At the mention of Job, we will think of Jehovah God’s assessment of him, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil?” (Job 1:8). According to the record of the Bible, God gave such praise to no one but Job. This is admirable to us, and motivates us to be like Job, fearing God and shunning evil, and receiving God’s praise. So, what manifestations of Job’s fear of God are approved of by God? Let’s seek the answer from Job’s story.
The Bible records, “And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually” (Job 1:5).
As we all know, Job was the greatest of all the men of the east in those days, he was very well-off, and he possessed high status. In many people’s opinion, it would be fitting for the rich to hold feasts and enjoy life, but Job didn’t agree with this. Job had a God-fearing heart, and he knew clearly that feasting and coveting the comforts of the flesh was disgusting to God and would make it easy for people to stray from God and do things against God, so he made strict demands of himself and didn’t do things that may displease God. He never attended feasts held by his children, and on top of that, after his children’s feasting, he would always pray and sacrifice burnt offerings for them, fearing that their sins had offended God. Clearly, Job had a place for God in his heart, he magnified God in everything, and his fear of God was not empty words but was manifested in all the details of everyday life. Whether in big matters or small matters, he was able to follow the way of God, and capable of fearing God and shunning evil; he didn’t do anything that ran counter to. Just as God’s words say, “The final sentence of the text is ‘Thus did Job continually.’ The meaning of these words is that Job did not go and look in on his sons occasionally, or when it pleased him, nor did he confess to God through prayer. Instead, he regularly sent his sons to be sanctified, and sacrificed burnt offerings for them. The word ‘continually’ here does not mean he did so for one or two days, or for a moment. It is saying that the manifestation of Job’s fear of God was not temporary, and did not stop at knowledge or spoken words; instead, the way of fearing God and shunning evil guided his heart, it dictated his behavior, and it was, in his heart, the root of his existence. That he did so continually shows that, in his heart, he often feared that he himself would sin against God and was also afraid that his sons and daughters would sin against God. It represents just how much weight the way of fearing God and shunning evil carried within his heart. He did thus continually because, in his heart, he was frightened and afraid—afraid that he had committed evil and sinned against God, and that he had deviated from the way of God and so was unable to satisfy God. At the same time, he also worried about his sons and daughters, fearing that they had offended God. Thus was Job’s normal conduct in his everyday life. It is precisely this normal conduct which proves that Job’s fear of God and shunning of evil are not empty words, that Job truly lived out such a reality.”
Although Job possessed great wealth and property as well as high status, he didn’t get pleasure from these things. Rather, in everything he encountered, he strived to put God’s will into practice for fear that he would sin against God. This is how Job could receive God’s praise, and it is the first manifestation of Job’s fear of God.
The Bible says, “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down on the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:20–21).
Satan’s temptations came upon Job; Job lost a mountain of sheep and cattle, and he lost all his property and wealth as well as his children and servants. However, Job did not send anyone to recover his stolen property, nor did he complain against God. Rather, he rent his mantle, shaved his head, and prostrated himself in worship, saying, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). The word of God states, “This was Job’s first reaction after hearing that he had lost his children and all of his property. Above all, he did not appear surprised, or panic-stricken, much less did he express anger or hate. You see, then, that in his heart he had already recognized that these disasters were not an accident, or born from the hand of man, much less were they the arrival of retribution or punishment. Instead, the trials of Jehovah had come upon him; it was Jehovah who wished to take his property and children. Job was very calm and clear-headed then. His perfect and upright humanity enabled him to rationally and naturally make accurate judgments and decisions about the disasters that had befallen him, and in consequence, he behaved with unusual calm: ‘Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down on the ground, and worshipped.’ ‘Rent his mantle’ means that he was unclothed, and possessed of nothing; ‘shaved his head’ means he had returned before God as a newborn infant; ‘fell down on the ground, and worshipped’ means he had come into the world naked, and still without anything today, he was returned to God as if a newborn baby. Job’s attitude toward all that befell him could not have been achieved by any creature of God. His faith in Jehovah went beyond the realm of belief; this was his fear of God, his obedience to God; he was not only able to give thanks to God for giving to him, but also for taking from him. Furthermore, he was able to take it upon himself to return to God all that he owned, including his life.”
