What is the main message of the book of Job? Over time, the main message of the book of Job has been changed.
Whenever Christians talk about healing or how God is the creator of life and not death, the story of Job seems to be a big question mark in the back of our minds.
I’ve heard Job preach that God is the one who makes bad things happen in the world, and that He does this through Satan, as if God had Satan on a leash. This teaching is not true at all.
Without a doubt, the book of Job is one of the most misunderstood books in the Bible. However, God’s word can be understood with a little bit of work.
In this article, we’ll do just that and try to clear up some of the confusion so we can see the main point of the book of Job.
What is the Main Message of the Book of Job?
When we start to read or study God’s word, we should always look at the bigger picture. If you just pick a Bible verse to read without knowing what else is going on, you will be confused.
So, before we start directly quoting Job, we need to set up a few things.
Job’s timeline: Job lived before Moses and probably before Abraham, so he never made a deal with God. Job wasn’t part of the Old Covenant, so he didn’t have the promise of blessings in Deuteronomy 28:1–14.
He also wasn’t a descendant of Abraham, so he didn’t have access to the blessings of Abraham. We live in a time when we can make a covenant with God through the death and resurrection of Jesus, but Job did not. This means that God only helped Job out of kindness.
(Ephesians 2:2, John 12:31, 1 John 5:19): Satan is the god of this world. Since Job had not made a deal with God, Satan was in charge of him. Even though Job did many good things, he was still in the kingdom of darkness because Jesus had not yet come. If we want to understand the book of Job, we need to know this.
The Direct Translation
“The Lord asked Satan, “Where are you coming from?” Satan replied to the Lord, “Stop walking up and down on the earth and going back and forth on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you thought about my servant Job, how there is no one else on earth like him, a man who fears God and stays away from evil?”
Then Satan replied to God, “Does Job have no reason to be afraid of God? Have you not put a fence all the way around him, his house, and everything he owns? You have blessed what he has done with his hands, and his wealth has grown in the land. But if you reach out and touch everything he has, he will curse you right in front of you.”
And the Lord told Satan, “Look, you have everything he has. Only against him should you not reach out.” So Satan left the place where the Lord was. (Job 1:7-12)
In the above verse, it looks like God is giving Satan power, but then he is telling Satan that he can only do so much damage to Job’s life.
But that’s not at all what’s going on!
So, what does this verse really mean?
God is just telling Satan that he already has power over Job. We know this because (1) God told us, “You have everything I have.” And (2) God says, “only put out your hand,” which is a correct way to say it.
Most translations say something like, “Just don’t put your hand on him,” as if God is telling Satan what he can and can’t do. But the Hebrew does not have the words “do not” and “on him.”
In the book of Job, the Hebrew word “Shalach” is always translated as “put forth.”
“But if you reach out your hand (Shalach) and touch everything he has, he will curse you to your face” (Job 1:11)
“But (Shalach), if you reach out and touch his bone and flesh, he will curse you right in front of you” (Job 2:5)
So, the real translation of what God said to Satan is, “You have everything he has. Just hold out your hand.”
In other words, Satan is saying, “Job only helps you because you’ve blessed him. Take away everything he has, and he’ll curse you.”
God says, “He’s under your control, so show it.”
After Satan went to talk to God in the first chapter, he went out and took everything that Job had. His things, his land, his animals, and even his kids. But Job still didn’t say bad things about God, and he stayed true to himself.
Job 2:1-6 shows the same thing.
“Again, there was a day when the sons of God came to meet the Lord, and Satan also joined them to meet the Lord. And God asked Satan, “Where did you come from?” Satan replied to the Lord, “Stop walking up and down on the earth and going back and forth on it.” And the Lord said to Satan,
“Have you thought about my servant Job, how there is no one else on earth like him, a man who fears God and stays away from evil? Even though you made me want to destroy him for no reason, he still sticks to his morals.
Then Satan replied to the Lord, “Skin for skin!” A man will give up everything for his life. But if you reach out and touch his bone and flesh, he will curse you right in front of you.” And God told Satan, “Look, he’s in your hands. Just don’t kill him.”
In these verses, we can see that the translators made another mistake. It looks like God is saying that Satan made Him want to kill Job for no reason. But do we really believe that Satan can make God do something? No, I don’t believe that.
The word “me” was added by the translators.
So, the correct translation is “even though you stirred up people against him without a reason to kill him.” The KJV uses the word “move” as another word for “incite.” Satan did things to get rid of Job. God had nothing to do with Job’s death.
The main point of Job’s story
Those few wrong translations, taken out of context, have caused a lot of confusion among believers.
The book of Job was written to give people who are being attacked by Satan a message of peace and calm.
It was meant to show God’s people that Satan is behind all the bad things, and that if we stay honest until the end, God will fix everything. Instead, people have been told that God is the one who lets bad things happen.
Satan wants to show God that people only love Him for what He can do for them, not for who He is, and he is willing to destroy God’s people to do it.
Keep your honor even when things are hard. The winner was clear from the story of Job.
“Brother, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord as an example of how to deal with pain and wait. Behold, we consider those who stayed strong to be blessed. You have heard about Job’s patience, and you have seen that the Lord has a plan and that he is kind and merciful (James 5:10-11).
I am a Bible writer and teacher. I discovered a love of writing when I was a teenager. My passion comes from seeing lives changed through the power of God’s Word and the help Christ gives.