OLD TESTAMENT - LESSON 32
- Job is sorely tested.
- Job finds strength in the Lord.
- Job finds strength in his personal righteousness and integrity.
- After Job has faithfully endured his trials, the Lord blesses him.
A prayerful study of this lesson should hlep us develop strength to
face adversity by trusting the Lord, building testimonies of him, and maintaining
Who Was Job?
- As I develop my lessons, I like to discover:
We don't know who Job was or when he lived.
There are some scholars who believe that Job was not a real person
and that the book of Job is just a story.
- Who the main characters are, their geneology, and how they fit in the
- The time frame and historical setting.
Additional thoughts about Job:
- Evidence of his reality:
- Ezekiel and James regarded him as historical and referred to him as
among the great individuals known for faith.
- "Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it,
they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the
Lord GOD" (Ezekiel 14:4).
- "Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name
of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold,
we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job,
and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of
tender mercy" (James 5:10-11).
- The Lord referred to Job when he spoke to the Prophet in the D&C
- The Lord said to Joseph: "Thou art not yet as Job..."
when he referred to Joseph's sufferings (121:10).
- Why would the Lord make reference to an imaginary being?
- John Taylor, in a number of places, referred to Job as a real being.
- "We refer to the extended preaching of such worthies as Melchizedek,
Abraham, Jethro, Job, Jeremiah, Jonah and others" (Mediation and
- The book is unconnected with Israel, the covenant people.
- It is unconnected to all other scriptures.
- There is no reference to Moses, the Exodus, or any of the subsequent
- There is one reference to the flood & another possible reference
to Sodom & Gommorah.
- It would seem logical that the time of Job was after the flood, possibly
even after Abraham, and prior to the time of the Exodus.
- The language is Hebrew with an Arabic and Syriac infusion found in
no other book of scripture.
- May have gone back closer to a time when the Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac
languages branched off from each other.
- The obscurity of several phrases, the obsolete words and forgotten
traditions, all mark a remote antiquity.
- Accounting for the inclusion of this work in the Bible:
- One theory is that Moses became acquainted with this writing during
his stay near Horeb and added these writings to his own. It might be like
Mormon adding the book of Ether.
Job Is Sorely Tested
- WHAT KIND OF MAN WAS JOB?
READ JOB 1:6-12. Satan given leave to test Job.
- READ JOB 1:1. Perfect, upright, feared God, and
turned away from evil.
- READ JOB 1:3,21. Wealthy, but humble.
- READ JOB 2:3. A man of integrity.
- READ JOB 4:3-4. Strengthened the weak.
- READ JOB 23:10-12. Walked in the Lord's paths
and esteemed the Lord's words.
READ JOB 1:14-19. Job's bad day.
- Old Testament Student Manual: "Some have questioned whether
God converses with the devil and his spirit-followers as described here.
These verses may be a poetic way of setting the stage for what follows
in Job's life--his afflictions, temptations, loss of worldly goods--rather
than a reporting of an actual conversation. The Lord does not bargain with
Satan or agree to his evil deeds; however, Satan is permitted by the Lord
to afflict and torment man until Lucifer's allotted time on earth is done.
Thus, Job's trials would be consistent with the concept that Satan was
allowed by God to bring the afflictions upon Job, not because of a bargain
God made with Satan, but because it fit God's purposes for Job."
HOW DID JOB REACT TO THIS MISFORTUNE?
- The oxes & asses were taken away by the Sabeans.
- His servants were killed.
- Camels were taken away by the Chaldeans.
- A strong wind blew down Job's son's house and all his children were
READ JOB 2:7-10. Job cursed with boils but still
refuses to curse God.
- See Job 1:20-22. He worships God.
READ JOB 2: 11-13. Job joined by three friends.
- Other trials:
- Additional physical illness & pain (7:5; 16:16).
- Restless sleep filled with nightmares (7:4,13-14).
- Cruel accusations and loss of support from friends and family (2:9;
4:1;7-8; 11:1-6; 19:13-22).
- Confusion about why he was asked to go through these trials (10:15).
- Mockery by those who delighted in his downfall (16:10-11; 30:1,8-10).
- The feeling that God had forgotten him or was not listening (19:6-8;
READ JOB 40:12-17. In the end, Job blessed greater
- Most of the rest of Job is a dialogue between Job & his friends
over the cause of his difficulties.
- Chapters 40-42 recount Job's encounter with the Lord & Job has
the opportunity to see the Lord.
What Can We Learn From The Story Of Job?
- READ JOB 4:7-8 & 8:6,20. Two of Job's friends,
Eliphaz and Bildad, try to explain his suffering.
Job's story gives us a catalog of ills that afflict mankind: loss of
property and posterity, loss of health, and loss of love and campanionship
of friends and family.
- HOW DID ELIPHAZ & BILDAD EXPLAIN JOB'S SUFFERING?
- Job was asked, "Who ever perished, being innocent?"
- His friends told him further, "If thou wert pure and upright;
surely now he (God) would awake for thee."
- Eliphaz and Bildad seemed to be saying that suffering comes upon a
person because of transgression.
- IS THERE A DANGER IN BELIEVING THAT ALL SUFFERING COMES AS GOD'S PUNISHMENT
FOR OUR SINS? WHAT IS THAT DANGER?
