The right stuff

David and Job, central figures in the Old Testament, are kindred spirits. They use similar language in the Bible to acknowledge God’s sovereignty.

Job, a blameless and upright man living in a land called Uz, endured horrendous suffering during an unknown time period. God had allowed Satan to buffet him for a season. Job grapples with the question of God’s relationship to human suffering then gets an audience with the Most High, who appears out of the whirlwind. God reveals His omnipotence to Job, who responds humbly:

I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know – Job 42:2-3

David, king of Judah, also acknowledges there are aspects of God’s character that are beyond human understanding. Perhaps David was thinking of Job when he penned this:

You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it – Psalm 139:5-6

God restored Job’s losses after a season of affliction and gave him twice as much as he had before. The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than the beginning. God calls David a man after His own heart, who will do all My will (Acts 13:22). These men had the right stuff.

ADDENDUM – Some believe Job is a fictional character but I’m not so sure. Yes, the narrative lacks historical evidence. But Job is mentioned in three Bible passages outside the book of Job, and in all three he is considered a real person. Let’s look first at Ezekiel 14:14 as God pronounces judgment on idolatrous Israel: “Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.” The men are mentioned again in verse 20. Job is referenced in James 5:11, paraphrasing that he was an example of patience during suffering.

Written by Jeff King

Jeff is a retired newspaper journalist in the United States and follower of Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth

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