God’s enemy, Satan, had been trying to turn people away from loving God ever since the Garden of Eden. He couldn’t stand to see happy people praising their Creator.
“People only love You because You give them things!” Satan argued with God. “If You didn’t bless them, they would hate You instead!”
To try and prove himself right, Satan began to pick on the most loving, dedicated follower God had at the time: Job.
It’s true that God had given Job many gifts. Job had a beautiful home, a wonderful family, lots of land and plenty of money. His life was perfect. Was this the only reason Job loved God so much? Did God have to earn Job’s love like Satan said?
Satan hates to see people being happy. He doesn’t want anyone to love God. He took away all the gifts God had given to Job. He hoped Job would stop loving God.
Job was so sad he tore his clothes, cried and dropped to his knees. “I had nothing when I was born,” he said, “and I couldn’t take anything with me when I die anyway. God is still good.”
Job still loved God! This really annoyed Satan, so he decided to make things even worse by making Job’s skin hurt really badly. Had Satan convinced Job to stop loving God? No!
“I thank God when He gives me good things,” Job said, “so I’m going to thank Him just as much when bad things happen.”
Three of Job’s friends came to comfort him. At first, they just cried with him. But they got impatient with this. They started lecturing him instead. And their lectures were very, very, very long. Have you ever listened to someone speak who just didn’t know when to stop talking? Those were Job’s friends. They told him he must have done something wrong to make God angry.
Job accepted losing his money and health. But when his friends accused him of sinning, he got all puffed up and became upset. He didn’t just defend himself, though. He actually started criticizing God. He claimed that he had never sinned. He accused God of being unfair. Pride causes all kinds of problems. It even caused Job to speak disrespectfully of God. Finally, it was time for God to explain some things to Job.
God reminded Job that He is God and Job is just a human. “Did you make the world?” God asked him, “Or the animals, or the plants, or the stars?”
Job fell down in awe of God. “I have talked about things that are far beyond my understanding,” he confessed. “I heard about you from others, now I have seen you with my own eyes.”
Job realized he had no right to complain. Everything comes from God. When God gives us gifts, we say thank you. And if God doesn’t give us all the gifts we want, we still say thank you. Job and his friends apologized for speaking disrespectfully and God forgave them.
God gave Job back all the gifts that Satan had taken away. And he even gave him twice as much as he had had before. Most importantly, Job and his friends had learned an important lesson about who God is.