Job’s Piety and Patience

The book of Job is wisdom literature. Wisdom is God’s perspective on how to live practically. It teaches us how to live God’s will every day of our lives. In the Old Testament, wisdom was used in Israel’s history to primarily target the youth of the Jewish family (Duet. 6, Prov. 1-7). Job teaches our youth, and all of us, the spiritual emphasis God has for family life. Job was a model of practical living for his children, who were willing to follow that model, eventually becoming that model themselves. Living godly was not a religion to Job; it was a life born out of an intimate knowledge and relationship with his Creator, the gracious and holy Almighty. Job loved and feared God, modeling a gracious and holy example for his children. This life prepared him for God-appointed suffering: to not curse God but to trust God.

Job’s Perspective on His Possessions

Job was given much from God (Job 1:2). God is impartial, though each of his children in Christ are special (James 2:5). Though Job had everything and then lost everything, he still had a proper perspective of God (Job 1:21-22). His satisfaction was not with God's gifts but with the Giver.

Jesus said that riches are easily trusted over the Giver (Luke 8:25-27). Job knew that both salvation and wealth are all the Lord’s to do with as He pleases. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 instructs us not to be conceited nor to fix our hope on riches but on God. The focus is on the Giver and not the gift. And we are to be storing up treasures in Heaven by using that with which God has given us, investing it for spiritual and eternal purposes.

Job did not deny God by thinking he was rich because he was good at what he did (Job 31:24-26). He knew that everything he had was on loan from God, to be used for God’s purposes (Job 31:27-28).

Clearly Job knew where his wealth came from and what he was to do with God’s wealth (Job 31:16-23). The New Testament instructs us to take care of our families and the church family (1 Timothy 5:8). Galatians 6:10 teaches us to do good to all men but especially the household of faith.

Wisdom teaches us that the Giver and the gift are connected. We are commanded to work by the Lord. Everything we have because of obedience to this command is from the Lord. Job’s possessions were not gained because of his own piety but because of God.

Job lived this wisdom before his children, and therefore, was living with eternal purpose. Job found contentment in God, regardless of how much he had (Philippians 4:11-13). Whether Job had everything or nothing, his blessings were not the just reward for his right living. His extreme losses were not because of sinful choices. All we have is God’s, and what He chooses for us today is good because He is good.

Grace compelled Job to walk with God regardless of his circumstances. God has asked us to be servants of His will and to steward our talents and His good gifts unto His eternal purposes. With that perspective, we have much to teach others about God and His Word.

Job’s Piety

Job had developed his relationships with his family according to grace and not law. Rules without relationship always result in rebellion. Next week, we will explore the following questions about Job’s paternal leadership: What did Job value? What did Job discern? What did Job require of himself? (Job 1:5)

Application Points

  • Do you have a correct perspective on wealth and possessions or the lack thereof? God wants you to know Him as your God, the giver of everything, regardless of the amount.
  • God is sovereign in our lives. Are you learning contentment in the different situations He allows in your life?
  • God desires for us to model His righteousness practically in our daily living. Are you striving to please Him in this way? Who may be watching your example?
  • In preparation for next week, consider the following questions about Job’s paternal leadership: What did Job value? What did Job discern? What did Job require of himself? (Job 1:5)

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Malachi 3:10, Luke 6:38, 2 Cor. 9:5-7, 14, 1 John 3:17 – Giving
A Quote to Ponder

The Father of the Reformation, Martin Luther said, “Pray and let God worry. Why? Because I’ve held many things in my hands and have lost them all. But whatever I’ve placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”

A Hymn to Encourage

A Passion for Thee