means “adversary” and he has been called the “accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:10). God sets out to prove to Satan that Job is not righteous just because he is being blessed.  God challenges the Devil telling him, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger” (Job 1:12).  Job lost just about everything; his sheep, his oxen, his camels, his servants, and all of his sons and daughters – but remarkably he did not lose his faith in God. What was Job’s response?  “Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he 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.  In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong” (Job 1:20-22).

Here we can plainly see Job’s reaction:  he worshiped God, he said that he came into this world with nothing and will return with nothing, the Lord has taken away all he had except his wife – and his wife told him to “curse God and die” – and Job also blessed the name of the Lord.  In all of this, “Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong!”   He blessed God’s name, he worshiped God, and he did not sin.  Satan must have been angry at Job’s response.  Job suffered unjustly and yet he did not blame God or say, “why me?”

Job Bible StoryFair Weather Friends

Job’s friends tried to console him but they soon started to blame him for his own troubles inferring that he must have sinned in order for all these trials to come upon him.  That is something that is far too easy for believers to do.  When they see a Christian suffer, they unfairly assume that there must be sin in that believer’s life.  But suffering is not always a result of sin as we see with Job.  In many cases, those who are sinners suffer little while those who are saints suffer much.  Many people see this as a stumbling block for Christianity and ask why God allows suffering.  Instead of asking “why” they might be better off asking “what”.  What is God up to?  What is He trying to produce in us?  Like the refiners fire, God often uses suffering to produce righteous character in believers.  Sometimes He wants those who suffer to be more dependent upon Him.  It may be that He is trying to get our attention.  We might even be sinning; however we can not always equate suffering with sin in a believer’s life as we see with Job’s experience.

At first Job’s friends try to help Job but they quickly turn to accusing him of some sort of hidden or known sin.  Job knows that this is not the reason and tries to justify himself against their accusations.  But his justification quickly turns to self-righteousness and that is sin before God.  Job’s friends say, “Is not your wickedness great? Are not your sins endless? You demanded security from your brothers for no reason; you stripped men of their clothing, leaving them naked.  You gave no water to the weary and you withheld food from the hungry, though you were a powerful man, owning land– an honored man, living on it. And you sent widows away empty-handed and broke the strength of the fatherless. That is why snares are all around you, why sudden peril terrifies you” (Job 22:5-10). This brings God’s righteous indignation upon Job’s friends (Job 42:7-17).

God Answers Job

Job is not guiltless as no man is without sin (1 John 1:8, Romans 3:23).  Job becomes discouraged, partly because of the blame game played by his friends.  Job begins to question God Himself and this is when God answers Job out of the whirlwind (tornado?), He says, “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding” (Job 38:2-4).  God puts Job in his place and in effect tells Job, who are you to question the God of the Universe?  God never does answer Job’s question on why He allows suffering.  God, in His sovereignty, chooses not to tell us everything.  That is God’s prerogative.  Also notice that God spoke to Job out of the “whirlwind” which is the terminology for a tornado or great and destructive windstorm.  This could indicate that God is in all things going on this world.  He is sovereign and nothing happens that is not within His perfect will.  This things include natural disasters and calamities.  God is never caught off guard or by surprise.

Someday in eternity, God will likely make it clear why Christians suffer – why something terrible was allowed to happen or why their child was allowed to die.  It is as God once said in Isaiah 45:9, “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’?”  We can not question God’s motives.  His ways are beyond human comprehension but clearly He does have a purpose in suffering.  As God tells Isaiah, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah. 55:9).  He sometimes chooses not to reveal this to believers – at least in this life.

God Restores Job

If Job had known that God would have restored to him more than he had in the first place, would he have questioned Him at all?  God rewards Job for his faithfulness and his endurance through such suffering.  This story has an incredible ending.

Job 42:10-17  “After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his prosperity and doubled his [previous] possessions. All his brothers, sisters, and former acquaintances came to his house and dined with him in his house. They offered him sympathy and comfort concerning all the adversity the LORD had brought on him. Each one gave him a qesitah and a gold earring. So the LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the earlier. He owned 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys.  He also had seven sons and three daughters.  He named his first [daughter] Jemimah, his second Keziah, and his third Keren-happuch. No women as beautiful as Job’s daughters could be found in all the land, and their father granted them an inheritance with their brothers. Job lived 140 years after this and saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. Then Job died, old and full of days.”