- We know that suffering also comes to the righteous. Thus, believing
in such an erroneous doctrine could lead to a loss of faith when suffering
comes to the righteous.
- ARE THERE OTHER EXAMPLES OF OTHER RIGHTEOUS PERSONS THAT HAVE SUFFERED?
- The mortal life of Jesus Christ.
- Abinadi in the Book of Mormon.
- Joseph Smith.
- WHY DO MANY RIGHTEOUS AND INNOCENT PEOPLE SUFFER?
- "Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea,
he trieth their patience and their faith" (Mosiah 23:21).
- "...ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith"
- Consider the words of the Lord to the Prophet Joseph Smith as found
in D&C 122:5-7. In short, the Lord said, "If thou art called
to pass through tribulation...know thou, my son, that all these things
shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good."
- WHAT IS OUR ULTIMATE POTENTIAL?
- DO WE BELIEVE WE CAN ACHIEVE OUR ETERNAL POTENTIAL WITHOUT LEARNING
TO OVERCOME AND BECOME THE MASTER OF ANYTHING WHICH MAY MASTER US?
- President Spencer W. Kimball: "Being human, we would expel
from our lives physical pain and mental anguish and assure ourselves of
continual ease and comfort, but if we were to close the doors upon such
sorrow and distress, we might be excluding our greatest friends and benefactors.
Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering
and self-mastery. The sufferings of our Savior were part of his education."
( Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p168)
- Elder Orson F. Whitney: "No pain that we suffer, no trial that
we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development
of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that
we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently,
builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes
us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of
God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation,
that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will
make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven." (quoted by
Spencer W. Kimball in Faith Precedes the Miracle, p98)
READ JOB 21:7-15. Job's observation that the wicked
- HOW DID JOB ENDURE THIS SUFFERING?
- Job displays unwavering faith.
- READ JOB 19:25-26. He knows that his Redeemer
- READ JOB 27:2-6. My righteousness I hold fast.
- HOW DO JOB'S TRIALS COMPARE WITH THE TRIALS PEOPLE EXPERIENCE IN OUR
- Today's trials are similar: loss of property, loss of children, loss
of health, and the loss of the love and companionship of friends and family.
We do not necessarily experience these trials in the same doses as Job,
but they are experienced.
- HOW HAVE YOU REACTED TO ECONOMIC LOSSES, POOR HEALTH, THE DEATH OF
LOVED ONES, OR OTHER TRIALS? HOW HAVE THESE TRIALS AFFECTED YOUR FAITH
- I have personally experienced much smaller trials than Job and, at
times, my faith has been strained. After having passed through such experiences,
in a small way I begin to appreciate the awesome faith displayed by Job.
- TO WHAT EXTENT DOES JOB'S OBSERVATION SEEM TO BE TRUE TODAY?
- I remember a Sunday afternoon many years ago. I was a child at the
time and I was in the car with my parents and we were driving through Salt
Lake City to visit some of our relatives. I recall my dad making an observation
about all the people who were out with their boats and campers on the Sabbath
and appeared to be doing well economically. I have thought about my father's
observation over the years and have continued to observe the same thing.
- In the city of Seattle there are locks that allow boats to travel from
Puget Sound into Lake Union and Lake Washington to the east. I have visited
the Ballard Locks on a Sunday afternoon and have seen everything from small
sailboats to magnificient yachts pass through the gates. These people are
not necessarily living lives of great wickedness, but they are not honoring
the Sabbath and they are cutting themselves off from proper worship. And
yet they seem to prosper.
- I believe that it is essential for us to understand that blessings
do not necessarily come in the form of wealth. If we don't believe that,
then we would have to believe that the Sabbath breakers on the waters of
Puget Sound are being blessed for their disobedience.
- WHY DO YOU THINK GOD DOES NOT ALWAYS IMMEDIATELY REWARD THE GOOD OR
PUNISH THE WICKED?
- I think this question is answered in a single word: agency.
- President Spencer W. Kimball: "If we looked at mortality as
the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would
be calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching far
into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future, then
all happenings may be put in proper perspective.
"Is there not wisdom in his giving
us trials that we might rise above them, responsibilities that we might
achieve, work to harden our muscles, sorrows to try our souls? Are we not
exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn
patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified?
"If all the sick for whom we
pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed,
the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle
of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by
"If joy and peace and rewards were
instantaneously given the doer of good, there could be no evil—all would
do good but not because of the rightness of doing good. There would be
no test of strength, no development of character, no growth of powers,
no free agency, only satanic controls." (Faith Precedes The Miracle,
What are the blessings of righteousness? The life of Job is an interesting
study. Job was a goodly man and yet the blessings of his righteousness
were not, for a time, physically apparent. Yet he continued to be a man
of faith and not only were his physical blessings restored, but his eternal
blessings became more sure. In times of difficulty and testing, the story
of Job should be a reminder of enduring to the end or as is often expressed
today, "Hanging in there." As we continue in our diligence, we
also should be able to express for ourselves those great words from Job,
"For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at
the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this
body, yet in my flesh shall I see God" (Job 19:25-26).
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