“There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.” (Job 1:1)
Who are some of your biblical heroes? They may be found in the Old Testament or the New Testament. They are those who have made a profound impact upon your life and testimony for Jesus Christ. One of my heroes is Job.
We should recognize that the Book of Job is not an autobiography. Several authors have been suggested. These include Moses, Solomon along with other Old Testament characters including Elihu, Isaiah, Hezekiah, Jeremiah and Ezra.
The historical setting of the book takes place in the patriarchal period. Job refers to Adam (31:33) and the Noahic Flood (12:15). This gives us a likely historical context for the life of Job occurring after the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) but prior to the life and odyssey of Abraham (Genesis 11:27).
The Bible sets forth Job as a real person, and not a fictional character. The Apostle Paul referred to Job twice (Romans 11:35; I Corinthians 3:19). He is also mentioned in the Book of James (5:11) and by the Prophet Ezekiel (14:14-20).
What we also know about Job, aside from the profound suffering he experienced, is the testimony about him at the beginning of the Old Testament book which bears his name. This testimony is contained in today’s text.
Job lived in the land of Uz. The word land is synonymous with country, territory and people. The country in question is called Uz. Uz’s exact location geographically is uncertain. Once commentator explains that, “Though often identified with Edom, southeast of the Dead Sea, Uz was distinguished from it in Jeremiah’s time, if not before (Jer. 25:20–21). Uz was then a “daughter” of Edom, that is, a possession or neighbor of Edom (Lam. 4:21). Some scholars suggest that Uz was in Bashan, south of Damascus; others say Uz lay east of Edom, in northern Arabia. The customs, vocabulary, and references to geography and natural history relate to northern Arabia. Whatever Uz’s location, it was near a desert (Job 1:19), it was fertile for agriculture and livestock-raising (1:3, 14; 42:12), and it was probably outside Palestine.”
It was in this territory that there lived a man named Job. There are those who suggest that Job’s name means persecution, persecuted one, or one who repents. This probable and suggested meanings would certainly be appropriate for this individual.
Job is characterized by four distinct qualities. These characteristics remain timeless for all of God’s children at all times.
First, Job was blameless. This means that Job was well-behaved or a man of integrity. In other words, he possessed no moral blemish or flaw and was morally whole. He was consistently godly.
Second, Job was upright. He was a “straight as an arrow” kind of guy. To put it another way, he wasn’t crooked in his dealings with other people. He did not deviate from God’s standards.
Third, Job was an individual who feared God. He reverenced and worshiped God with a reverential fear. He submitted to God’s holiness and majesty. He knew that he was responsible to God and responsible before people to consistently live for God.
Fourth, Job turned away from evil. He shunned evil. He turned away from it at every opportunity. He rejected anything which was contrary to God’s character.
Dr. John MacArthur writes, “Job was not perfect or without sin (cf. 6:24; 7:21; 9:20) However, it appears from the language that he had put his trust in God for redemption and faithfully lived a God-honoring, sincere life of integrity and consistency: personally, maritally (2:10), and parentally (1:4–5).”
Isn’t it amazing how much we can learn from just one verse from God’s Word. Let me ask you a question that I have often asked myself. Would the people who know you at home, work, school, or in the community have the same thing to say about you as the author said about Job? Think about it.
What does your life, and mine, communicate to the people with whom we most often come into contact? Do you and I reflect the character of God as reflected in the man named Job? Remember, it was not the perfection of his life but rather the direction of his life that mattered. The same is true for you and me.
May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!