Can I just say, I love the book of Job?
I know it’s not the most popular book in the Bible, but I think it’s just misunderstood.
It could be that my first Bible had an amazing introduction for it. It talked about how we all have hard times and asked if we ever wondered why God let bad things happen to good people. It was a Bible for teenagers. I was 14 when I got it, but still, it stuck with me.
And over the years, my love for the book of Job has grown.
I used to be afraid of thunderstorms. It was the book of Job that helped me overcome that fear. (I share about it in this post on how to overcome fear with prayer.)
There are so many things I have learned from Job over the years. I wanted to take time to share three of them in this post.
3 Things We Can Learn From The Book Of Job
1.) Our Righteousness Comes From Jesus – And It’s Free
Yesterday I shared a quote on Facebook by John Stott that said, “Christ has no sin but ours and we have no righteousness but his.”
That’s where Job went wrong.
In the beginning of the book of Job, he worked so hard. He was recorded as a man who was blameless and upright, but he constantly offered sacrifices in case he or someone he loved sinned. He knew he wasn’t perfect, so he was always trying to make up for it.
And it wasn’t enough.
He might have made the most sacrifices. He might have loved God more than everyone else. But no one is perfect.
Related Reading: A World Without Jesus
And when calamity came, he was bitter.
He had worked so hard, and God still let hardship come.
Because when all is said and done, we can’t earn our salvation, it’s a free gift of God.
“When all is said and done, we can’t earn our salvation, it’s a free gift of God.”CLICK TO TWEET
I love at the end of Job where he confesses his self-righteousness and submits to God, and then he asks God to forgive his friends that have been nothing but horrible to him throughout the whole ordeal.
But my favorite verse is Job 42:5. It says:
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you…
Job knew about God, but he didn’t know God. Not before. But now he did.
Maybe that’s why I love the book of Job so much. Because that’s my salvation story. I grew up in church, I knew all the facts. I believed in God. But I didn’t meet Jesus until I was 14. I didn’t know you could have a relationship with Him until then.
I share more in our upcoming anthology Faith Talk. Learn more about it here.
2.) We Can Worship God With A Hardened Heart
When things started going wrong for Job, he worshiped God anyway. All of his children died, so he tore his clothes in grief and worshiped God. I love the faith he had there.
Things kept going wrong and he kept worshiping.
However, there came a point where he was ready to give up. He knew God was good, but he was just ready for it to be over.
Can I just say from a personal note that I get this?
Now more than ever.
I have had a migraine for like I don’t even remember how long. Two or three years. There comes a point when you’ve just had enough. I think I’ve reached that point more than once, but it has never been as strong as it is now.
I know God is good, but sometimes my heart is hard. It’s like I just don’t have the energy to care.
I think that’s where Job was.
I never cursed God, but that doesn’t mean his heart was in the right place either.
I know for me, when I catch myself becoming bitter I have to ask God to soften my heart. I have to pray for Him to help me weather the storm, because I know I could never make it through this on my own.
And Job didn’t either. His friends weren’t much help, but God didn’t leave him there, He pursued him. I love that about God.
The God who created the world took the time to talk to Job when he was having a bad day.
That’s our God.
Job was ready to give up, and God literally spoke to him.
I mean, how amazing is that.
Yes, bad things happen to good people, but we never have to walk through them alone.
3.) We Can Be Right, Without Being In The Right
The third thing we can learn from the book of Job is a lesson from Job’s friends. These guys. Sigh
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (NIV)
That means there is a purpose to all their words.
They know a lot about God. However, they didn’t know a thing about loving one another. And I’ll be honest, it took me a while to figure them out.
While their words might not have benefitted Job, they can benefit us.
Zophar talks about God forgiving our sins and the need for us to devote our hearts to him.
In Job 5:17 Eliphaz says of God, “Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” That statement is 100% true, it’s just spoken at the wrong time.
In Ephesians, Paul wrote, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (4:29 NIV) Job’s friends obviously didn’t get that memo (maybe because it was penned a few thousand years after they passed away).
I think it’s important for us to learn from their mistake. Just because we know something, doesn’t mean it needs to be said.
What Are Your Thoughts On The Book Of Job?
I could go on and on about the book of Job. It really does hold a special place in my heart. But what about you? Do you have any thoughts on the book of Job to share? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.