Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Prosperity and Piety (Job 1:1–5)

"… that man was blameless and upright and one who feared God and shunned evil" (Job 1:1).

The account of Job begins with a description of his prosperity and piety. These are set before us from the very beginning to show that neither piety nor wealth secure us from the calamities of life. Job’s friends wrongly assumed that disaster cannot strike the truly pious, but this is contrary to God’s ways—for He has said that “all things come alike to all.” Neither will worldly blessing protect one from life’s ills, even though the rich often think their wealth to be a fortress with unscalable walls.

Job lived in the land of Uz, in the Chaldea, near the Euphrates—probably not far from Ur of the Chaldees, the homeland of Abraham. God exalted Job to a place of great influence and wealth. While it is rare for a wealthy man to enter the kingdom of God, nothing is impossible with God. Here we have a case of an extremely wealthy man, who had been blessed with a large family, a great household, and numerous livestock, yet was obedient to the Lord.

While Job was famous throughout the land for his great wealth, he was also held in high esteem for his wisdom and righteousness. The Scriptures say he was “blameless and upright, one who feared God and shunned evil.” Job is a testimony to God’s promise that He has kept a remnant for Himself in every nation, as well as out of every tribe of Israel (Rev. 7:9).

Job was a religious man, one that feared God, which means he worshiped Him according to His will and governed himself by the rules of divine law. Job was by no means perfect, as he himself says, “Though I were blameless, it would prove me perverse” (9:20). “But, having a respect to all God’s commandments, aiming at perfection, he was really as good as he seemed to be, and did not dissemble in his profession of piety,” Henry wrote. “The fear of God reigning in his heart was the principle that governed his whole conversation. This made him perfect and upright, inward and entire for God, universal and uniform in religion.”

Job’s religion affected his entire family, for as a faithful father he was concerned about the righteousness of his children. He made sure that after their feasting they attended their spiritual duties. In Christ-like form, he offered sacrifices to atone for his children’s sins.

Read Deuteronomy 10:12; Joshua 24:14; Psalm 31:19; Isaiah 50:10; and Luke 1:50. Examine your life in the light of what these verses say about the person who fears the Lord. In what ways do you not fear God? Memorize one of these verses. Meditate on it whenever you have the opportunity during the day.