2016 4th Quarter
Lesson 13, December 17-23, The Character of Job
Sabbath, December 17
Few are the men that the Bible reveals as perfect and righteous in the sight of God. Job is one of these men.
“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?” KJV, Job 1:8.
Other passages in Scripture affirm the reputation of Job by prophets reproving Israel for being so unlike Job.
“The word of the Lord came again to me, saying, Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it: Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.” KJV, Ezekiel 14:12-14, emphasis added (read also verses 15-20).
This week we will be taking a closer look at the character of Job in the light of the calamities he suffered. As we do so, it would be well for us to remember: “It is very natural for human beings to think that great calamities are a sure index of great crimes and enormous sins; but men often make a mistake in thus measuring character. We are not living in the time of retributive judgment. Good and evil are mingled, and calamities come upon all. Sometimes men do pass the boundary line beyond God’s protecting care, and then Satan exercises his power upon them, and God does not interpose. Job was sorely afflicted, and his friends sought to make him acknowledge that his suffering was the result of sin, and cause him to feel under condemnation. They represented his case as that of a great sinner; but the Lord rebuked them for their judgment of His faithful servant.” (Ellen White, Manuscript 56, 1894.)
Also, there are some notable character traits that we would do well to develop and strengthen in our own lives as we prepare for the time of trouble that is soon to break upon us.
“It were well for parents to learn from the man of Uz a lesson of steadfastness and devotion. Job did not neglect his duty to those outside of his household; he was benevolent, kind, thoughtful of the interest of others; and at the same time he labored earnestly for the salvation of his own family. Amid the festivities of his sons and daughters, he trembled lest his children should displease God. As a faithful priest of the household, he offered sacrifices for them individually. He knew the offensive character of sin, and the thought that his children might forget the divine claims, led him to God as an intercessor in their behalf.” (Ellen White, The Review and Herald, August 30, 1881, emphasis added.)