Job 1:6-12 ESV
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.  The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.”  And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”  Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason?  Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.  But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.”  And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
Job is one of those books that are hard to get into. I have started it many times but never fully read it fully before this weekend. There are 42 chapters, the first 2 are pretty good in historical story telling then until the last 12 chapters you have job in utter ruin and his 3 “friends” telling him what a terrible person he is while defending himself and speaking on things he had no knowledge of.
The most important thing to understand about job is who he was and the stature he held in his community. He was a man of much faith. He was a man of great love. He was a man of integrity. His faith in God was unshakeable. He did not sin by losing faith in God’s greatness nor his sovereignty. He didn’t curse God in his anger. He was never uncertain of his being. He was angery, and sad, and depressed. Most of all he wanted to know why? Mind you, he had spent all his life serving God, serving his fellow man, teaching how to be right before God. He uplifted those who were in doubt, he was a man who helped the fatherless, he defended the weak from the wicked. Now his children were dead, possessions gone, his body in pain from boils, his friends who had been there with him condemning him out of ignorance. His own wife told him to curse God and be dead. Perhaps out of pity for her husband? Where he stumbled was in his own self righteousness, not leaning on God’s righteousness.
Just from a spiritual stand point we get a minor glimpse of God’s relationship with Satan and Satan’s ability to wage warfare on those who are upright and walking in the his ways. There is nothing that Satan can do unto God’s chosen, that God does not allow. For job, he did not know why he was allowed to suffer so greatly after being blessed with so much. He did not understand God’s plan, he didn’t know if God had a plan. He spoke out of aggravation, he spoke out of ignorance. I believe God knew that would be his reaction and allowed him to be in his bitterness to allow job to know whether he could stand in his faith when it really counted. For the most part Job had not been truly tested.
From a faith standpoint we see how our friends quickly become enemies when we run into hard times. When people see you at your worst will they kick you while you’re down and tell you how bad you’ve been ( regardless of if it’s true or not ) or lift you up. Will they feed you more ignorance or bring you to your feet again? Will they show you truth and redemption or condemn you to hell before you’re pushing daisies? A true friend is like Elihu, first he rebuked jobs accusers. Then he assures him that he is not there to put more pressure on job, nor that he needs to fear him. He never accuses him of “secret” sins. He reminds him of his own words and only speaks on that which he knows for certain. Also we see that Elihu being younger than Jobs other friends, he was respectful to let them hash it out but in the end, age does not garner wisdom, nor is it a measure of knowledge. It is the willingness of the man to learn and the blessing from God to gain understanding.
Job 32:6-9 ESV
And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said: “I am young in years, and you are aged; therefore I was timid and afraid to declare my opinion to you.  I said, ‘Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom.’  But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.  It is not the old who are wise, nor the aged who understand what is right.
In trying to defend himself to be righteous before men he forgot to declare God righteous. Too often we look to defend our ways, why we are not wrong than showing him who lives within us. Why does so many convert to Christianity in countries hostile to our faith? Because of how those who react to adversity reflect Jesus unto death by those who are yet to have faith. In contrast why is it that it is so hard for the gospel to be spread while we live in freedom? Because those who have only known peace only know how to defend themselves, forget to justify God to the unbelievers and to lean on his righteousness, not our own! We are chosen to empty ourselves in order for his righteousness to fill us. Only then can we show Christ.
1 Thessalonians 2:9-16 ESV
For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.  You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers.  For you know how, like a father with his children,  we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.  And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.  For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews,  who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind  by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved-so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!
Job 32:1-3 ESV
So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.  Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God.  He burned with anger also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong.
Now God comes to job with his final word as a father. As if to say you live under my roof, and job had two ways of reacting. He could have continued with his ignorance and self pity or he could repent and listen. Out of it all, God chastens those who he loves, and Job was rewarded for his faithfulness to listen and obey the Lord. As such is our reward in heaven if we listen to his word.