Job Bible Story Summary with Lesson

by Jack Wellman · 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!


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.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Philip November 26, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Hello Mr. Wellman and to all. I really have enjoyed what I have read. I have had some Job experiences and truly we must all continue to keep the faith and know that God will work everything out. There is nothing absolutely nothing that God cannot work out. I would like to mention however verse 10 which says “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has?” This is the conversation between God and Satan. God places a hedge of protection around each of us and when sin steps into our lives the hedge is broken. Sometimes we have nothing to do with why we suffer but others do who are close to us like friends and families. I believe this was linked to Job’s suffering because hey, just as any of you out there know your children and what they will and will not do , Job knew his According to verses 4-5 Job’s children feasted and there is no telling what type of people were at the party because if you do the research you would find that Uz was a land with many other religions besides the one with the one true God in which we believe in. Job later said, “It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually. said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.”
(vs 5) The very next verse entails Satan getting before God to tempt Job. Truly we need to continually seek God daily but why was their emphasis placed on the reasoning which was the sin of Job’s sons and they actually cursing God. When God mentioned the word hedge in Isaiah 5:5-6 this was about his protection being over the entire nation but he removed his protection and they began to have problems. Truly there were some who continued to live right but they may have been close to those who were responsible for the hedge being broken. I do not personally know any of you out there but I believe that your suffering may have been linked to the hedge of God’s protection around your life. Ha Ha but check this out! Just as Isaiah 58:12 says “thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in”, you all out there with testimonies have already taken the first step. Job was a repairer of the breech. Look at the patient he had and how God blessed him in the end. You will too if you continue in the faith, to trust God and pray. I hope this is not too long but this was to encourage someone who is having trials and tribulations that your weeping will endure for a night but thank God He will bring you joy in the morning. (Psalm 30:5) What A Mighty God We Serve!!!!!! “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” (Job 13:15) WHAT A MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Jack Wellman November 26, 2015 at 6:46 pm

This is such a powerful testimony my friend. Thank you for sharing this. I am sure it will help many….


jamds lorenzo December 11, 2015 at 11:35 pm

Glory to God. i was amaze to the story of job. God will never leave us. amen


selina Tawai January 13, 2016 at 3:58 am

Let us be patient, GOD is on our side the way HE did to job.Us human being we can’t believe but it happenend.And am sure one day, it will happen to me only if i trust in HIM alone.Amen


Jimmy January 21, 2016 at 7:58 pm

Thankyou very much. I really needed that and God BLESS.


Vicky lindsay February 3, 2016 at 11:30 pm

I find it interesting how Job defended himself before his friends, pretty much considering himself righteous. But then it said Job saw God, and abhorred himself, and repented, and then everything turned around for him.

And Isaiah, after He saw the Lord, said he was a man of unclean lips and dwelled among unclean people. And he was undone.
When Peter realized he was seeing Jesus said oh Lord I’m a sinful man. Depart from me.

No justifying of themselves at all.

Even Jesus when one came after Him saying good master, Jesus said there is none good but God.

Truly within us dwells no good thing.
Let us take up our cross, not seeking just to be empty vessels, but to die, so we no longer live but Christ lives in us.


Lucy Fensom February 4, 2016 at 3:38 am

Very beautifully written. Thank you… And yes the story of Job is helping us to understand what again is doing in our lives right now. God bless.


Bintu Sillah February 9, 2016 at 9:17 am

Thank you so much, our God will surely see us through.


Oladimeji Victor February 10, 2016 at 7:27 pm

This is great, wonderful and helping. Its a spiritual medicine for me. Thank you for taking your time to explain this book. It will help me a lot. Am happy infact am really happy.


AE February 19, 2016 at 10:24 pm

My Friends I desperately need your help. I have had my share of trials and tribulations for the last 3-4 years. I liquidated all of my investments to chase a dream of starting a new business. One year into building it I was diagnosed with cancer. For the next 6 months I would go through my treatments. I was very Blessed that God helped me to identify the disease before it spread and also that the treatments worked. I thank God that I have been cleared for almost two years now. In the interim my business has failed. I had no inventory, money to purchase any more inventory, and am still trying to regain my strength. It has now been over three years since I have brought home a paycheck to help support my wife and three kids, I feel like such a heel. I decided to look for a new job, I am studying for my licenses to be a Financial Advisor. Throughout all of this I have been trying to maintain a good relationship with God and trying to understand, the “Why” and “What”. I attend church every weekend with my family, I believe I live a good Christian life. I am very thankful for my Blessing of a beautiful and supportive family and try not to take anything I have for granted. However, in the last five years I have developed PTSD from my military career so I am very moody and depressed. I lost my grandmother and my father a couple of months apart. I am trying to help take care of my mother. I have lost all my savings, self esteem and confidence I ever had. I just feel I can not catch a break. I spent the last couple of days crying looking for my relief. It just seems like the more I pray, the worse things get. Whatever, I pray for I usually get the opposite in return. I am trying to keep the faith but it has been very difficult. I need to pass my certification exams so I can hopefully start making money and I cant even concentrate and it is just taking for ever. Please help me to understand!!!!!