When great trials came upon Job, that is, when natural and man-made disasters befell Job, he didn’t speak sinfully, nor complain against God. He believed God holds sovereignty over all things, and that the wealth, property and children he had in his life had all been given to him by God, but were not things he could obtain with his own efforts. He realized that whether God gives or takes away, as a creature of God, he shouldunconditionally and praise His name. In the end, Job stood firm in his testimony to God, causing Satan to be utterly shamed and defeated; he was praised by God as a perfect man. It can be therefore concluded that the second manifestation of Job’s fear of God is that during his trials, he didn’t speak sinfully, showed absolute obedience to God, prostrated himself on the ground and praised the holy name of Jehovah.
The Bible says, “Then said his wife to him, Do you still retain your integrity? curse God, and die. But he said to her, You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:9–10).
We all know the Bible records that Satan tempted Job three times. Job’s possessions were all taken away by robbers, his children were crushed to death, and his whole body broke out in painful boils. When Job sat amongst the ashes and scraped his body with a potsherd, suffering enormous emotional and physical pain, his wife serving as one of Satan’s lackeys said to him, “Do you still retain your integrity? curse God, and die” (Job 2:9). Job recognized that his wife was denying God and complaining that God was unjust, and so he felt disgusted and loathing toward her, and rebuked her sternly by saying, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?”
Why did Job rebuke her wife so sternly? God says, “Seeing the torment he was suffering, Job’s wife tried to give Job advice to help him escape his torment, yet her ‘good intentions’ did not gain Job’s approval; instead, they stirred his anger, for she denied his faith in, and obedience to Jehovah God, and also denied the existence of Jehovah God. This was intolerable to Job, for he had never allowed himself to do anything that opposed or hurt God, to say nothing of others. How could he remain indifferent when he saw others speak words that blasphemed against and insulted God? Thus he called his wife a ‘foolish woman.’ Job’s attitude toward his wife was one of anger and hate, as well as reproach and reprimand. This was the natural expression of Job’s humanity—differentiating between love and hate—and it was a true representation of his upright humanity. Job was possessed of a sense of justice—one which made him hate the winds and tides of wickedness, and loathe, condemn, and reject absurd heresy, ridiculous arguments, and ludicrous assertions, and allowed him to hold true to his own, correct principles and stance when he had been rejected by the masses and deserted by those who were close to him.”
It can be seen from God’s words that Job feared God and shunned evil, he could differentiate between love and hate and God took the uppermost place in his heart. He never allowed himself to do anything that opposed God; he didn’t tolerate others blaming God, judging God, and denying God, and his own family was no exception. When he saw others speak words that denied and blasphemed against God, he despised and loathed them, and even sternly rebuked them without being constrained by his emotions. The conversation between Job and his wife shows us that his humanity was honest and upright, and he knew clearly what to love and what to hate and possessed a sense of justice; in all the people or things he encountered, he could always stand on the side of God and the truth, never acting according to emotions; in the end he stood witness for God and was approved of by Him. This is the third manifestation of Job’s fear of God.
Above are the three manifestations of Job’s fear of God. If we wish to be approved of by God, we should follow the example of Job. In our daily lives, we must take heed to shun all manner of temptations. When trials and tribulations befall us, we must not speak sinfully, nor misunderstand God or blame God, but we must be able to submit to His sovereignty and arrangements. No matter what happens, we must always uphold truth and justice, and not be constrained by anyone else, resolutely standing on the side of God. By practicing in this way, we will gradually become someone who fears God, and receive God’s praise and blessings.
Editor’s Note: After having read the above fellowship, you surely understand the three manifestations of Job’s fear of God. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us via Live Chat. We are online 24 hours a day ready to answer your questions.