A study of the book of Job is one that will leave the reader better than he was before. In that book, Job demonstrates a great deal of endurance during a difficult span in his life. His example is one that will help modern man learn how to handle hardships. In the New Testament, James referenced Job when he wrote, “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” (James 5:11). With that being stated, let us now direct our attention to a specific query. Out of all of the men on the Earth at the time, why did God choose Job?
From the outset, Job is identified in very specific ways. “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 1:1). These characteristics are the answer to our question. When Satan came before God, the LORD used Job as an example to show Satan that although mankind had fallen into sin, there was still a man that was faithful to God. “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” (Job 1:8)?
After the death of Job’s children, the LORD still spoke highly of Job due to the fact that “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (Job 1:22). “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? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause” (Job 2:3). After being afflicted with “…sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown”, Job’s wife questioned why Job refused to turn against the LORD (Job 2:7). “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die” (Job 2:9). The response that Job gave her further demonstrates why God would choose Job. “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” (Job 2:10). With such admirable qualities, Job is certainly a man thatGod could trust!
Let us now look a little deeper at the words that God used to describe Job. First of all, the LORD indicated “…that there is none like him in the earth…” (Job 1:8). What a compliment! Job lived his life in such a way that separated him from the rest of men. If a similar situation were to happen today, would God be able to say such about us? Are our lives different from those of the world, or are we so similar to the world that we blend? We should know that Paul wrote, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:2).
The LORD also indicated that Job was “…a perfect and an upright man…” (Job 1:8; 2:3). We should not take the English word “perfect” to mean that Job never sinned (Rom. 3:10-11, 23). Instead, we should look at him as being a “complete” man of God. That is the idea that Paul had when he wrote, “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:17). One becomes such by obeying the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16-17). To be known as “an upright man” means that Job lived a righteous life. This further shows that Job took obeying God’s Word very seriously. The Psalmist wrote, “My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness” (Psm. 119:172).
It is also recorded that Job “feared God” (Job 1:8; 2:3). This fear should not be equated with cowardly fear. Instead, Job reverenced God and exalted God. This is part of “…the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12:13). In the book of Proverbs we find, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:7). Likewise, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate” (Prov. 8:13). As can be seen from these verses, we can see why Job was labeled as one who “…escheweth evil” (Job 1:8; 2:3). Job turned from those things that were wicked. He wanted to obey God.
It is apparent why the LORD chose Job. He knew Job, and understood that Job served God faithfully and honestly. May we all strive to live lives that are similar in character.
~ Corey Barnette