Job is described as “blameless” and “upright.” Satan approaches God and asks for permission to test Job. Upon receiving God’s permission, Satan inflicts great suffering on Job. Job is stripped of his material possessions, family, and personal health.
Job contemplates a life without God. He contemplates death and darkness, and he feels that life is without hope and not worth living.
Eliphaz, Job’s first friend, gives a speech that implies that Job is being punished for an unrepented sin. Bildad and Zophar, Job’s second and third friends, similarly argue that God does not punish pure and upright men; therefore, Job must have sinned. In spite of the friends’ arguments, Job remains confident that he is blameless, and consequently expresses that he wants to question God in a judicial courtroom.
Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar voice their second set of arguments against Job. In response, Job continues to question God. It is important to note that Job never loses his faith in Yahweh.
Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar state their third set of arguments. Job maintains his frustrations with God, and the friends continue to support their theology that suffering comes only in response to sin.
Wisdom cannot be found in God’s creation, no matter how far and deep men search for her. Job laments about losing his public position, because he used his worldly career to help the poor, hungry, and broken. Job explained that he acted righteously in all things; he gave to the poor and avoided looking lustfully at women.
Elihu, the youngest friend, speaks up and argues that Job needs to humble himself. Elihu also argues that Job should recognize God’s sovereignty and worship Him for His perfection and completeness.
God appears out of a storm and speaks to Job. God’s words do not condemn or crush Job; rather, God speaks to the fact that He is in control of everything, including all of the oceans and all of the animals. In complete submission to God’s authority, Job responds with a few simple words that express his inability to speak.
God continues to boast about His power over mythological creatures, Behemoth and Leviathan. In the end, God will be the victor of all mortal and spiritual wars.
Job repents and completely humbles himself in response to his new understanding of God. Job prays on behalf of the three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, and the friends are forgiven by God. Finally, God blesses Job, and all of Job’s earthly possessions are doubled.
Major Themes & Final Thoughts
We can have confidence in God.
We can be comforted by God.
Wisdom cannot be found in God’s creation. Wisdom only comes from the fear of the Lord.
God does not change. The same God that spoke to Job and protected Job, is the same God that is active today.
In prosperity, God is heard. In adversity, God is seen.
When we honestly question God, He will deal with us gently and increase our knowledge and wisdom about Him.
To receive revelations about God, and to know God more deeply, we must question Him, seek answers to our questions, and be willing to submit to Him.
Let your foolishness drive you closer to God. Don’t let foolishness drive you away.
Before God, we are nothing but piles of spent ashes. Seek humility.
Why wasn’t Elihu rebuked by God in the last chapter of the Book of Job? I think that Elihu was largely correct about God. He was right about God’s sovereignty, he was right to let the elders speak first and to listen before speaking, and he was right to argue that Job needed to seek humility. Although Elihu’s response was not perfect and littered with faulty theology, Elihu’s heart was in the correct place, that is in a place of humility.
Would the Book of Job have the same significance if Job was not blessed in the end? I think that the Book of Job needed to end with Job’s blessing. I think it is the best possible ending for the Book of Job. Does the ending give false hope to people that seem to be stuck in perpetual suffering? When the Bible is considered as a whole, no, I think that the Book of Job is an encouragement. The Book confirms God’s sovereignty, omniscience, and justness. Although we may experience suffering on earth, we can be confident and comforted that God rewards the righteous, even if that reward comes in heaven. We may not receive earthly blessings like Job did, but we all have Job’s God and will be blessed in eternity by our Father. Considering the larger context of the Bible, we know that we will be rewarded in heaven, and from the Book of Job, we know that events beyond our control may cause suffering.