WFTW Body: 

The book of Job is the first book of inspired Scripture - written hundreds of years before Genesis (which was written by Moses about 1500 years before Christ).

It is interesting to see that when God decided to write Scripture, the very first book He wrote was not about creation, but about a godly man. That teaches us what God always looks for. He looked for a godly man in the time of Enoch, in the time of Noah and in the time of Job. God planned from the beginning to give us 66 books of Scripture. And in the very first of those books, He wrote about what was uppermost in His heart - a godly man. Notice the first sentence in the first inspired book of Scripture: "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job, and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil " (Job.1:1). Can you see the heart of God in the first sentence of Scripture? It was about one man - a man identified by his name - Job - and by the place he lived in- Uz (so that he is not confused with some other Job living somewhere else). And God gives His testimony of that man - not about his cleverness, or his wealth, or his reputation with other men, but only about his character. There we see what God truly values - uprightness, fear of God and turning away from all evil. I hope that challenges us.

Satan travels around the world, watching believers especially. He moves about like a roaring lion, seeking whom to devour (1 Pet.5:8). When God asked Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job?" Satan replied, "Yes, I know all about him." Satan knows the true spiritual state of every person. His demons also move around everywhere, examining people's lives and reporting back to him. So Satan knows everything about everybody in the world. The Lord told Satan what was outstanding about Job: "There is no-one like him on the earth - a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil" (Job 1:8). The fear of God - or reverence for God - is something that is mentioned much in this first book of inspired Scripture. Here we see that God compared Job with other people on the earth. God does that today too.

Satan then told God, "You have made a hedge around him and his house and all that he has on every side" (Job 1:10). From what Satan said, we learn three great truths. God has put a threefold hedge around a godly man: First around him personally, secondly around his family, and thirdly around his finances and his property. Satan can see into the spiritual realm and knows that. We cannot see those hedges, but they are there. It is a great comfort to me to know that if I live a godly life, there are three hedges around me too. And none of these hedges can be opened up without God's permission.

Now see how Job reacted to all the trials. He heard that everything had been lost. One after the other, his servants came and told him that everything was gone. And Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, fell to the ground and worshipped God (Job 1:20). That's another thing we see on the very first page of inspired Scripture: A godly man is a worshipper. More than knowing the Bible and more than serving the Lord, a man of God is primarily a worshipper. You must be a worshipper when you have everything and you must be a worshipper when you have lost everything. Jesus said, "God is a Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth, and the Father seeks for such worshippers" (John 4:24). To worship God is to give Him everything. Job said, "I came from my mother's womb naked, and I shall return there naked. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.' Through all this Job did not sin, nor did he blame God." (Job 1:21). Job willingly accepted whatever the Lord permitted in his life.

We read in the book of Job that even his three friends (Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar) accused him. The fourth one, Elihu, was milder in his accusations, but he accused Job too. Accusation is part of the character of Satan and of his agents. But a truly godly man will not allow himself to be affected by those accusations. Those who have spiritual discernment will be able to recognize a godly man, despite what people may say about him.

In the very first book of the Bible, we see the beginning of the modern "health and wealth gospel". Three preachers there told Job that he had lost his health and his wealth because he had lost the blessing of God. Their message was that the blessing of God always brings prosperity and health. Note that this health and wealth gospel was first preached by people who did not know God. It is the same today. Remember that Job who lost all his wealth and his health was in the perfect will of God. But the three preachers who preached the "health and wealth" gospel were completely out of the will of God. This is clear from God's words to them: "I am angry with all of you. Ask Job to pray for you, lest I punish you" (Job 42:8).

God showed Job His sovereign power and control over all of creation. That was all that needed to be said. And Job was humbled. Hours of direct attack by the four preachers accomplished nothing. The indirect approach by God accomplished everything in a few minutes. Faith in the sovereign control of God over all of His creation, is what will bring rest to our hearts too, when we face problems, afflictions and enemies. The Lord asked Job, "Do you still want to argue with the Almighty?" (Job 40:2). Job, who had a quick reply for every argument thus far is now silenced. He now says, "Lord, I am nothing and I have nothing to say. I will not speak any more." This first book of inspired Scripture teaches us that God wants us to recognize our nothingness so that He can be everything in our lives. Then our lives will fulfil His purpose and be a blessing to multitudes. Before God can use someone, He has to reduce him to nothing.

Here then are some of the glorious truths that we can learn from the first book of inspired Scripture:

1. God looks all over the earth for godly men who will worship Him.

2. Godly men and their families become targets of Satan's attacks.

3. Satan can attack us only after getting God's permission.

4. A godly man may have a difficult wife. But God can change her.

5. Godly men will be misunderstood by religious people.

6. The actions of godly men are closely watched by both God and Satan.

7. The pathway to perfection is through suffering and misunderstanding.

8. Health and prosperity are not the marks of God's blessing.

9. When we see God as He really is, we will see ourselves as nothing.

10.God plans all things for our ultimate good.