THE TRIAL OF JOB
THE TRIAL OF JOB
Re: ABOUT THE MAN JOB
JOB WAS WEALTHY
Job was one of the wealthiest men in the East and may have been the greatest of his time. He had herds of cattle and a retinue of servants, which constituted the wealth of that time. He knew
the benefits of an established civilzation, for he had a fixed residence. He lived in a house in a city, and not in a tent as did Abraham and Jacob.
JOB WAS RESPECTED
Job was great in reputation as well as in possessions. He sat as a chief and dwelt like a king in
the city. Young and old showed him deference. Princes and nobles honoured him. He was the
father to the poor and judge to the oppressed.
JOB WAS RIGHTEOUS
Job was pleasing to God as well as to men. Despite the idolatry all about him, he was faithful in
worshiping the one true God. He offered sacrifices and hated evil. In chapter one he was sommended as a "perfect" man. That perfection indicated completeness of character and uprightness in thought and action. Job's life was not perfect in the sense of holiness, as he himself admitted. His confession of the need of a Redeemer is the climactic utterance of the
3. ABOUT THE TRIAL OF JOB
(Chapter 3 - 37)
Job's loyalty was put to a severe test. God tried him, but Satan tempted him. Each calamity was followed by another. He lost his oxen and his asses, then his sheep, then his camels, and finally
his sons and daughters. The words "while he was yet speaking," repeated three times show the
rapidity and vehemence of Satan's attacks.
Still Job remained true to God. He knew that God had given him all that he possessed and that
it was God's right to take it from him.
But Satan was not satisfied. He requested permission to test Job's integrity byt the affliction of
a loathsome disease. Job became a pitiable object, so repulsive that even his wife and relatives
deserted him. Yet he steadfastly refused to renounce his faith in God. His persistent faith under
trial proved that he did not serve God for wealth, family, or health.
Re: 3. ABOUT THE TRIAL OF JOB
VISIT OF ELIPHAZ, BILDAD AND ZOPHAR (Chapters 3-31)
The most severe trial of all occurred when three friends - Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar - came to sympathize, but stayed to criticize. In reality they voiced the rouble that Job so much feared. They intimated that the religious world would believe that Job was a hypocrite, a secretly wicked
man, because of the overwhelming calamities which had befallen him. Their speeches and Job's
replies occupy a large portion of the book. Their philosophy was poured upon the afflicted man
in three rounds of speeches, to each of which Job replied in self-defense.
Eliphaz represented the man of Science.
He argue from experience and from facts. He satisfied himself that Job was undoubtedly a secret
Bildad's arguments were based on tradition.
His address was shorter and his language was rougher than that of Eliphaz.
Zophar was a moralist.
He believed in salvation by self-merit and endeavoured to prove that Job's calamities were the
result of his sins of ommission.
In the second and third round of speeches the philosophers were more vehement in their assertions of Job's guilt and less considerate of his pitiable condition. In fact, the more they
argued, the less they accomplished.
Job spoke of them as "miserable comforters," who had little comprehension of his sufferings. Then he left them and turned to God, pouring out his soul in lamentation and maintaining his innocence of their insinuations.
Re: 3. ABOUT THE TRIAL OF JOB
ADDRESS OF ELIHU (Chapters 32-37)
While the addresses of Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar were in progress, there was an attentative
listener, whose youth and inexperience did not permit him to join in the debate. Young as he was, Elihu discovered that wisdom is not necessarily the possession of seniors and scholars.
When Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar could not convince Job that his suffering was the result of sin,
Elihu came forward and presented a new argument.
He condemned the three friends because they unjustly accused Job of hypocrisy, and Job because he charged God with injustice. He admonished all of them to witness God's greatness
in creation and His goodness in revelation.
Elihu was the "daysman" who Job desired, for Elihu argued that affliction could have educative
value, and that God had ultimate good in store for the sufferer. He pointed out that there was
no moral difference between Job and his three accusers - that all were sinners and alike need
a Saviour. He thus disclosed the foundation doctrines of the New Testament.
4. ABOUT GODS REVEALING TO JOB
ADMONITION OF GOD (Chapters 38 - 41)
Job had complained that God kept silent and would not attend to his lamentations, but after the
address of Elihu, the answer came.
In these chapters, one of the most sublime portions of Scripture, God addresses Job, and His
theme is Himself.
Elihu had present the wisdom and the power of God, now God reveals Himself.
It is notable that Jehovah gives no explanation of Job's sufferings, renders no decision on the
subject in debate, and offers no hint of compensation to His servant for what he had endured.
He showed that His dealing with Job was beyond criticism.
5. ABOUT THE RESTORATION OF JOB
As a result of this manifestation of God, Job abhorred himself. He was then directed to offer
prayer for his three friends, and in doing so was vindicated in their eyes. Thus Job, like Noah
and Daniel, became a great intercessor.
Not only was he vindicated, but he lived long enough to see children and granchildren, to
double his former fortune, and to regain his prior prestige and prosperity.