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Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Deceitfulness of Wealth And The Book of Job

Today we begin our journey into the book about Job and his suffering.
There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did continually. - Job 1:1-5 ESV
What a man! 10 children, riches and a deep commitment to his Creator and God! Job was "the greatest of all the people of the east (Job 1:3).
Where was the Land of Uz?
Bible Reading Archeology
Where was the land of Uz? The name of the land means "wooded" in Hebrew. Commentators tell us that it was located in a region in the northern part of the Arabian desert, between Palestine, Idumea and the Euphrates river. The first clues as to where it was come in Job 1:15 where we hear that raiders came from Saba (Yemen today). The second raiding party came from Chaldea in southern Mesopotamia. Lamentations 4:21 places Edom in the land of Uz. One of Job's "comforters", Eliphaz was from Tema, in northern Arabia. Another (Zophar) is designated a "Naamathite", suggesting a mountain in NW Arabia. So we have a general idea of where Job came from. Check further with Dr. John Mackay for more details. ś

And when did Job live? Was he before or after Abraham? Or did he live before Noah? Where does Job fit on the Biblical timeline? Best guess is that he lived after Jacob's 12 sons had died (1700 BC) and before Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, about 1446 BC.  That puts him somewhere in that 200 year period. We probably cannot get more detailed than that.

But Job lost it all, as we shall see. This remains a reminder for us all not to put our trust in riches. And he lost his health as well. The Bible makes this point again and again.
Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, that he should live on forever and never see the pit. For he sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others. - Psa 49:7-10 ESV
We all do well to heed this wisdom. . . More about this as we walk further into the teaching of Job the next time.