While preparing for the first lesson in our study of the book of Job, I was struck by the compliment God paid Job.
God said, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” (Job 1:8 ESV). Note the four component compliments God gives here.
He says, “there is none like him on the earth.” That’s quite a commendation. Of course the reason why there was none like him is because he was someone who avoided sin and stayed away from evil. Those are the things important to God. Job’s wealth didn’t induce this from God, neither was it Job’s position, but his faithfulness to and love of God.
Job, God said, is a “blameless and upright man.” The Brown-Driver-Briggs lexicon defines “blameless” as “complete, morally innocent, having integrity.” I love the integumentary system of the body — the skin. It separates us from the environment and protects us from all the little bugs out there that would like to infect us. Job’s integrity separated him from all the evil in the world. He maintained his separation from it, just as our skin separates us from the world.
God said Job fears him. Such is high praise for a man. Job was not sinless, but he loved God enough to keep himself from getting entangled in the lusts of this world. How many others can say they’ve never been overcome by the allure of the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes or the pride of life (1 John 2:15f)?
Job, according to God, was a man who turned away from evil. What a wonderful idea, and how seldom is it practiced in this world? If more people would just use their feet to take them away from the temptations of this life, more would be able to prevent sin.
Probably the highest praise God gave Job was the compliment of allowing him to suffer. This is a tough idea for some to comprehend, but when God tests our faith, he does so with suffering. In so doing is he not announcing his trust in our ability to pass the test? And, if we don’t, God is still there to pick us up and help us learn, isn’t he?