The entire book of Job is about a brief season in his life. Although the Bible doesn’t specifically say, most Bible scholars believe the whole book covers a time span of between three and eighteen months. In the first few chapters, it talks about the day his cattle and servants were lost. While he was still listening to that report another messenger came in stating his sheep were lost and the shepherds killed. And while he was listening to the sheep report, another messenger came and told him his camels were lost. Finally, while Job was listening to the camel report another messenger came and informed Job that his sons and daughters had been killed. All of this in the same day! And we think we have had some bad days?
His situation grew even worse. The next day, Job himself was physically attacked with sickness. All of this transpired in only two days. I am following the timeline of Job’s losses day by day to underline my point that the time of testing for him was a relatively short period of his life, and it affected more than his finances.
If we look at the end of Job it states that he lived 140 years enjoying the blessings of God in every way. The Bible teaches that Job lived most of his life full of prosperity and God’s financial provision. Perhaps this is a new way of looking at this Biblical story for you. Actually looking at the scripture will help us to see this point more clearly.
After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought upon him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so he died, old and full of years (Job 42:10-17).
Notice Job did not experience 140 years of having boils, poverty, despair and everything going wrong. No, it was a short season of his life in which he learned many valuable lessons. Job’s story allows the Christian today to learn many theological and doctrinal lessons about the nature and character of God. His actual time of testing was much like the occasional drought that causes the birds of the air to experience insufficient food supplies. The practical example of Job’s perseverance is one we can all honor and duplicate. More to come…