“The account of Job is traditionally thought to have taken place around the time of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (2200-1800 BC), or shortly thereafter. However, it could have occurred as late as the Exile (during the sixth century BC)” – Note from the OYCB.
The story of Job answers several questions:
1) Can bad things happen to good people? Yes
2) Is God capable of doing evil? No
3) Is Satan the real enemy? Yes
4) Does God allow evil to accomplish His purposes and for His glory? Yes
5) Can the enemy only do what God allows? Yes
6) Is walking with the Lord always easy? No
7) Will it be worth it in the end? Yes
“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.” Also, he is a man of great possessions. From the very beginning of the story of Job, we see that Job is a righteous man as he comes to the Lord His way, by interceding for his children through substitutionary atonement – “he would rise early in the morning and offer 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 Job did regularly.” However, we also see a conversation taking place in the heavenly realm of which Job is unaware. God allows Job to be tested by Satan and just like that, Job loses everything: his children, servants, all his possessions, and he is covered in painful boils. But God puts a limit on what Satan can do to him – Satan cannot take Job’s life.
Job’s suffering is so great that his own wife says to him, “Curse God and die.” However, Job responds, “‘You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”
Then Job’s three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, come to Job with good intentions of comforting him. However, their words end up bringing discouragement rather than encouragement because they try to rationalize Job’s pain. Job’s friends wrongly believe that Job’s suffering is directly related to his sinful actions. Since Job’s friends are clueless about what is going on behind the scenes in the spiritual realm, they will spend the remainder of their time with Job trying to convince him of this false truth.
Therefore, we will have to bear along with Job listening to his discouraging friends for the next several days. But in the end, the Lord is going to appear and shed some light on Job’s situation, so keep reading! (Job 1:1-4:21)