Dave Burnette's Commentary

Job Chapter 1

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Unknown, possibly Job, Moses, Solomon, and Elihu
Date Penned: (2000-1800 BC)
Overview: Faith in God's Sovereignty Through Trials (c 1-42)
Theme: Job is Tested (c 1-2)
Message: Job's Character (v 1-22)

Job 1 Commentary

(1-1) A Look at Job's Life - As we see calamity and suffering in the book of Job, we must remember that we live in a fallen world where good behavior is not always rewarded and bad behavior is not always punished. When we see a notorious criminal prospering or an innocent child in pain, we say, "That's wrong." And it is. Sin has twisted justice and made our world unpredictable, unfair, and ugly. The book of Job shows a good man suffering for no apparent fault of his own. Sadly, our world is like that. But Job's story does not end in despair. Through Job's life we can see that faith in God is justified even when a situation looks hopeless. Faith based on rewards or prosperity is hollow and unstable. To be unshakable, faith must be built on the confidence that God's ultimate purpose will come to pass.

(1:1) God is on Display Through Job's Life -  As we read the book of Job, we are given insight that the people in the story do not have. Job, the main figure in the book, loses everything he has through no fault of his own. As he struggles to understand why all this is happening to him, we are shown that he is not meant to know the reasons. Job has to face life with many of the answers and explanations held back. Only then can his faith fully develop. We must experience life as Job did--one day at a time and without complete answers to all of life's questions. Will we, like Job, trust God no matter what? Or will we give in to the temptation to say that God doesn't really care?

(1:1-4) The Land of Uz - The location of the land of Uz is uncertain. We only know that Uz had plentiful pastures and crops (1:3), was located near a wilderness area (1:19), and was close enough to the Sabeans and Chaldeans to be raided by them (1:14-17). Uz is also mentioned in Jeremiah 25.19-20. It is likely that Uz was located east of the Jordan River near Canaan (Israel), where Abraham's family (those to whom God first revealed himself) lived. Job probably knew about God because he knew God's people.

(1:5) Job Loved God - Job probably lived during the days of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), before God gave his written law or appointed priests to be religious leaders. During Job's day, a father was his family's religious leader. Because there were no priests to instruct him in God's laws, Job acted as the priest and offered sacrifices to God to ask for forgiveness for any sins he and his family had committed. This demonstrated that Job did not consider himself sinless. Job did this out of conviction and love for God, not just because it was his role as head of the house. Do you carry out your spiritual duties because they are expected, or spontaneously from a heart of devotion?

(1:5) Job Loved His Children - Job showed deep concern for the spiritual welfare of his children. Fearful that they might have sinned unknowingly, he offered sacrifices for them. Parents today can show the same concern by praying for their children.

This means "sacrificing" time each day to ask God to forgive them, to help them grow, to protect them, and to help them please him. Even if some turn away from God when they are older, we must never give up on them.

Instead, we should always welcome them home and continue to pray for them.

(1:6-12) Satan is Exposed - From this conversation, we learn a great deal about Satan. (1) He is accountable to God. All angelic beings, good and evil, are compelled to present themselves before God (1:6). God knew that Satan was intent on attacking Job. (2) Satan can be at only one place at a time (1:6-7). His demons aid him in his work; but as a created being, he is limited. (3) Satan cannot see into our minds or foretell the future (1:9-11). If he could, he would have known that Job would not break under pressure. (4) Because Satan can do nothing without God's permission (1:12), God's people can overcome his attacks through God's power. (5) God puts limitations on what Satan can do (1:12; 2:6). Satan's response to the Lord's question (17) tells us that Satan is real and active on earth. Knowing this about Satan should cause us to remain close to the one who is greater than Satan--God himself.

