Job is remarkable! Notice the four reports he receives in Chapter 1. His sheep, flocks, herds, and children all destroyed; some by what might be described as natural disaster, an act of God; tornado and a fire and some stolen by terrorists, invaders. Just one of those reports would have been enough to send us into a tizzy, but the cumulative effect of all four must have been devastating.  Yet, Job, our hero, replies with a verse we all should memorize: “Naked I came into the world, and naked from it, I will go. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (1:21)

But then the Lord allows Satan to strike Job once again and now his health is gone. He’s described as having boils and sores all over and of course he’s even unable to sleep. He cries out to God all night long for relief, but doesn’t get it! In a day when there was no morphine, Prozac, or anything for physical or emotional pain like we have today, Job felt the entire experience in a way we probably will never have to. No wonder he says in 7:10, “I hate my life and don’t want to go on living.” He even gives up all hope. 7:6 says, “My days fly faster than a weaver’s shuttle. They end without hope.” Yet, amidst all the suicidal language, He hangs on. He doesn’t let go and “curse God and die” like his wife suggests.

James reminds us of the outcome, he writes in 5:11, “you have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about…” The operative word in that verse is “finally.” It took a long time, but the verse goes on, “…the Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” Tim Allen, as the Captain of the Star Ship in Galaxy Quest, is famous for saying, “Never give up! Never Surrender!” The movie makes that sound as corny as ever, but that seemed to be Job’s motto.

These words were spelled out in lights at the 18th Olympics at Tokyo, in 1964: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part; just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is … to have fought well.”


“Job was blameless—a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil.” Job 1:1