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…
I. A GOOD MAN. He was "perfect." Not sinless, but complete in all the parts of his moral and religious character; he did not attend to one class of duties to the exclusion of others, cultivate one attribute of virtue regardless of the rest. He was complete. All the parts of the plant of goodness within him grew simultaneously and symmetrically.
1. In relation to his general conduct he was "upright." He pursued the straight road of rectitude, turning neither to the right nor left hand; he did what his conscience believed was right, regardless of issues.
2. In relation to his God he was devout. He "feared God," not with a slavish fear, — his fear was a loving reverence. He was far removed from all irreverence of feeling, he was profoundly religious. God filled the horizon of his soul, he looked at all things in their relation to the Divine.
3. In relation to evil he was an apostate. He "eschewed evil"; he departed from it; he hurried from it as from the presence of a monster. However fashionable, gorgeously attired, institutionally and socially powerful, he loathed it, and fled from it as Lot from Sodom.
4. In relation to his family he was a priest. "He offered burnt offerings." He interposed with God on their behalf; he was a mediator between his own children and the great Father of spirits. Like a good father he sought the moral cleansing of his children and their reconciliation to the Eternal.
II. Here is a good man VERY PROSPEROUS.
1. He was prosperous as a father. "There were born unto him seven sons and three daughters." In ancient times, to be destitute of children was esteemed a great calamity: the greater the family the greater the parental blessing. Things have changed now: here in our England, a large family is regarded as a terrible infliction. What greater blessing in this world can a man have than a large number of loving hearts to call him father?
2. He was prosperous as a farmer. The stock here described has been estimated to amount in our money to the sum of £30,000. Here, and now, this is a good fortune, but yonder, and then, it stood for at least fifty times the amount.
3. He was prosperous as a citizen. "For this man was the greatest of all the men in the east in those days, no doubt, men whose names would strike awe into the soul of the populace, but Job was the greatest of them all. Elsewhere he describes the power which he wielded over men. "When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street! the young men saw me, and hid themselves," etc. (Job 29:7, 8).In conclusion, two remarks —
1. That a good man in great prosperity is what antecedently we might have expected to find everywhere in the world.
2. That a good man in great prosperity is not a common scene in human life. Generally speaking, the best men are the poorest, and the worst men hold the prizes of the world.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.