(1:6-7) God's enemy - Satan, originally an angel of God, had become corrupt through his own pride. He has been evil since his rebellion against God (John 3:8). Satan considers God his enemy. He tries to hinder God's work in people, but he is limited by God's power and can do only what he is permitted (Luke 22:31-32; 1 Timothy 1:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:23-26). As our enemy, Satan actively looks for people to attack with temptation (1 Peter 5:8-9), and he wants to make people hate God. He does this through lies and deception (Genesis 3:1-6). Job, a blameless and upright man who had been greatly blessed, was a perfect target for Satan. Any person who is committed to God should expect Satan's attacks. Satan, who hates God, also hates God's people. He wants to prevent us from following God at all costs. The "sons of God" may have been angels. The Bible also speaks elsewhere of the heavenly council, where God and the angels plan their activities on earth and where angels are required to give account of themselves (see, for example, 1 Kings 22:19-23). Because God created all the angels--both those who serve him and those who rebelled--he has complete power and authority over them. Some people suggest that this dialogue was made up by the author as a parable or morality play. Certainly, a unique literary format was used here that can be found nowhere else in the Bible. Could this conversation between God and Satan really have happened? Other Bible passages tell us that Satan does indeed have access to God (see Revelation 12:10). He even went into God's presence to make accusations against Joshua the high priest (Zechariah 31-2). We have no record of how this event was revealed to the author, but whether through a direct vision from God or an inspiration of creativity, it still reveals what God desires us to understand about his


(1:8) Joe Displays Faith - Job consistently obeyed and trusted in God, yet God permitted Satan to attack him in an especially harsh manner. Although God loves us, believing and obeying him do not shelter us from life's calamities. Setbacks, tragedies, and sorrows strike Christians and non-Christians alike. But in our tests and trials, God calls us to stay faithful and thus proclaim our faith to the world. Ezekiel and James mention Job as an example of extraordinary righteousness and faithfulness (Ezekiel 14:14; James 5:11). When troubles come, will you ask God, Why me? or will you say, Use me?


(1:9-11) Satan Attacks - Satan attacked Job's motives, saying that Job was blameless and had integrity only because he had no reason to turn against God. It seemed that because Job was following God, everything was going well for him. Satan wanted to prove that Job worshiped God not out of love but because God had given him so much.

Satan accurately analyzed why many people trust God. They are fair-weather believers, following God only when everything is going well or for what they can get. Adversity destroys this superficial faith. But adversity strengthens real faith by causing believers to dig their roots deeper into God in order to withstand the storms. How deep does your faith go? Put the roots of your faith down deep into God so that you can withstand any storm you may face. (For more on how to do this, see Colossians 2:6-23).


(1:12) God Knows - This conversation between God and Satan teaches us an important fact about God--he is fully aware of every attempt by Satan to bring suffering and difficulty upon us. While God may allow us to suffer for reasons beyond our understanding, he is never caught by surprise by our troubles and is always compassionate.


(1:15-17) The Sabeans - The Sabeans were from southwest Arabia, while the Chaldeans were from the region north of the Persian Gulf.


(1:16) Lightning - "The fire of God" was likely a poetic way to describe lightning (1 Kings 18:38; 2 Kings 1:10-14). In this case, it had to be unusually powerful to kill 7,000 sheep.


(1:20-22) Job's Emotions - Job did not hide his overwhelming grief. He had not lost his faith in God; instead, his emotions showed that he was human and that he loved his family. God created our emotions, and it is not sinful or inappropriate to express them as Job did. If you have experienced a deep loss, disappointment, or heartbreak, admit your feelings to yourself, to God, and to others, and grieve.

(1:20-22) Job Passes a Test - Job had lost his possessions and children in this first of Satan's tests, but he reacted rightly toward God by acknowledging God's sovereign authority over everything God had given him. Satan lost this first round. Job passed the test and proved that people can love God for who he is, not for what he gives

Dave Burnette's Life Application

God's Permissive Hand

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start the Book of Job with Chapter 1. In our text today we see the beginning of Job being tested as his character is revealed for us to understand who is Job? We see Job's wealth is destroyed by Satan. What catches my eye is how Satan cannot touch Job unless God allows it to happen. In making application we see how anything that happens to us must pass through God's Permissive Hand. Some ask why would a good God allow bad things to happen to us? As we will see as we go through this book we find that God allows us to go through momentary light afflictions because He has a bigger and better plan for our lives. These trails we face allow us to grow and mature for future and eternal benefits to us. Like a bad tasting medicine these seasons of testings are for our good and His Glory. How about you? Are you facing a bad circumstance in your life? Let us be encouraged and learn from our text today to remember that every eternal good thing for us passes through God's Permissive Hand. 


Job 1

Job 1

 1There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

 2And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.

 3His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

 4And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.

 5And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

 6Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

 7And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

 8And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

 9Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?

 10Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

 11But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

 12And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

 13And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:

 14And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:

 15And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

 16While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

 17While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

 18While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:

 19And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

 20Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,

 21And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

 22In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.