Yesterday, I cleaned up an old article on the Book of Job that I thought I had republished already from the old blog site. In it, I make the case that Job was not “full of pride” or “self-righteous” and so he was being punished for those sins. Unfortunately, there are those in the Church of God who preach these things. God was angry with Job’s 3 friends for falsely accusing Job of grievous sins, so how much more guilty are they?
Frank Nelte published a similar article on “The Real Significance of the Book of Job” back in March 2007. While there are some differences, he also makes some excellent points about Satan’s attacks. While we basically do not see Satan after chapter 2, he is still at work in Job’s 3 friends. An interesting concept.
I think Nelte downplays the sense of entitlement that Job and his 3 friends seemed to have in regards to how the righteous are treated. While he eventually states that Job sins by becoming self-righteous (not starting out that way, there is a difference) and elevating his own sense of righteousness above God’s, I think Nelte shouldn’t downplay the sense that all 4 characters felt the righteous were “owed” blessings from God.
Also, even though the time and place of Job in relationship to other stories makes sense, I don’t think one should be so dogmatic about it. For one thing, Dr Bullinger gives an equally compelling reason to speculate that “Job” may not have been the character’s real name. Some have even speculated that Job was a character that was contemporary with Abraham, but I don’t know their evidence for this.
One thing that I’ve seen no other point out, however, is that Job apparently only had one wife. He didn’t even seem to have any concubines, which made him very unique in the ancient world.
Nelte also makes the excellent point that Job “cracks”. Like Eve, he succumbs eventually to Satan’s devices. Nelte gives the story much, much more meaning when he points out:
From Job’s experiences God learned how long someone, who has the best possible frame of mind to start with, can hold out when exposed to the total and unrestrained onslaught of Satan, without any access to help from God (except that Satan could not take Job’s life). Job’s experiences demonstrated that without help from God even "the best" human being was no match for Satan’s perverse and relentless attacks. When Job buckled, it showed God that EVERY human being would buckle under the identical conditions.
It’s a bit long, but the Book of Job is not light reading either. I suggest you check out Nelte’s commentary when you have a chance.