The Character of Job

Posted On February 08, 2017

The book of Job offers an intriguing glimpse into the characters of God, Satan, and man. In his sovereignty, God allowed Satan to test Job, a man who we are told was “blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1). Satan took everything, leaving him in anguish. Job was devastated.

Job longed for death, even wishing he had died at birth. His friends did not offer him help, rather they railed against him, telling him that it was because of his sinfulness that God had punished him. As Job’s friends continued to scold him, he became frustrated and defensive. In his dejection, Job doubted if he would ever see good again. He begged to know the reason why God had inflicted such pain on him. He was despondent, rebuking God and presuming that he knew better than the omniscient One. As Christians, we are not above the same discontentment.

In chapter 29, Job defends himself against the charges of his friends. He speaks of his accomplishments, how men listened to him, how revered he was throughout the land. Then the young Elihu rises up to speak. “He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God. He burned with anger also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong” (32:1–3). Elihu rebukes Job for his self-righteousness. He proclaims the unfathomable majesty of God, how He thunders marvelously with His voice, doing great things which we cannot comprehend. Then God answers Job out of the whirlwind. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (38:4). God continues to question Job, and in the end Job replies with confession and humble repentance, despising himself as his eyes are opened once more to the majesty of God.

The book of Job reminds us that God is sovereign over all things. As we undergo trials, we are called to give all glory, honor, and praise to God and to put away our selfish pride. As Christians, we have a benefit that Job never had. As we face grief and sorrow in life, we look to Christ who suffered betrayal, persecution, and temptation worse than Job, yet without sin. Even more, he paid the penalty for our sin, including our discontentment. When we face trials and temptations, we are called to place our trust in Him.

— Jeanna Will is a Sophomore at Reformation Bible College.