The oldest, canonized, book in the Bible is the Book of Job, dated to around 2,000 B.C. and it may precede Abraham’s time. There are many powerful lessons to be gained from this book. Ezekiel and James both make mention of Job.
God introduces Job as “[perfect, upright, fearing God, avoiding evil.]” Remember this as you read the following and study Job in the scriptures.
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.
GOD IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL
This book is about God’s relationship with Satan who is evidently under God’s command. Satan accuses us to Him without cease even without cause as Job’s story proves. The book is the ultimate proof in the Bible that God is always in control.
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
8 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?
9 Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
12 And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.
None of the humans in this Book are aware of the permission God gave Satan to test Job’s faith, twice. Satan proceeds to kill his children, destroy his riches and his health; yet, in agony Job does not curse God. In a final assault and having failed to break Job’s faith, he uses three friends who offer up vain condemnation instead of comfort.
These three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar are three distinct types, corrupt counsel offered to the righteous in their hours of trial. Make no mistake Satan will use men to make you believe God is unjust and unloving; the telling sign is accusation, basically, you reap what you sow. Satan knew Job was innocent yet, he accuses him of limited faith; yet, Job never relented. This is also a type for the Bride of Christ, holding fast under trial.
Among the many responses to Job’s afflictions by Satan, including the scorn from his wife and friends, a different voice is often overlooked.
WHO IS ELIHU?
Elihu is the fourth and last, much younger friend to speak to Job. Elihu in Hebrew means, “My God is He.” This already sets the stage for something very special.
What does Elihu contribute to Job’s dilemma in six chapters? Why does Elihu not get reprimanded by God as the others?
Elihu is as a type like John The Baptist, the Messenger preparing the way for God. He does not reason as the three friends who found no reason yet condemned Job. He does however explain that God chastens us for His greater purpose. He seems to possess unusual knowledge of God’s ways. Some have believed he was Jesus.
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
We are privy to know God was listening in and responded to all, His voice in the whirlwind. God spoke to Job, “Who it this that darkens counsel?”
7 And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. (NOTE: only three mentioned)
9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the Lord commanded them: the Lord also accepted Job. (NOTE: not Elihu)
Remember, this is the oldest book in the Bible. The first recording of God speaking! Simply amazing. I recommend everyone read Job with a new eye, a new heart and a new ear.
Stay-tuned for PART 2! It gets more exciting!