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The Testing of Job

Job 1:20-22; 2:1-10

In these verses the writer informs us that Job was a model man of God. God boasted of him to Satan saying that “there is none like him in the earth.” What were his distinctives? What set him apart? Four things are mentioned. A look at the Hebrew words might help us in knowing better what kind of behavior and demeanor impress God.

Job was a perfect man – The root of the Hebrew word Tam means to be complete. In many instances it speaks of that which is ethically sound. For example the Psalmist says that we are to be “wholly” Gods (Psa 101). David said, “I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.” Psa 101:2 Tam means to be undefiled or upright and nine of the thirteen times that the word is used speak of Job. “Some of these utterances are no more than asseverations that the speaker is innocent of particular crimes laid to his charge; others are general professions of purity of purpose….Those who make them do not profess to be absolutely sinless, but they do disclaim all fellowship with the wicked, from whom they expect to be distinguished in the course of Providence” (A. F. Kirkpatrick, Cambridge Bible, Psalms, I, p. 87).

Job was an upright man – yashar – to be level, straight, upright, just, lawful. One of the characteristics of the blameless is that they live upright lives. Being upright suggests that the life is not bent toward sinning but rather toward pleasing God completely. Uprightness is a word that characterizes God and the people who emulate Him. It is a quality of heart and mind which causes a person to remain steadfast in his determination to do Gods will even when others cringe and cower under the pressure of differing opinion.

Job feareth God – yare – fearing, afraid – (see last lesson)

Job escheweth evil – sur means to turn aside, depart – Sur is used both in a negative and in a positive sense. It often speaks of the apostasy of Israel. It means to make a distinctive and definite act of removing yourself from where you were before.

To sum up these observations we would have to say that Job was a holy man . . . a model of the holiness lifestyle.

(Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament)

Dr. Gayle Woods

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