So Job ended up much better off than he was in the beginning.  He had considerably more than when he began his suffering and even though God did not answer Job why he was allowed to suffer so terribly, in the end Job had more blessings than any man or the face of the earth at that time.  The application for Christians today is that God will bless those who endure to the end and that someday, God will reward us with unbelievable blessings that can not compare with what we have today (Rom 8:18, 28).  We will all suffer in this life.  It is appointed to mankind to suffer. It is a fallen world.  We may not know the “why” today but some day we probably will.  Instead of asking “why”, we should ask “what”.  What is God up to?  What is God trying to do in me?  The “why” will have to wait for someday in eternity.  Until then, we can not fully grasp the purpose of God but we know that He will not allow us to suffer into eternity.  One thing that is important is that Satan could not lay a finger on Job, nor can he us.  God will not allow this (Job 1:12. I John 4:4).

For those who reject God today, they may have suffering in this life and in the after-life.  For those who believe in Him today and trust in the Son of God, their suffering will be over someday.  They will have eternal joy and fellowship with God.  My prayer for you is that you can inherit this eternal joy where there will be no more sorrow, no more pain, no more suffering, and no more death.   Let the Word of God tell us what is in store for the children of God someday in Revelation 21:4, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Was the story of Job personal to your life today? Share with us in the comments!

Resources

New International Bible (NIV)
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Photo Credit: www.photoforsouls.com



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{ 115 comments… read them below or add one }

Paulette July 23, 2013 at 5:30 pm

I love reading the story of Job. I am facing some challenges in my health, employment, finances and relationship with my children. This reminds me to keep my eyes focused on God and to be faithful to God. Thank you so much.

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Jack Wellman July 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Thank you Paulette for your kinds words. I remember that plants grow fastest and strongest during times of storms and I can see the same principle with us…being refined as gold in the fires of life.

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marie July 27, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I am going through hard time right now. I must confess that I was asking the why’s and the what questions???? I lost my job, then I lost my home in foreclosure and then my boyfriend told me he wants out of the relationship. It couldn’t have come at a worst time. I feel alone….but I still have hope in Jesus. Going through the fire is not easy…not easy…..my tears are blinding me and my heart aches…but I just cannot let go of God. Lord please forgive me for questioning you………..I will continue to follow you where I cannot trace you…..

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Jack Wellman July 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Wow Marie. What a powerful testimony to your faithfulness and trust in God that is rare these days. I am so thankful to God that you have given us all hope and encouragement amidst your severe trials. I look forward to meeting you someday in the Kingdom and wish I had such women of faith like you in the church I am under-shepherd of.

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Dereck July 27, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Hi Marie,

I want to just encourage you to not give-up and to keep God first in your life. I have always believed in God, but, I was not always living as I should, I lived for me.

In 1996, I was diagnosed with MS. I was in the prime of my life, I had a great job and thought that things were going great, but, because of my issue I could only do 10 years on that job and then I had to take a disability which I am currently on.

But, I was still putting myself first and not yielding to the awesome power of Jesus Christ.

Now, I have re-dedicated my life to Him. I try to study the word everyday. I do a Bible study Monday through Thursday, and just try read the word everyday.

I hope that God will move and heal me soon, but until then, I just want Him to strengthen my faith.

So please, just hang in there.

If your man is not willing to be there during your bad times, then I submit that you did not need him anyway, you will find a better job, I just know it!!!!!! Just keep the father first!

Peace and Love

Dereck

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Jack Wellman July 27, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Dereck my brother, you are such a beloved treasure and brother in Christ to me and now to Marie. I thank God for you and for Marie’s testimony and you both are two saints of God that I so look forward to meeting someday in the Kingdom.

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marie July 27, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Thank you Jack……..my head aches….my heart aches….my soul cries out…….but I hear only silence……. though the devil slay me, yet will I follow the Lord. He is my only hope…nothing else can compare…..I will be moving tomorrow…my furniture will be in storage…as I sit her looking at the pack boxes…..I wonder what’s next……what’s next….. the load is heavy…..very heavy…but in the midst of it all I haven’t lost my mind…praise God, praise God!

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Jack Wellman July 27, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Again, your faith is strong Marie. I will personally pray for you my friend. I am so sorry. As I have said before, did you know that plants grow fastest and strongest during times of storms and I can see the same principle with us…being refined as gold in the fires of life.

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marie July 27, 2013 at 5:16 pm

To Dereck and Jack,
As I read your notes, tears swelled up in my eyes. I pray that I will meet you both in God’s kingdom one day. Thanks for the encouragement in the midst of my darkness.

