Satan challenges Job’s integrity before God, but Job remains faithful to Jehovah
WOULD any human remain faithful to God if tested to the limit and if obedience seemed to bring no material benefits? That question was raised—and answered—in connection with a man named Job.
While the Israelites were still in Egypt, Job, a relative of Abraham, was living in what is now Arabia. Meanwhile, the angels in heaven gathered before God, and rebellious Satan was among them. Before the heavenly assembly, Jehovah expressed his confidence in his loyal servant Job. In fact, Jehovah said that no other human had integrity like that of Job. But Satan asserted that Job served God only because God had blessed and protected him. Satan claimed that if Job were stripped of everything he had, he would curse God.
God permitted Satan to deprive Job first of his wealth and children and then of his health. Unaware of Satan’s role in all of this, Job could not understand why God allowed him to experience these trials. Still, Job never turned against God.
Three false friends came to Job. In a series of speeches that fill many pages of the book of Job, the men wrongly tried to convince Job that God was punishing him for hidden sins. They even claimed that God neither finds pleasure in his servants nor puts trust in them. Job rejected their faulty reasoning. With confidence, Job declared that he would maintain his integrity down to death!
But Job made the mistake of becoming overly concerned with justifying himself. A younger man named Elihu, who had been listening to the entire debate, spoke up. Elihu reproved Job for failing to appreciate that the vindication of Jehovah God’s sovereignty is far more important than the vindication of any human. Elihu also strongly rebuked Job’s false friends.
Jehovah God then spoke to Job, correcting his thinking. Pointing to many marvels of creation, Jehovah gave Job a lesson in man’s littleness compared to God’s greatness. Job humbly accepted the correction from God. Jehovah, being “very tender in affection and merciful,” restored Job’s health, gave him double his previous wealth, and blessed him with ten children. (James 5:11) By keeping integrity to Jehovah while under severe trial, Job successfully answered Satan’s challenge that humans will not remain faithful to God if put to the test.
—Based on the book of Job.