In ancient times, east of Palestine, there lived a righteous man by the name of Job. He was a
just and good man, who always strove to please God throughout his life. The
Lord rewarded him for his piety with great wealth. He had many hundreds of large
and thousands of small cattle. His large and close family of seven sons and
three daughters comforted him.
But the Devil was jealous of Job. He began to
vilify him before God, "Doth Job fear God for nothing?... But put forth
Thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse Thee to Thy
face." Then God, in order to reveal to all how faithful Job was to Him and
in order to teach people patience in their sufferings, permitted the Devil to
take away all of Job’s possessions. One day robbers came and drove away all his
cattle, slew his servants, and a terrible tornado from the desert destroyed the
house in which Job’s children had gathered together, killing them all. Job not
only did not complain against God, but he said, "God gave, and God hath
taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord."
The Devil, put to shame, was not satisfied with
this. Again he began to slander Job, "All a man hath will he give for his
life. But put forth Thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh (that is,
strike him down with disease), and he will curse Thee to Thy face." God
permitted the Devil to deprive Job even of his health, and Job was stricken
with the most terrible disease — leprosy. Then even his wife began to persuade
him to complain against God. His friends, instead of consolation, only further
grieved the innocent sufferer with their unjust suspicions. But Job remained
firm, did not lose hope in the mercy of God and only begged the Lord to testify
that he was suffering in innocence.
In his discourse with his friends, Job
prophesied about the Redeemer and of the future resurrection: I know that my
Redeemer liveth and on the last day He shall raise from the dust this my
corrupted skin, and in my flesh I shall see God. I shall see Him myself; mine
eyes, and not the eyes of another, shall behold Him (Job 19:25-27,
After this, God, having shown to all the example
of devotion and long-suffering in His servant Job, appeared Himself and
commanded his friends, who had regarded Job as a great sinner, to ask for
prayers from him for themselves. God rewarded His faithful servant. Job
regained his health. He had seven more sons and three daughters, gained back
twice as much cattle as he had before, and lived another one hundred and forty
years in honor, quietly, piously and happily.
The story of long-suffering Job teaches us that
God sends misfortunes not just for sins, but that sometimes God sends
misfortunes even to the righteous for an even greater confirmation in goodness,
for the shaming of the Devil, and for the glorification of the righteousness of
God. The history of the life of Job also reveals to us that earthly welfare
does not always accompany a virtuous life for men and teaches us also to be
sympathetic to those in misfortune. Job, by his innocent sufferings and
patience, foreshadowed the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, in the days of the
commemoration of the sufferings of Jesus Christ during Passion Week, this story
in the Book of Job is read in church.
the Book of Job.
Bondage in Egypt.
At first the Hebrews lived well in Egypt. But new
pharaohs, as they mounted the throne of Egypt, began to forget Joseph and his
services. They began to fear the increase of the Hebrew people and were afraid
that the Hebrews would become more powerful than the Egyptians and rebel
against them. The pharaohs began to burden them with forced labor. But the more
they burdened them, the more they increased. Then one of the pharaohs gave the
order to kill all the male infants that were born to the Hebrews.
At the time when the Hebrews still lived well,
they had begun to forget God and to adopt pagan customs from the Egyptians.
Now, when misfortunes came upon them, they remembered God and turned to Him
with prayer for their salvation. The compassionate Lord heard them and sent
them deliverance through the Prophet and leader Moses.
Exodus, chap. 1.
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