2016 4th Quarter
Lesson 13, December 17-23, The Character of Job
Sunday, December 18
When contemplating the character of Job, we must pause to take time reviewing what the Bible reveals of his situation.
“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…. 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 1:1, 8.
Who is Uz? Where is this “land of Uz”? What might we glean from this part of the text that would help better understand how Job’s character was shaped?
Uz is a Bible name for several characters that we find in the genealogical accounts. Just as Canaan was the grandson of Noah, and settled in that part of the Mediterranean we know as “the land of Canaan”, so we learn that Uz is a grandson of Shem who settled on the other side of the mountain range separating Canaan from what we know now as Arabia. In that time, it was not the desert we now see. It was a fertile land, and could support the many flocks and herds making up Job’s wealth.
However, here is a key point: Uz was a grandson of Shem who as the firstborn of Noah would become patriarch upon Noah’s death. The descendants of Shem tended to be more careful in the upbringing of their children to worship the true God, though like with Terah (Abraham’s father) idolatry had crept into the theology. So, living in the land of Uz would mean that Job was a descendent of Shem, and that his family was not completely infiltrated by idolatry.
But, we get even a better picture of Job as we ponder what it means for him to be called perfect and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil. Job was not an Israelite, and yet he had a knowledge of God’s law. Here is another key point to consider: Job was a book written before Genesis, or Exodus for that matter, where we see this or that commandment of the ten being referred to as an example that the law delivered on Mount Sinai was never intended to be a law for the Israelites, or Jews, alone. It is a law for all mankind, and we must take time to acknowledge what commands are referred to in Job.
- Job feared God (Job 1:1, 8). He had determined that God would be Supreme Ruler, Lord, and Judge in his life.
- Job did not bow down to idols to worship them. He bowed down to the ground in humility to worship God (Job 1:20).
- Job did not take the Lord’s name in vain (Job 1:22; 2:9, 10).
- Job, Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, and Elihu acknowledged God was Creator and Redeemer, indicating that they had a knowledge of the true purpose of the Sabbath as a memorial for creation and recreation (Job 4:17; 19:25; 32:22; 35:10; 36:3).
- Job and his companions understood the honor that was to be bestowed upon fathers and mothers because of the number of ancients still living such long lives in the land given them (Job 15:10, 11, 14).
- Job recognized that killing involved any violence associated with even the act of stealing, removing landmarks, etc. (Job 24:2-4)
- Job refused to even look at another maiden to lust after her in his heart, or to even covet her for himself (Job 31:1).
- Job understood that speaking deceitfully about anyone, especially about God, was a grievous act. Compounding that sin would be the act of accepting bribes from or conspiring with others in secret (Job 13:6-10).
These are just a few examples of how extensive the knowledge of God’s law was in the minds of these men of whom Moses wrote before Genesis or Exodus.