The Book of Job at its beginning, Job seems to be a book about human suffering. By its conclusion, the true subject of the book emerges: God’s sovereignty. As one of the longest books in the Bible, Job can be captured under four headings:
“Prologue” (chapters 1 and 2): the setting for Job’s suffering;“Dialogues” (chapters 3 and 27): accusations and answers between Job and his friends;
“Monologues” (chapters 28:1 to 42:6): discourses by Job, Elihu and God;
“Epilogue” (chapter 42:7 - 17): Job’s understanding of God and Job’s restoration.
“What does all of this mean”: Job speaks of foundational themes every human being contends with, especially in times of suffering.
“God’s Character”: The book of Job defends the character of a loving and righteous God in spite of earth’s obvious evils and injustices. Although Job was unaware of the interaction between Satan and God, Job comes to the conclusion that God is just and good. That is the lesson of the book for anyone who questions God without access to all the facts (38:1-42:6).
“Trust”: Job was forced to walk by faith rather than by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). He could not see what the reader sees in chapters 1 and 2. Job’s perspective is best summarized in 13:15 “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.” Job continued to plead his innocence before God but was prepared to die trusting Him.
“Sovereignty”: Although Satan wreaked havoc in Job’s life on earth, the limits of his activity were (and are) clearly set by God. Satan can go only so far. This serves as a template for viewing evil on earth. Satan does not operate as a free agent but is always under the sovereign and deciding hand of God (chapters 1 and 2).So what does it mean for you?
In Job’s most dreadful and difficult situation, this broken man caught startling glimpses of God and God’s work in his life beyond what he, or perhaps anyone else, had ever seen. Millennia before Jesus walked this earth as the God-Man, Job saw One who would be Redeemer, Mediator, Friend, Guide, Advocate, and Perfecter of faith, Job saw these intense, beautiful images through his tears.
Those who turn fully to God in their great sorrow, even if they argue, plead, and protest in His presence as job did, will find a pathway nearer to the tender mercies of heaven than they have ever walked before.
Believers talk about trusting in the Lord with their whole heart and refusing to lean on their own understanding. But no one really knows what that means until circumstances cast them headfirst into a dark and painful place. If we give ourselves fully to God in those moments, we will obtain keepsakes of Him to treasure now and forever.