Blessings…

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Rob Wright July 30, 2013 at 7:49 am

Got out of bed this morning, (after a night filled with dreams of hopelessness, confusion, and separation from god) thinking how is it that I can go from felling like the favor of god is on my life to feeling like I am far from god. I began to read this article and gained an understanding that no matter what I experience or see, God works through it all. I also realize that no matter the situation in my life I must believe that he has my best interest in mind Thank you for this post. Rob Wright

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Jack Wellman July 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Thank you Mr. Wright….I believe that Job shows that all suffering is NOT a judgment of God and that we are going thru trials, every Christian in fact does, to make us more like Christ and to purify us in fire like gold is. I thank you sir for your encouraging comment.

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Wendy August 5, 2013 at 10:04 pm

The story of Job is powerful, especially in these times of trial and tribulations. We are in the midst of a foreclosure and have done everything in our power to prevent this. We are putting one foot in front of the other and walking by faith. We are not afraid, but ask for continued strength during these turbulent times. We are putting our trust in God and giving him the praise…Thank you for allowing me to post here..God bless you!

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Wangui August 6, 2013 at 7:52 am

The story of job always encourages me…..this I feel has been the worst year of my life, broken relationship, financial hardships and death in the family. All this time I have been asking “why me” but today more than ever I believe without a doubt that God only has good plans for me and I should continue in this life knowing that he is never surprised but he sees it all before it happens. I will sing your praises everyday of my life Lord

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Jack Wellman August 6, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Thank you Wangui for your encouraging comment. I love what Job said…”Even though He sleigh (kill) me, yet will I praise Him.” Now that is strong faith and I perceive your faith is strong too Wangui.

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Kevin August 10, 2013 at 2:45 am

The book of Job is incredibly powerful. As a believer I’ve always struggled w/ how it was possible for satan to go before God, why was he allowed to join the other Angels? God knew he’d been going about the earth b/c he’d been banished, but why does God allow him to come before Him w/ all the other Angels?

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Jack Wellman August 10, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Hello Kevin. Thanks for your question. God gives the Devil freewill and even his name is that he is the accuser of the brethren. Someday the Devil will be cast into the lake of fire and be bound there for eternity. God also sees the Enemies accusations as useless if a person has put their trust in Christ because then God sees us as having Jesus’ righteousness (2 Cor 5:21) after we confess our sins (1 John 1:9). For now, the Devil has access to accuse us but this will not be for long. As for why God allows this, only God can answer that. He is sovereign and He alone knows why completely.

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Andro P. Lucich August 11, 2013 at 1:45 pm

In 2006 my Wife passed away due to leukemia. Unable to sell my home during the housing crisis between 2007-2009. I was forced to submit my home to a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure. I lost my equity and unable to pay my creditors.
I move to Reno, NV to join my Son at age 72. I now live in affordable housing, and on food stamps. I live on Social Security income only. I lost my car and my independence. I could not find work after a three year search. I am unable to attend my church due to lack of transportation. My health is excellent and I walk 7 days a week saying the Rosary. My Faith in the Lord has never been stronger. After six years I also ask why?

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Jack Wellman August 11, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Hello Mr. Lucich. I know this must be difficult but I do know that someday we will have answers and as we are before the Lord Himself, it will all make sense and I await that day too.

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ben patrick August 12, 2013 at 8:10 am

first, i want to bring us back to the memory of Israelite.in (deuteronomy 8:2) and thou shall remember all the way which the lord thy God led thee these 40yrs in wilderness,to humble thee,and to prove thee,and to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandment or no. NOTE; it’s not that God did not know a short-cut whereby he can lead them,but he decided to lead them through the wilderness. Inoder to know what was in them, to know if they will follow him or not. To prepare them for where they are going. Remember if you have not go hungry b4, and God continue to bless you; if someone could come to you and complain of hungry, you will not understand. But because you have experience that b4, even with the look of that person you will know, because you are one’s a victim. Any problem you are passing through is a wilderness, it’s also an exam, there are lesson you need to learn. Pray that God should give you the grace to know why you are passing through that, and show you a way out. Job learn his own; confessing that God’s power is unlimited, meaning; he can do all things. And God rescue him. And you have to be wise, because, temptation will surely come; and the more you pass, the higher you will go. God bless you, Benjamin.

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Kit August 24, 2013 at 11:07 am

Reading in Job today, struggling to understand, came to this page. Maria and others in foreclosure episodes, Fear not, cling to your Savior, try to walk as He did when faced with anxiety, terror, pain, call upon his Holy Spirit, to fill in those gaping holes when u just cant bear to breathe another breathe,. He is always beside u to assist. I too have lived thru darkness, fire distroyed home, death of close family, a bunch of icky stuff. Its hurts. We are made strong to help others. Lead the way for them to ask why we care…so we can answer and share the reason of our faith. Please rejoice u have been chosen to be a “Marine” for God. These trials are our boot camp. God bless you all.