Robert Winkler Burke February 25, 2016 at 10:56 pm

Fighting Leviathan, With a Wooden Sword!
By Robert Winkler Burke
Book #8 of In That Day Teaching
“The book of Job is not only one of the most remarkable in the Bible, but in literature. As was said of Goliath’s sword, ‘There is none like it,’ none in ancient or in modern literature.” – Kitto. “A book which will one day, perhaps, be seen towering up alone far above all the poetry of the world.” – J. A. Froude. Nelson’s comments say that the true identity of who wrote Job has remained throughout time: a mystery.

I must not hurt Leviathan,
As it swoops down on me!
Dragon’s flame kills and maims,
I’ll soon be history!

Woe is me! Woe is me!
I have only a wooden sword!
From the cross, from the cross,
Of Jesus, my victorious Lord!

I must not hurt Leviathan,
Its skin is tough and brittle!
His pride is ridiculous big,
And I am less than little!

We fight for hours,
Oh, we fight for days on end!
Then, when it’s over,
The beast gets up again!

My wooden sword damages it not,
I’m like a grasshopper against a giant!
Then it lays down and coughs up its heart,
Upon its tongue, now on me: reliant!

Leviathan now relies on me,
To treat its heart with care!
No longer enemies, but fast friends,
I approach on God’s dare!

Woe is me! Woe is me!
I have only a wooden sword!
From the cross, from the cross,
Of Jesus, my victorious Lord!

With my puny wooden sword,
I walk into the danger zone of teeth and head,
To the heart now on the tongue,
I gently touch with sword, and out come drops of red.

From the sword come good drops,
Of God’s wisdom sacrifice,
Then Beast wakes up amazed,
Swallows heart and renews its vice!

Cruelly taking advantage of my nearness,
Leviathan scorches me in full-blown rage!
I fight him off again with wooden sword,
Behold! Now Beast weakens! says my Page.

For my Page knows what’s going on,
Not long ago, he was a bad Leviathan!
And he and I fought for years! In fact,
His dual was an unforgettable marathon!

But after thousands of drops from God’s cross,
My Page was, of beast, set free!
Now he’s learning to be God’s Man-of-War,
Who fights evil, just like me!

Woe is me! Woe is me!
I have only a wooden sword!
From the cross, from the cross,
Of Jesus, my victorious Lord!

After days and months and years,
My Page and I have succeeded!
Leviathan whom we fought,
Is full humble now: defeated!

My Page has become a Swordsman,
The Leviathan, his Page,
I have left off sword for pen,
That you understand this age!

So then, pride of religion and its rigidness,
Is killing man!
Just as, humility and flexibility,
Kills Leviathan!

Job learned this In That Day,
Of his: long ago!
Now we must all learn the same!
You do not know?

Holy flexibility,
Is where Christ-in-You is at!
You’ll remember the fight,
When the rigid lose all that!

You’ll remember the fight,
When, as rigid Leviathan, you with great enmity: hated your betters!
Who took your blows nobly,
And with kind, wooden, bloody swords, they removed blind fetters.

How you’ll hate that forgiving blood of Jesus,
Applied drops at a time on your stony heart!
Until you see it is not the end,
But the Christ-in-You: Page-Warrior start!

You’ll then, rigid ones, be on the,
Other side of the sword!
You’ll say, as Job did, I repent!
In dust and ashes, Lord!

And if you were particularly mean,
And hurtful to your Warrior-Savior,
God will give you a willow-wimpy sword,
To fight Leviathan, your neighbor!

Woe is me! Woe is me!
I have only a wooden sword!
From the cross, from the cross,
Of Jesus, my victorious Lord!

You might say,
Well, it serves me just about right!
Rip me up,
Leviathan! It’s time to fight!

I shall not return evil for evil,
From proud, religiously-rigid man,
He may hurt me, but me never: him,
He’ll get what I have in me: I AM!

The great I AM,
Wants to live in us all!
In That Day it’s,
A strange work: yet not small!

It’s a BIG thing,
When Leviathan pride dies!
And Christ-in-You,
Trumpets: loud victory cries!

Yet and even so,
Your pride in all this will be choked by your own reins,
By the smallish sword,
You’ll be given, to do the large work that remains!

Woe is me! Woe is me!
I have only a wooden sword!
From the cross, from the cross,
Of Jesus, my victorious Lord!

You might ask me, where did I learn all this?
That it’s a pride-fight and that Leviathan isn’t a dinosaur true!
I learned it by reading the Book of Job,
From the Warrior-Prophet, not a Page, whose name is Elihu!

This great, but young, Warrior-Prophet,
Had heard so much talk of pride,
Elihu wrote all of Job’s book,
Yet pride in his work: he did hide!

He hid his authorship,
And prophetic voice with Job,
That following Workmen,
Would put this in their brain’s globe…

Religious-Pride is Leviathan,
Leviathan is Religious-Pride!
I write this, as your proud author,
Oops! That beast is hard to hide!

Where is my bent, old wooden sword?
God, I lay my heart upon my tongue!
Knowledge puffeth up in me: pride,
Touch me with the blood of God’s Son!

Woe is me! Woe is me!
I have only a wooden sword!
From the cross, from the cross,
Of Jesus, my victorious Lord!


Mr. O April 18, 2016 at 3:05 pm

My heart goes out to you Sir. Just like Job, you find yourself in situations you can’t explain. Please hold on and don’t give up. Find inner strength and comfort through the Word and Worship. I’m convinced that suddenly the Lord will lift you way above your previous prosperity and above your peers, just like Job, if you don’t give up. The delayed harvest in your life will one day come to full maturity. Nurture your faithful seeds.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” Galatians 6:9


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