Lessons from the Book of Job
James 5:11 KJV
Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
There are many lessons that we can learn from the various Bible stories that have been given us, some of which we only review superficially. Today, I’d like us to look at a number of lessons that can be found in that epic encounter recorded in the book of Job.
Here are just five of the key lessons that we can take from Job.
The Perfection of Job
The Bible calls Job perfect. More than that, the Bible records God calling Job perfect.
Job 1:1 -- There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
Job 1:8 -- And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
Perfection is not just a state that will be reached when Jesus comes again, but is a state that is achievable only in Christ – only as we allow Him to will and to do of His good pleasure as we go about our daily tasks.
Satan is Watching Us
Not only does God pay attention to all we do, the devil also marks our steps and seeks ways to overthrow and undermine us. And he recognizes God’s protective power.
Job 1:9-11 -- Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not Thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth Thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to Thy face.
Difficulty and Trials Should Not Cause Us to Stumble
Despite the most pressing trials, the Bible records Job’s fidelity to God. We have to be able to trust in God even when things are no longer going well from us from the perspective of human eyes. If God is only our God in good times, then we will not be prepared to overcome in the final conflict.
Job 1:20-22 -- Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
Job 2:9-10 -- Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
Righteousness Is Not Our Own
Righteousness is ours to claim in Jesus, but if we claim it of ourselves, it is merely self-righteousness, and worth nothing. We are always to be clothed with the covering of God. Adam and Eve were first clothed with garments of light made by God, and when they fell, it was He who took away their feeble garments of fig leaves and gave them coats of skin. Now, He offers us robes of righteousness washed in the blood of Jesus. We know we have problems when we’re too big to let God dress us.
Job 9:20-21 -- If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse. Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul: I would despise my life.
Friends Should Be Comforters
We owe it to our friends to comfort them in their distress, and not to add unto their burdens and afflictions. We need to always judge righteous judgment, and not judge by outward appearances.
Job 2:11-13 -- Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him. And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven. So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.
Job 6:25-27 -- How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove? Do ye imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind? Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend.
Job 12:4 -- I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn.
Job 16:2-5 -- I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all. Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest? I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.
– CONCLUSION –
Ultimately, God will take away our reproach. He will vindicate us and save us for His name’s sake. We just have to wait patiently upon the Lord and bear the trials that He has for us. We know not the impact of the lessons which we will be taught through patience.
Job’s understanding of God was greatly improved by his experience, to say nothing of his material benefits. We all need to exhibit the patience of Job, and pray that we get it by regular practice and not the same circumstances that came upon him.