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Benjamin September 17, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Hello my story I was blessed with a wealth of money, beautiful girlfriend a wonderful baby daughter, all of my town loved me I was the talk of the town I could bless my family I could bless anyone.. I got ran over by a car almost died lost my friends lost my gf lost the baby girl and I lost my job, right now I’m still single, I’m in thousands of dollars of debt, I have no job, no friends and i I’ve in my moms house and I’m struggling with my wounds from war so yah I feel jobs pain 100% but I know God and Jesus you guys got my back. As in a visit I had an being came to me and said I have the protection from the angel of light I’m staying faithful

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Jack Wellman September 18, 2013 at 11:31 am

May God richly bless your faithfulness Benjamin. Your situation reminds me of Job’s himself as saying “Even though He slay me, yet will I praise Him.” Wow…I love the strength of your faith brother. Well done though good and faithful servant Jesus will say to you someday~!

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Herma November 9, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Thanks for declaring the profound truth of God’s words. Indeed to experience suffering is not joyous but when we know the Sovereign God and what He has promised and how He operates we are comforted in having Him carry out His perfect will in our lives. thank You.

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Jack Wellman November 9, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Thank you so much Herma for your very kind words. It is hard to see with the eyes of faith and not with the eyes of the body so trusting God is everything. I appreciate your kind words.

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Donald December 7, 2013 at 7:24 pm

I want to apologize to you LORD, I have been feeling sorry for myself, I know you are right here with me, I am suffering in health, finances, family, I believe the Holy Spirit lead me to read the story of Job tonight, and GOD I thank you, please forgive me, I have sinned, I know very much now to go forward, and just praise you, and thank you and walk in and by faith. Thank you LORD. Donald.

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Patty February 10, 2014 at 10:58 am

I am studying Job right now which led me to this site. Reading all these comments has been so encouraging. It’s like having a bible study at home with others there with you. After 36 years being married to my highsschool sweetheart he left me for another woman. I lost my home because I could not afford it being on disability from a car accident. I hadto move in with my son and his family where I am still at today. Now our family is going through a very tough trial that I cannot speak of but I will say that it has us clinging to God for mercy and His help. I don’t know what my Lord has in store for me but I am trusting in Him. I go back to court soon for spousal support reasons and I am so fearful that it will getllowered. I can hardly make ends meet as it is. I do know that God has promised to take care of me and He is purifying me to get me ready for His kingdom. I believe He is testing me to see how real my faith actually is. Thank you everyone for the uplifting comments. God is in control!

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Patty February 10, 2014 at 11:01 am

I am studying Job right now which led me to this site. Reading all these comments has been so encouraging. It’s like having a bible study at home with others there with you. After 36 years being married to my highsschool sweetheart he left me for another woman. I lost my home because I could not afford it being on disability from a car accident. I had to move in with my son and his family where I am still at today. Now our family is going through a very tough trial that I cannot speak of but I will say that it has us clinging to God for mercy and His help. I don’t know what my Lord has in store for me but I am trusting in Him. I go back to court soon for spousal support reasons and I am so fearful that it will getllowered. I can hardly make ends meet as it is. I do know that God has promised to take care of me and He is purifying me to get me ready for His kingdom. I believe He is testing me to see how real my faith actually is. Thank you everyone for the uplifting comments. God is in control!

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Sister Stovall March 11, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Greetings in the name of Jesús, I can relate to Job. I was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer in 2007, which the doctors gave me 6months to live. I received one dose of chemo, which I told God I believed He could heal me. The chemo almost killed me, I began to feel worse, so I didn’t take no more treatments. I promise the Lord that I would not take another dose. Remind you its been 6years, and I’m still here, I know God have work for me to do on this earth. I’m married to a pastor of 5 years and this is our second year in ministry. I give God all the glory, and all I’ve been through not once did I stop believing in Jesús Christ. To each of you stay encourage, because the Lord have a plan for you and He is going to bless us like He did Job.

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Jelly April 11, 2014 at 9:31 pm

I BELIEVED THAT GOD WILL HELP US, NO MATTER WHAT HAPPEN TO US, IN EVERY TRIALS AND CHALLENGES THAT WE ENCOUNTER THIS DAYS, HE ALWAYS THERE IN OUR SIDE, SO LETS PRAISE WITH HIM, ESPECIALLY IN THE DAY OF REST, THE SABBATH DAY…..

HAPPY SABBATH, AND KEEP OUR FAITH ON HIM…..

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