The Old Testament's Book of Job is a highly controversial part of the Biblical text. The book of Job is part of the collection of Wisdom Literature, along with Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. Like the other Wisdom books Job is primarily composed of poetry. The Book of Job is not simply a story, but a fable, rich with meaning and lessons to be learned. Job attempts to rationalize human suffering and the ways of the Lord. The actual Book in the Bible is for its purpose in teaching us that we must endure what troubles we are given, because it is the will of God. This essay will give a brief outline of the book of Job, and exemplify the issues concerning the lessons of humility, prosperity, and the value of suffering.
Job was a virtuous man who lived in Uz with his seven sons and three daughters. He owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, and five hundred yokes of oxen, five hundred donkeys and many slaves. Each year, he held a feast where Job would have each of his children purified; for fear that they might have sinned and cursed God in their hearts. On the day that the angels came to prove before God, God pointed out to the accusing angel (Satan) how righteous and respectful Job was to Him. Satan claimed that Job's actions and character originated with evil and self-serving motives: Job is so righteous and respectful because he has no reason to act otherwise, but if God were to give him adversity, he would curse the name of the Lord. Satan challenges God to test Job, and unwillingly, God accepts.
On Earth, Job was suffering with misfortune. All his children died of one tragedy or another; his animals were either stolen or struck by lightning. Job did not curse God, he rationalized the act, what God gives, and He can also take away. God boasted to Satan about how faithful and righteous his servant Job was. Again, Satan continued claiming that Job was still faithful and righteous because he had not been affected directly by God's test. He persuades God to test Job once more. This time, Job's health is destroyed in a most terrible form. Job is enclosed in boils from head to toe so badly, that he uses a piece of broken pottery to scratch the dead flesh off with.
Job's faith in the Lord is then tested by his wife, who wondered why he is still so faithful to God. As we all know, the hardest part of faith is to believe when others around you do not, and can persuade you to think that they are right while you are wrong. Still, Job rebuked his wife and refused to sin. Job had three friends: Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Namathite. These three friends heard of what happened to Job and came to offer their compassion and...