Reading through the Bible together
Job was probably a contemporary of Abraham who was born around 2000 BCE and also was familiar with offerings necessary for an understanding of salvation, the role of atonement, and the heavenly sanctuary. Job is described by Moses in this historical epic as an economic farmer. He had 7000 sheep and 3000 camels as well as 500 oxen and 500 female donkeys which is a big business.
His sons were accustomed to dining at each other’s house with their sisters. We know that they were not drinking alcohol or eating pork at these events, since Job was not aware that they sinned. Yet he prayed for them early in the morning (ulay hatheu) because “maybe they sinned” (verse 5). When “wine” (verse 13) is used in the biblical sense negatively, it includes alcohol, but when not spoken of negatively it is the pure “fruit of the vine.”
We know that all God’s actions are directed from the Sanctuary and that is where the “sons of God” and also Satan went to talk to God (verse 6). Satan had access to Christ before the cross but not after (see Story of Redemption, p. 26). In the book of Job, Satan’s purpose was to report on the merit and guilt of God’s creatures. When the Son of God asked Satan whether he saw Job and how perfect he is (verse 8), the answer was negative. Satan does not pay attention to good things. He blamed God for Job’s loyalty by blessing and exalting him (verse 10) and wants a chance to pull him down.
Satan concludes that Job will turn against God if things go in the opposite direction. For great disasters struck Job: Sabeans robbed his oxen and asses; fire burnt his sheep and servants; Kassites took all his camels and a tornado killed his children. In shock Job did six things: he stood up, tore his clothes, shaved his head, fell down on the ground, worshipped God, and spoke and blessed God in his speaking. God was pleased. Satan was not. Job did not sin and did not blame to God.
You asked us to pray “lead us not into temptation” and now we know why. Give us the strength of Job to say in times of ups and downs,“Blessed is my God for all my problems are wrapped up in Him. And so am I. In Jesus name, Amen.
Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea