Job is an extremely interesting book in the Bible. It is probably the oldest book among the 66 books. One support to that is that there is no mention of the patriarchs like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob throughout the book. Being the oldest book or the first book, Job sets the context for the entire collection of the holy writ inspired by the Holy Spirit. So what is Job’s theme? Yes, undeniably, the book of Job has two themes, namely, suffering as a trademark of all who believe in Yahweh and the supremacy of God in all things. The book of Job sets the stage for a normal Christian life and the relationship a Christian must have with his Creator in all life experiences, be it good or bad.
The book opens us with an introduction of the person of Job. He was from the land of Uz. Job was “blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.” This is a very interesting description fora man. The Bible seldom address anyone as blameless. Job is one of the few people who are commended as blameless. He was certainly not without sin. By blameless and upright, Job was a follower of Yahweh and he followed Him closely and carefully. He ‘feared God’. This is very much related to worship. This fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, In other words, Job was a wise man. He was wise to discern right from wrong, ungodly from godly. He shunned evil. That means that he was also not spared of the temptations to draw him away from his Creator. The bottom-line here is that Job was like anyone of us.
It is interesting to note that Job was innocent in this battle between Satan and Almighty God. He did no wrong. It wasn’t Satan who initiated the battle. IT WAS GOD! God presented Job to Satan and challenged Satan to test him. Wow…does that mean that all our trials and tribulations are the result of God challenging Satan? This sounds like we are some human figurines that God play with. Its hard to swallow this but its true. God challenged Satan using innocent Job. Let’s put it the another way, God challenged Satan using YOU! You are the pawn! How about that as a gospel truth? It doesn’t seem to suggest that God is a loving, compassionate and merciful God. Imagine God saying this, “Serpent, I have my servant Job. He is blameless, he feared me and he shunned evil. He is my masterpiece. You try testing him…I am sure I will win the battle.”
Well, if this is hard to swallow, this was what God wanted me to swallow when I faced with my own trials and tribulations. But you see, only by doing so, God will have His supremacy magnified. I have come to understand one gospel truth, that is, God will never compromise with His supremacy. In all things, God must be the ultimate supreme. Thus, whatever that he does, his main objective is to magnified and enlarge His supremacy. We will discuss later why He wants to do so.
For now, Job was tested and at the end of the chapter, he declared:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
May the name of the Lord be praised.”
This is Job’s declaration of God’s supremacy. He gave and He can take away as well. Who is there to stop Him? Be it good or bad, God is still God! That’s the supremacy of God that the book of Job wish to convey to us. A number of years back, the Lord had to chastise me and made realized that he can give me success but he can also take everything away from me. I will never forget when I was so immersed into my success that I really thought that I could do this all by myself. I don’t need God. I started moving away from the church and reading the Bible as well. Until God had to hit me real real hard!
The book of Job is no ordinary book to me. Whenever I am lost and down, I will always return to this book and reflect on it all over again. I have read this book more than 10 times and this is another time that I need to reflect on this book again. Let journey together as I reflect on and I hope that more people will capture the vision of this book.