Bible Book Summary
by Jay Smith
The book of Job is Narrative History. Its author is unknown yet it is possible that Job himself wrote it. It is possible that Job is the oldest of any book of the Bible written approximately 2100-1800 B.C. Key personalities of this book include Job, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, Zophar the Naamathite, and Elihu the Buzite.
In Job, we see a man who God allows to be directly attacked by Satan. He is an example of faithfulness as he loses everything important to him yet remains faithful to God. Its purpose is to illustrate God’s sovereignty and faithfulness during a time of great suffering.
• In chapters 1-3, God tests Job’s faithfulness through allowing Satan to attack him. God told Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him” (1:12). Through Job’s trials, all is lost including his health, his wife even tells him to curse God and commit suicide, but he remains strong and faithful, “Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.” (1:22).
• From chapters 4-37, Job’s friends give him plenty of bad advice, in rounds of discussion. They mistakenly blame his sufferings on his personal sins rather than God testing and growing Job. One of them was half-correct in that God wanted to humble him, but this was only a part of God’s test.
• In chapters 38-42, God speaks to Job and restores him. God knows that Job has received incorrect guidance from his friends, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” God fittingly declares that humans do not know everything. Then He humbles Job by asking a series of questions that could never be answered by anyone other than Almighty God; for example, “Have you understood the expanse of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this”. God then brings him to an understanding that believers don’t always know what God is doing in their lives.
In the end, Job answers God by saying, “I have declared that which I did not understand”. God then blessed Job with twice as much as he had before his trials began.