Job was a very rich man who lived in the Far East, many, many years ago. He had 7 sons and 3 daughters. He had a lot of animals, servants, and was rich, famous and very well respected. Yet he was considered a good man who always tried to do the right thing.
One day when the angels came to present themselves to God, Satan, or the devil, the bad angel also came. God was proud of Job doing the right thing and he said so. He referred to Job as a man who was blameless, and upright, who turned away from evil. The devil who is the accuser said, ‘o yes, it’s easy to do the right thing when everything is going well for you. Job has never been tested. Let me take away his wealth and possessions then we will see if his faith is real or just pretend’. So God said, ‘go ahead but his life will be preserved.’
So on a very terrible day for Job, he lost everything. He lost all his sheep, his camels, his oxen and donkeys, servants and even all his children. Job was very sad. He was devastated! But Job did not sin or blame God. But Satan, the accuser still kept accusing Job before God. ‘He’s only holding on to his trust in God because he’s healthy’ Satan said. Let’s see what happens when he’s not feeling so great. So Satan caused Job to have painful, itchy sores all over his body. He was thin and weak. He did not sleep well at night and had bad dreams, night terrors. Job was so sad and sick that his wife said, ‘are you still trying to stay all honest and innocent? You should just curse God and die’! But Job stubbornly remained faithful to God, he kept trusting in God. He said, God has given us everything we’ve ever had, should we turn away from him now that things are not so good?
Job’s three close friends Eliphaz, Zophar and Bildad came to see him. They sat with him quietly for 7 days, then they started blaming him. ‘You must be a bad man for these bad things to be happening to you. You must be hiding your sins. You’d better confess them, because only horrid people have horrid things happen to them.’ They made Job feel much worse but Job kept insisting on his innocence and saying that God was going to hear him and show that he was right. Job told his friends that they were just saying all those horrible untruths because they weren’t walking in his shoes. Job talked about the good things he did, like helping the poor, and never stealing other people’s wives, and always being kind to his servants. Job also said he wanted to be able to speak to God about his good deeds, to prove he was innocent. Job said even now, he still believed he had a friend up there in heaven speaking up for him
“Even now I have one who speaks for me in heaven. The one who is on my side is high above. The one who speaks for me is my friend. While he does this, my eyes pour out tears to God. He begs God on behalf of a man as a man begs for his friend.”
Job 16:19-21 ICB
Then God answered Job out of the storm. God reminded Job that he was the one who made the heavens and the earth. God made the whole universe. He made the snow and kept them in store houses. He made the clouds. He made all the animals like the eagle with its nest high up the mountains, the hawk, the lion and the raven that he provides food for, the fierce crocodile! Job wouldn’t mess with a crocodile, would he question or would he trust the God who had actually made the crocodile?
When God spoke to him from the storm, Job realised that what matters most on this earth is really getting to know God, and walking with God. Circumstances around us or the things we may hold very close to our hearts such as fame or riches or even some relationships reduce in importance or pale into insignificance compared to the greatness of God, how mighty God is. Job said, ‘my ears had heard of you, now my eyes have seen you.’
“In the past I knew only what others had told me, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.”
Job 42:5 GNT
God told Job’s friends off for saying the wrong things about him, and got them to ask Job to pray for them. God gave Job back more than he lost. He had double the animals, riches, servants than he had before. His family including his brothers and sisters and even lost friends returned and even gave him gifts of gold. He even had another 7 sons and 3 beautiful and famous daughters called Jemimah, Keziah, and Keren Happuch. His daughters names described how beautiful they were. He lived another 140years and he saw his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great, great grandchildren.
What Job didn’t know like we do now is that Satan is the accuser but we really do have a defender in heaven who speaks for us. That defender is Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross for us, he took away all our sins. He rose again and is in heaven speaking on our behalf. God loves us and even when we go through very difficult or hard times, we can trust him. When everything falls apart, we can still trust God.
Scripture taken from the International Children’s Bible®. Copyright © 1986, 1988, 1999 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (GNT) are from the Good News Translation in Today’s English Version- Second Edition Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.