About Job Himself
After learning about the whole course of Job’s experiencing the trials, most people, I believe, begin to have interest in the information about Job himself, and are especially concerned about the “secret” of how Job received God’s approval. Now let’s talk about Job himself here!
Job’s Perfectness and Uprightness and His Fearing God and Shunning Evil Are Seen in His Daily Life
To talk about Job himself, let’s start from the evaluation of Job from God’s mouth “that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and shunned evil.”
First, let’s learn about Job’s perfectness and uprightness.
How do you understand the “perfectness and uprightness” spoken of here? You think Job was so flawless and so upright, don’t you? Of course, this is the literal interpretation and understanding. If we want to truly know about Job himself, we cannot divorce it from the real life. If we only focus on the letters, books, and doctrines, we cannot find any answer. Let’s first look at how Job lived in his daily life, that is, look at what his usual behavior in his life was, and through it know about Job’s living principles and his goal of life and also know about the quality of Job’s humanity and his pursuit. Now, let’s see the last word in Job 1:3, “so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.” This word means that Job had a very high position and status at that time. Here it does not tell that Job was the greatest of all the men of the east because he had great possessions or because he “was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and shunned evil.” Anyway, Job had a favored position and status in people’s eyes. This is the first impression people had about Job in the Bible: Job was a perfect man and one that “feared God and shunned evil”; he had large wealth and also a respectable position. As to a normal man who had such living environment and conditions, his daily diet, the quality of his life, and every aspect of his private life attracted the attention of most people. So, we must continue to read the following scriptures in the Bible: And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually. (Job 1:4-5) This passage of scripture records two things: The first is that Job’s sons and daughters often feasted and ate and drank together, and the second is that Job often offered burnt offerings, because he was often worried for his sons and daughters, afraid that they might have sinned and cursed God in their hearts. These two things are the accounts of different lives of two kinds of people. One is about the kind of people like Job’s sons and daughters. They often feasted and lived a luxurious life because of their rich life. They indulged in the life of eating and drinking their fill and enjoyed a life of superior quality brought by abundant material things. Living such a life, they often sinned and offended God unavoidably. But they did not sanctify themselves, nor did they offer burnt offerings for that. It can be seen that these people did not have a place for God in their hearts and that they did not contemplate God’s grace or fear offending God, much less fear cursing God in their hearts. Of course, the details about Job’s sons and daughters are not what we are concerned about. The focus of our talk is what Job did when he encountered these things, which is the other thing recorded in this passage of scripture. This thing is involved with the substance of Job’s humanity and his daily life. The scriptures record that when Job’s sons and daughters feasted, Job did not participate in it, and only his sons and daughters often ate and drank together. That is to say, Job neither feasted nor was merry with his sons and daughters, indulging in extravagant eating and drinking. Although he was rich and had all kinds of possessions and many servants, his life was not luxurious, and he did not, because of his being rich, indulge in a superior living environment, hanker after fleshly enjoyment, or forget to offer burnt offerings, much less gradually depart from God in his heart. It can be seen that Job was discreet in his life. He did not become greedy or love enjoyment or pay much attention to the quality of his life because of God’s blessing to him. Moreover, he was humble in doing things, modest in conducting himself, and careful and cautious before God, often contemplated God’s graces and blessings, and always had a heart of fearing God. In his daily life, he often rose up early in the morning and offered burnt offerings for his sons and daughters. This means that Job not only feared God himself but also hoped that his sons and daughters could fear God like him and would not commit offense against God. That is, rich material things did not occupy Job’s heart or take the place of God in his heart, and all that he did in his daily life, whether for his sons and daughters or for himself, had to do with “fearing God and shunning evil.” His fear of Jehovah God was not just on his lips, but was put into practice and manifested in every bit of his daily life. Such actual manifestations of Job show us Job’s honesty and Job’s substance of loving justice and positive things. He often “sent and sanctified them,” and this means that he did not agree with or approve their actions but loathed and condemned them in his heart. He was sure that the actions of his sons and daughters were displeasing to Jehovah God, so he often asked them to confess their sins before Jehovah God. This action of Job shows us another aspect of his humanity; that is, he never walked with those who often sinned and offended God but stayed away from them and shunned them. Although they were his sons and daughters, he did not abandon his principle in conducting himself because of his blood relationship with them or tolerate their sins because of affection, but exhorted them to confess their sins to be tolerated by Jehovah God, and he also warned them not to forsake God because of hankering after enjoyment. Job’s principles in treating people are inseparable from his principle of fearing God and shunning evil. He loved what God accepted, hated what God loathed, loved those who feared God in their hearts, and hated those who did evil and did things that offended God. His love and hatred were manifested in his daily life. This is Job’s uprightness God saw with his eyes. Of course, this is also the expression and living out of Job’s real humanity in dealing with people in his daily life which we need to know about.