Monday, March 11, 2013

Job of Uz

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.
Job 1:1

This short character sketch sets the scene for the book of Job and the epic poetry detailing the chronic suffering of a worshiper of God. And from the very onset of the story we see that Job did everything right. He was a man who was everything anyone could have been in his day.

God's analysis of him as a forthright man of integrity is fourfold. He was first of all blameless in his reputation. He was squeaky clean. Nobody had a problem with Him, including God. There was not some deep character flaw or shady dealing from his past. There were no skeletons locked in his closets.

The second word used of him is "upright". That meant that righteousness described his actions. He obeyed God and it showed in the things that Job did. He could stand tall and live well because he did what was right as a matter of lifestyle. He did not seek ways to cheat others or do things quick and easy. He was above board, clear, and clean in how he conducted his life.

The reason these two character qualities marked him was that he was a man who feared God. He did these things not out of personal pride, but out of his love and respect for God. He had great and honest relationships with people because of his first relationship obeying God. Pleasing God was his first motivation. All else ranked under this.

His life resulted in pleasing God because these things naturally inclined him to turn away from sin. You cannot simultaneously love and obey God and then turn to evil. By prioritizing the worship, love, and obedience of God in his heart, it was clear to Job how to avoid sin's allure. And that is what made him a man whom God delighted in and that God saw as righteous. Integrity always starts with God.

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