In life, we can’t control what happens to us, but we can control our response. This is the lesson we learn from the life of Job. Most scholars believe Job to be the oldest book in the Bible, and its author remains unknown. Some have argued that Moses is its author, while others claim that it was Solomon. Regardless of its human author, one thing is certain–the Holy Spirit has given us this book to encourage, comfort, and strengthen our faith. Job is the first of five books in the Old Testament that are known as the Wisdom literature, the others being Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. These books are referred to as the Wisdom books because of what they reveal about the wisdom of God as it relates to the deepest of our human experiences. These are books that teach us to worship God no matter what our circumstances in life may be like. Job teaches us to worship God even in the midst of pain and heartache.
Job shows us how to view suffering from heaven’s vantage point. The feelings in the book of Job are primarily those of affliction, distress, grief, misery, and doubt. What we find in these 42 chapters is the cry of man’s wounded spirit, the deep groaning of a man who desperately struggles to trust in God even though everything in his life is crumbling. A verse from Isaiah is very fitting when we consider Job’s life. Isaiah 50:10 says, “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of His servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.” Though Job doesn’t understand the reason behind his suffering in life, though in the midst of personal darkness he walks by the light of faith.
You and I have been made in God’s image and have been given the purpose of knowing and trusting in Him. Thus, when our pain and suffering reaches such a degree that life seems senseless, our only hope is to cling to Him in confident faith. Job teaches us that even the righteous suffer, but their suffering does not go unnoticed by God. Job’s suffering as a righteous man point us to the even greater suffering of a perfect Man–the Lord Jesus Christ.