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  • Job is a book of the debates of godly men concerning the purpose of the sufferings of the saints, that is, the purpose of God’s dealing with His people. The book is poetic in form, with the exception of chs. 1 and 2 and the last eleven verses of ch. 42. Job is the first of the five books of poetry in the Scriptures, the other four being Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs.

    The book of Job, written early in the progression of the divine revelation (see note Job 2:131, par. 2), does not contain a clear revelation of God’s purpose in dealing with His people. This revelation was given not to Job but to Paul. As unveiled in Paul’s Epistles, God’s purpose in dealing with us is to strip us of all things and to consume us so that we may gain God more and more (Phil. 3:8; 2 Cor. 4:16). Cf. note Gen. 42:21a and note Psa. 73:261b.

  • A city in Edom (Lam. 4:21).

  • The name means hated, or persecuted. It corresponds to the hatred and persecution that Job suffered from Satan, the enemy of God.

  • Being perfect is related to the inner man, and being upright is related to the outer man. In addition to being perfect inwardly and upright outwardly, Job feared God positively and turned away from evil negatively. However, God did not create man merely to fear Him and not do anything wrong. Rather, God created man in His own image and according to His likeness that man may express God (Gen. 1:26 and notes). To express God is higher than fearing God and turning away from evil.

    Job was also a man of integrity (Job 2:3, 9; 27:5; 31:6). Integrity is the totality of being perfect and being upright. With respect to Job, integrity is the total expression of what he was. In character he was perfect and upright, and in his ethics he had a high standard of integrity.

  • Because feasting, an excess in eating, can be worldly, Job, a godly father, sanctified his children after their days of feasting. He offered burnt offerings for them continually.

  • Lit., blessed; perhaps used euphemistically for cursing. So also in v. 11; 2:5, 9.

  • The sons of God are the angels (cf. 1 Kings 22:19-23; Psa. 89:5-7). The scene in vv. 6-8 depicts one of the two councils held in heaven concerning Job. What Job had attained in his perfection, uprightness, and integrity was altogether vanity. It neither fulfilled God’s purpose nor satisfied God’s desire. Thus, God was lovingly concerned for Job and held two councils in heaven concerning how to deal with Job (vv. 6-8; 2:1-3).

  • Lit., the satan, the adversary. So also through Job 2:7. See note Matt. 4:101a.

  • After he rebelled against God, Satan was condemned and even sentenced by God (see notes in Isa. 14:12-15 and Ezek. 28:12-19). Yet in His wisdom and sovereignty God did not execute His judgment on Satan. God still has given Satan a certain limited time to do something to meet some negative need in the fulfillment of His economy. God could not and would not ask any of His many excellent angels to do what was needed to damage Job in order to strip him of everything so that he might be full of God. Satan was the unique one in the universe who could and who would fulfill God’s intention of stripping Job of his possessions and his ethical attainment. Thus, the scene here and in ch. 2 shows that Satan remains free to be purposely used by God as an ugly tool to execute God’s severe dealing with his loving ones.

    Two thousand years after the time of Job, Jesus Christ destroyed Satan through His death on the cross (Heb. 2:14). However, Satan’s right to enter into the presence of God still has not been taken away from him (cf. Rev. 12:10). This right will be taken away at the beginning of the great tribulation. When the overcomers are raptured to God’s throne, Satan will be cast down from the heavens to the earth (Rev. 12:5, 7-9). From that time onward, Satan will no longer have the right to enter into the presence of God.

  • Only God knew that Job had a need — he did not have God within him. God’s boasting to Satan regarding Job’s perfection and uprightness (v. 8; 2:3) was with the intention that Satan would do something for God to meet Job’s need. Satan, an evil angel, was willing to do what none of the good angels were willing to do, and he immediately accepted the dishonorable commission (v. 12; 2:6). See note Job 1:63, par. 1.

  • Satan’s evil concept concerning God’s dealing with His seeking people is based on his commercial principle of gain or loss. Satan is a businessman, a merchant (Ezek. 28:16, 18; cf. Rev. 18:11-19), and his thought is according to his commercial principle. He does not recognize that God’s purpose in dealing with those who love Him is that they may gain Him to the fullest extent, surpassing the loss of all that they have other than Him (Phil. 3:7-8), that He might be expressed through them for the fulfillment of His purpose in creating man (Gen. 1:26).

  • As seen in the experiences of both Job and Paul, God assigns certain afflictions to His chosen ones for their perfecting. Although these afflictions are God’s assignment, they do not come from God but from Satan (cf. 2 Cor. 12:7-9). Satan, in his cruel nature, would attack God’s lovers to any extent to damage them if God did not draw a line to preserve His lovers’ existence that they might gain Him to the fullest extent for His fullest satisfaction. After God judged Satan, God still allowed him to be free to accuse, attack, damage, persecute, and martyr His saints that God may use him to a certain extent for the fulfillment of His particular purpose (2 Cor. 4:16-17). However, God always restricts him in the limit of His permission (cf. 1 Cor. 10:13).

    Satan’s attacks on Job in two steps (vv. 13-19; 2:7) laid a foundation for God to accomplish His glorious transformation on Job, and for Job to experience the mysterious transactions in his relationship with the mysterious God.

  • Contrary to this report, this fire, as well as the great wind in v. 19, was a natural calamity instigated by Satan.

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