Jewels Overlooked in the Story of Job

The Old Testament book of Job is an ancient and mysterious piece of literature. Often we focus on its main message to the neglect of the little gems of understanding hidden in its recesses. Here are a few favorite passages mined from this beautiful and poetic book that ought to encourage us all.

“…Job…was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1). Here we see holiness. People can be holy. It is possible for a human being to live a righteous life. We can overcome the pressures to conform. This is encouraging. Be upright. Fear God. Shun evil. Hope for eternity.

“One day the angels came…” (Job 1:6). Here we are encouraged to study topics of interest. Topical study is one of the most rewarding avenues of learning God’s Word. I’m fascinated with the study of angels. Satan’s origin may be involved in this text. Often, as here, Bible topics beg to be considered.

“Naked came I from my mother’s womb” (Job 1:21). Here we behold the often-overlooked blessing of life. Life and health are two of our greatest gifts from God. We can take nothing with us when we depart. We brought nothing with us when we arrived. Riches are deceiving.

“Satan…afflicted Job with painful sores” (Job 2:7). Here we are confronted with suffering. Pain is a product of Satan. One can suffer and not be guilty of some terrible wrong. The innocent suffer every day. The problem of human suffering is only an issue for believers. Atheists have no right to complain.

“My life is but a breath…as a cloud vanishes and is gone” (Job 7:7). Here we see death. Life is fragile, fleeting, temporary, momentary—a probation period for something more lasting. Death is a door into eternity. Many of our worldly plans may never be realized. It’s inevitable.

“Man born of woman is of few days and full of troubles” (Job 14:1). Here we see life. Difficulties abound for all people in all times. Life is a blessing, but it isn’t a bed of roses. It is a mess in need of a Messiah. Life is full of speed bumps.

“If a man dies, will he live again?” (Job 14:14). Here we see immortality. This passage reminds us of eternal life. There is a far better life than here and now. Whether life continues after death is one of the great questions of humankind. Now is temporary. Over there is forever. Get ready. Be ready. Stay ready.

“He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing” (Job 26:7). Here we see the Lord’s omnipotence. God’s creative power is mind-boggling. Ancients thought Atlas held the world on his back. Job knew better. The Bible’s references to later scientific discoveries are accurate. There is an empty space in the north. The earth does hang on nothing. The earth is a circle. “Storehouses of snow and hail” do provide rich sources of minerals and nourishment to the soil (Job 38:22).

“His eyes are on the ways of men; he sees their every step” (Job 34:21). Here is God’s omniscience. God is aware of our thoughts and actions. Some may resent being constantly monitored by the Lord. But why should we resent an all-powerful Father who cares for us so intimately? I was always a good boy when dad was in the room. Thank you, God, for loving us that much. Thanks for being in the room with us at all times.

“Who laid the earth’s cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” (Job 38:6,7). Here we see reliance. We depend totally on God for our existence. Our rest in his care and his protection is real. It’s difficult to become proud when we are aware of the infinite personality who laid the earth’s foundation. Whenever we get a notion of self-importance, we need to try breathing five minutes without God’s air. Whew! What wonderful protection the Lord provides us all.