Job 1:1-2:10 Exploring the Passage

Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download).

1. How is Job described? See Job 1:1 (printed below)

There lived a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and turned away from evil. (Job 1:1)

Job is described as being “blameless and upright.” The meaning of “blameless” is explained in such a passage as Psalm 19:12-13, where the Psalmist prays, “Hold your servant back from committing willful sins…then I shall be blameless.” Job conscientiously sought to live in submission to God’s will. He is further described as being a man who “feared God and turned away from evil.” What motivated Job to lead a blameless life was his godly fear, a deep reverence for the holy majesty of God. When speaking to Satan, Jehovah identifies Job as “my servant,” and repeats the declaration that Job is ‘a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil.’ Thus, God Himself acknowledges Job’s righteousness and godly devotion.

2. What accusation does Satan bring against Job? See Job 1:9-11 (printed below)

Then Satan replied to Jehovah, Does Job fear God for no reason? (10) Have you not put a hedge all around him, as well as around his household and all that he owns? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his flocks spread out over the land. (11) But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and I swear that he will renounce you to your face. (Job 1:9-11)

Satan’s contention is that Job’s motivation in serving the Lord stems from selfish, self-centered reasons, his service and commitment are not motivated by true love and devotion to the Lord. Job serves the Lord only because the Lord has blessed him and only for the Lord’s blessing (1:9-10). Satan maintains that if the Lord were to remove His blessing from Job’s life, Job would “renounce you to your face” (1:11); i.e.; as soon as the blessing ceased, Job’s devotion would cease, being replaced by the same blasphemous defiance of the Lord as that exhibited by the devil himself. Satan’s argument: remove the divine blessing and you remove the reason/the motivation for Job’s devotion, thereby demonstrating that his devotion is no true devotion at all, it is not motivated by genuine love and reverence for the Lord his God, it is motivated only by self-interest.

3. How does the Lord respond to Satan’s accusation? See Job 1:12 (printed below)

Jehovah said to Satan, Look; everything that he has is in your power; only do not lay your hand upon the man himself. So Satan went out from the presence of Jehovah. (Job 1:12)

The Lord grants Satan permission to test Job’s devotion (1:12). Satan’s purpose is to disprove the Lord’s claim that Job is a true servant of the Lord. The Lord’s purpose is to have His claim about Job demonstrated to be true and thereby verified—and this can only be accomplished by subjecting Job to trial and testing. It is God’s divine prerogative to test and verify the genuineness of His servant’s devotion, and He exercises this prerogative as He sees fit.

4. What advice does Job’s wife offer him? See Job 2:9 (printed below)

Then his wife said to him, Are you still maintaining your integrity? Renounce God and die! (Job 2:9)

Job’s wife wonders, “Why do you still maintain your integrity? You are not receiving any benefit from it; on the contrary, you are receiving the direct opposite: calamity!” She therefore tells Job, “Renounce your integrity and die.” She is counseling Job to severe his covenantal relationship with God, even though she is aware that to do so means death. Her position is self-centered and utilitarian, as opposed to being God-centered and truly pious. From her perspective, devotion is to be rendered unto God, not as an end in itself, not as the supreme purpose of man’s existence; rather, devotion is to be rendered unto God as a means of deriving temporal benefits from God: if God withholds the blessing, one should renounce his devotion to God, even if it means incurring God’s divine judgment.

5. What does Job say in response to his wife’s counsel? See Job 2:10 (printed below)

But he said to her, You are speaking like one of the foolish women. Shall we only accept good from the hand of God, and shall we not accept calamity? In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (Job 2:10)

Job identifies the counsel offered by his wife as being foolish (or, impious); it is the attitude of the ungodly who only view their relationship to God from a self-centered, utilitarian perspective and motivation (cp. Job 21:14-15). Job maintains that we are completely at the disposal of God our Maker: we readily accept the good we receive from His hand (many times without thanksgiving), should we not also accept calamity/hardship from His hand if He sees fit to bestow such things to accomplish His sovereign purpose? Job’s devotion to the Lord is not utilitarian, it is truly pious: Job serves the Lord because He is God and He has revealed Himself to be the faithful God.