Job is such a sorrowful story, yet with a powerfully positive ending as Job meets God face to face and triumphs over his tragedies. Reading these first chapters, I’m struck by how genuinely evil Satan shows himself to be. First of all, he is quick to confront God and, essentially, tell him he is naïve and stupid. And then, in the attempt to prove his point, how uncaringly he takes the lives of Job’s servants and animals and children. And how easily he afflicts Job with such a terrible sickness.
What a contrast with Job! In all that he faced, twice it is said that he did not sin, either by charging God with wrong or by any other words coming from his mouth. Blameless, upright, fearing God, and turning away from evil (1:1).
Enter Job's friends. They come to Job, they are silent with grief, they sit with him, and though their conversations with him are off base, they do at least talk with him and spend time with him. Though misguided, they do seek, with Job, the answer to his predicament. And so, the stage is set for the dialogues between Job and his friends. A lot to ponder, here.
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform.
He plants his footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
You fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds you so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head. -- William Cowper (1774)