12:00 AM on Friday, Apr 19th, 2013

Job was a righteous man who feared God. He was a contemporary of Abraham. He was a very rich man who possessed a great deal of cattle and other animals and who had many servants. He had a large household, which included seven sons and three daughters. He was the greatest of all people of the east at that time.

Job's children frequently had feasts at each other's homes. After their feasts, Job would offer sacrifices for them. Job was concerned that his children had cursed God in their hearts.

During this time God was having a meeting with the sons of God who are angels in heaven. Satan, who is the accuser of the brethren, came among them. It was here that Satan challenged God to see if Job was as good as God had said. Satan said if you took down the walls of protection around him and his property, he would turn against God and curse him. (Job 1:13-2:9) God allowed Satan to take everything that belonged to Job but his life, and Satan did just that. But Job did not know the words that were exchanged between God and Satan. He was unaware of the limits God had given Satan on the trials Job was to endure.

  1. What happened to Job's sons and daughters?
  2. What happened to the oxen and the donkeys?
  3. What happened to the sheep and servants?
  4. What happened to the camels?
  5. How did Satan want Job to react?
  6. What restrictions did God put on Satan?
  7. What condition was Job in?
  8. How did Job react to all this?
  9. Did he sin against God?

Job and His Three Friends

Job's three friends heard of all these troubles and went to comfort him. They stayed with him seven days and seven nights in silence for they saw how great his suffering was. When Job finally spoke, he cursed the day he was born but did not curse God. He desired to have God tell him why this disaster came upon him. But God would respond in his own time. His friends were no help. They figured Job must have sinned because they knew that sin was always eventually punished. They demanded that Job confess what sin he was guilty of. Even Job's wife turned against him in his troubles and said, curse God and die. She was more concerned with all that she had lost than in her own husband's pain. Her response shows that she did not share the same faith in God as her husband. Job declared his innocence to all their false charges. He demanded an audience with the Lord. Later, the Lord answered by asking Job many hard questions causing Job to see how unworthy he was in God's eyes.

"I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes." Job 42:5-6

  1. What was the reaction of Job's friends when they saw him?
  2. How long did his friends Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar comfort Job in silence?

When the testing and trials were over the Lord exonerated Job. After the Lord spoke to Job, he told Eliphaz, that he and Bildad and Zophar had not spoken of him what is right as his servant Job had. He told Eliphaz to "take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you." (Job 42:8) The Lord accepted Job's prayer.

And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Job 42:5-6

The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than the times before his great suffering. He had twice as many sheep, camels, oxen and donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. The daughters' names were Jemimah, Keziah and Keren-Happuch. In all the land there where no women as beautiful as his daughters. They received an inheritance along with their brothers. This was not a common practice during that time of history. Usually, only the sons shared the family wealth. After this, Job lived one hundred forty years, and saw his children, and his children's children, up to the fourth generation.

Job came to not just know about God but to really know God deeply. He became a more humble and compassionate man because of the trials he went through. The most important meaning of Job's story is not about the unbearable trials he endured, but that Job remained faithful through it all. He learned humility and to depend on God even through all hard times. He remained faithful and showed us that we can love God unconditionally. God used Job as an example to all mankind and shows us how God allows trials and tests to come upon his children to drive us closer to him.

Person Leaning on Tree Questions and Things to Think About

Suffering and hardship comes to all people even those who love the Lord. Nothing comes into a believer's life that has not gone through God's hands. Remember that God is involved in every trial that we may experience. He set the limits on how much we are to suffer. Those limits have been imposed upon Satan also. God is the one in the driver's seat not the other way around! He will never give a believer more than he or she can handle without his help. God has his reasons for allowing whatever it is to happen in our lives even though sometimes it is beyond our own understanding. We should be praying to God for wisdom. If we do, he will give it to us. God wants us to grow in faith. We must go through trials and tribulations to help build a stronger relationship between God and us.

  1. Have you ever experienced hard trials? What were they?
  2. How did you go through the trial? (A trial can be for a short time or an extended period of time?
  3. What was the end result of the trial?
  4. Did you depend on God during this period of time or did you turn your back on God?

In times of trouble, you need to be extra close to God. You need to stay close to God even during the good times so that you will lean on him to prepare you for when times are bad.

  1. During your times of trouble, did your family and/or friends stick with you or turn their back on you?
  2. Did your Christian brothers and sisters turn against you? How did that feel?
  3. After the trial was over, did the Lord exonerate you before those who turned their back on you?
  4. Was your trial a result of unfortunate happenings that was the result of satanic interference or was the trial the result of your own stupidity?

If God Brings You To It, He'll Bring You Through It What did you learn from the experience?

Remember, life is a schoolhouse to prepare us for our eternal destination. We can either go God's way or the way of the world, which is Satan's way. Our trials can overcome us or make us stronger. What will you choose?

May the Lord be so close to you that you have the freedom to talk to him at anytime about anything that is troubling you. He will listen to you and comfort and encourage you to stay close to him. He will guide you in all your ways. Lean not to our own understanding, but lean unto him. He will direct your path.

Navigating through the Bible on your own can be overwhelming at first and possibly confusing. We are here to guide you in this amazing journey. Feel free to share your answers to the above questions or your enlightened thoughts on our journey together in the comments area below.

Dr. Shirley J. Vaughn, D. MIN.

Psalm 23
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; 3 he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name's sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff– they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long.