There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.
In a single nightmarish day, Job faces the ultimate test. All the wealth and blessings he knows are tragically taken away one by one. Job experiences relentless, incessant adversity but remains steadfast. He is rugged enough in his character and trust in God to stand firm and to choose worship over complaint.
Job continues to be our model of endurance as well as an insight into the sovereign care of God. He continues to inspire us today to be consistent in character and steadfast and trusting an unknown future to a sovereign known God.
1. Pay Close Attention to Your Character
Job was not sinless, but he had a reputaiton as blameless. (Job 1:8). Job was upright. He stayed on the straight and narrow. Because: He feared God. He took God seriously. Making the package complete is the reputation Job has for hating evil and turning away from it.
Character is king. Job earned his from a life of consistency and integrity. What is your reputation for character? How would the people who know you best describe you? Do they know you for integrity?
Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to Satan’s slander. Live blameles and upright (Phil. 1:10 and 2:25) in the righteousness of God (Rom. 3:21-26). Fear God (2 Cor. 7:1) and turn away from evil (Prov. 3:7 and 1 Thess. 5:22).
2. Serve the Suffering
In chapter 29, we get a glimpse of Job in his prime:
When I went out to the gate of the city, when I prepared my seat in the square, the young men saw me and withdrew, and the aged rose and stood; the princes refrained from talking and laid their hand on their mouth; the voice of the nobles was hushed and their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth.
And why was that? Were they blown away by his abundant wealth? That may have played into it, but as the text continues, we see that it had more to do with Job’s character as an upright man:
When the ear heard, it called me blessed, and when the eye saw, it approved, because I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him. The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban. I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. I was a father to the needy, and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know. I broke the fangs of the unrighteous and made him drop his prey from his teeth.
This is what biblical manhood does. It serves needs and advocates for justice as the hands and feet of God. Like Job, be diligent and masculine in your response to needs and in “breaking the fangs of the unrighteous” to free their prey.
3. Cover Your Home Spiritually
Job was not only a man of high character who was a great success in business and the community, he was also a dedicated family man. Job was a dutiful dad. His essential concern was for being the spiritual leader of his family. (Job 1:4-5). From Job we learn: be alert spiritually, get up early and intercede on behalf of your family, and be continually faithful. Be engaged. Be a dutiful shepherd for your family. Parent from your knees. Beg God to intervene and protect your children’s hearts so that they can be used mightily for His purposes.
4. Place Your Complete Trust in God
Adversity is what most distinctly reveals character. It exposes who you really are. In Job 1:13-19, we see the goodness and peace of Job’s life tragically interrupted with attack, destruction, loss, and death.
How would you handle that?
Here’s how Job responded: “Then Job arose and tore his robe and fell on the ground and worshiped.” (Job 1:20).
This is the primary difference between secular manhood and biblical manhood. As Job loses all his wealth and provision and then contemplates burying all ten of his children, there’s no indication that he just stuffs his emotions and tries to act tough. Instead, he tears his robes as a sign of contrition, shaves his head to symbolize the glory departing from his life, and then falls on the ground…and worships.
Job responded to the worst kind of adversity in a way Satan could not have imagined. He not only did not break, he showed contrition and worship. Will you be rugged enough to have unceasing, unconditional worship to God even if all the perks and success in life go away? Will you still place your full confidence in God?
5. Don’t Complain
What comes next in the text shows us the theology informing Job’s ruggedness in the face of loss.
“And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.’” (Job 1:21).
Everything is on loan from the Lord: your money, your home, your career, your wife, your children, and your physical abilities. The Lord gives and He takes away. We set our affections on things above–not on things of this Earth (Col. 3:1-2). Our response in all things should be to bless the name of the Lord.
Job’s endurance was based on his hope of redemption: “For I know that my Redeemer lives,” he says, “and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God.”
This Week’s Resource: Mars Hill Real Marriage
Next Week: Act Manfully (6), Lessons from David and Solomon