Trees snap like toothpicks or fly upward, wrenched from the earth. Whole rooftops sail, cars tumble like toys, houses collapse, and a wall of water obliterates the shore and inundates the land. A hurricane cuts and tears, and only solid foundations survive its unbridled fury. But those foundations can be used for rebuilding after the storm.
For any building, the foundation is critical. It must be deep enough and solid enough to withstand the weight of the building and other stresses. Lives are like buildings, and the quality of each one’s foundation will determine the quality of the whole. Too often inferior materials are used, and when tests come, lives crumble.
Job was tested. With a life filled with prestige, possessions, and people, he was suddenly assaulted on every side, devastated, stripped down to his foundation. But his life had been built on God, and he endured.
Job, the book, tells the story of Job, the man of God. It is a gripping drama of riches-to-rags-to-riches, a theological treatise about suffering and divine sovereignty, and a picture of faith that endures. As you read Job, analyze your life and check your foundation. May you be able to say that when all is gone but God, he is enough.
Job was a prosperous farmer living in the land of Uz. He had thousands of sheep, camels, and other livestock, a large family, and many servants. Suddenly, Satan the Accuser came before God claiming that Job was trusting God only because he was wealthy and everything was going well for him. And thus the testing of Job’s faith began.
Satan was allowed to destroy Job’s children, servants, livestock, herdsmen, and home; but Job continued to trust in God. Next Satan attacked Job physically, covering him with painful sores. Job’s wife told him to curse God and die (2:9), but Job suffered in silence.
Three of Job’s friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, came to visit him. At first they silently grieved with Job. But when they began to talk about the reasons for Job’s tragedies, they told him that sin had caused his suffering. They told him to confess his sins and turn back to God. But Job maintained his innocence.
Unable to convince Job of his sin, the three men fell silent (32:1). At this point, another voice—the young Elihu—entered the debate. Although his argument also failed to convince Job, it prepared the way for God to speak.
Finally, God spoke out of a mighty storm. Confronted with the great power and majesty of God, Job fell in humble reverence before him—speechless. God rebuked Job’s friends (and Job), and the drama ended with Job restored to happiness and wealth.
It is easy to think that we have all the answers. In reality, only God knows exactly why events unfold as they do, and we must submit to him as our Sovereign. As you read this book, emulate Job and decide to trust God no matter what happens.
Life Application Bible Notes (Tyndale, 2007), 783.