It is interesting to see that when God decided to write Scripture, the very first book He wrote was about a godly man. That shows us what God is always looking for. He looked for a godly man in the time of Enoch, in the time of Noah and in the time of Job. God planned from the beginning to give us 66 books of Scripture. And in the very first of those books, He wrote about what was uppermost in His heart – a godly human being.
Now notice the first sentence in the first inspired book of Scripture: “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job, and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil” (Job 1:1). Can you see the heart of God in the first sentence of Scripture? It was about one man - a man identified by his name – Job - and by the place he lived in– Uz (so that he is not confused with some other Job living somewhere else). And God gives His testimony of that man – not about his cleverness, or his wealth, or his reputation with other men, but only about his character. There we see what God truly values – uprightness, fear of God and turning away from all evil.
God is not looking for people with Bible-knowledge. Job did not have any Bible- knowledge because there was no Bible then. He had no-one around him to encourage him to a godly life either. Even the preachers of his day only discouraged him by what they said. But in spite of all this, he lived an upright life.
The Lord told Satan what was outstanding about Job: “There is no-one like him on the earth - a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil” (1:8). The fear of God – or reverence for God - is something that is mentioned much in this first book of inspired Scripture. Here we see that God compared Job with other people on the earth. God does that today too.
It is not surprising that Satan made Job his target, for Satan hates upright people. He hated Job in those days - and he hates such people even today. That is why he does everything in his power to prevent us from being godly. Satan troubled Job through his wife and through carnal preachers. But none of this made any difference to Job’s devotion to his God. What a man Job was! What a challenge he is to us! We can be like him too.
Now see how Job reacted to all the trials. He heard that everything had been lost. One after the other, his servants came and told him that everything was gone. And Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, fell to the ground and worshipped God (1:20). That’s another thing we see on the very first page of inspired Scripture: A godly man is a worshipper. More than knowing the Bible and more than serving the Lord, a man of God is primarily a worshipper. You must be a worshipper when you have everything and you must be a worshipper when you have lost everything. Jesus said, “God is a Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth, and the Father seeks for such worshippers” (John 4: 23, 24). To worship God is to give Him everything.
Job said, “I came from my mother’s womb naked, and I shall return there naked. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.’ Through all this Job did not sin, nor did he blame God” (1: 21, 22). Job was probably referring here to Mother Earth from which he came naked and to which he will return as dust, naked. He willingly accepted whatever the Lord permitted in his life.
When I think of Job’s dedication to the Lord, I am amazed. He did not have the example of Jesus and the apostles that we have. He had no examples whatsoever to follow. He did not have the power of the Holy Spirit that we have. He did not have the Bible that we have. He did not have the encouragement or support of fellow-believers or even of his own wife. Job only had God – and God was enough. If Job could come to such a glorious life, why can’t we?
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon