Overview and the Assault on Job

Discovery for Students

Overview and the Assault on Job


Job 1:1 through 37:24

“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)


The suffering of faithful Job took place in the land of Uz, believed to have been a large valley located along the border of Palestine and Arabia, about fifty miles east of Edom. Job lived in an era when wealth was measured primarily in terms of property, animals, and servants, and Job had all three in abundance. He knew, however, that his wealth came from God. We learn from Scripture that he was faithful, highly respected as a judge and benefactor, and widely regarded as wise and generous.

The beginning of the Book of Job (chapters 1-3) and the end (Job 42:7-17) relate the circumstances of Job’s life. The main body of the book is a dialogue between Job, his three friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar), a younger bystander (Elihu), and God. Job’s “comforters” (Job 2:11) were convinced his suffering was caused by hidden sin. Job insisted he was innocent, and challenged the supposition that sin and suffering are linked in a cause-and-effect relationship.

It is vital to compare the statements made in the Book of Job with the full message of Scripture. In Job 42:7, God states that Job’s friends had not spoken “right” about Him. Thus, it cannot be assumed that every statement they made is correct. Job himself was in a dark and confusing place in life, so even his statements do not give an accurate picture of God or reflect Job’s enduring sentiments. While he expressed feelings of being overwhelmed and isolated from God at times, his faith was still anchored in God.

The Book of Job does not offer solutions to all of life’s troubles, but it depicts patience in the midst of trials and shows us that a godly person can love God because of who He is, even in the absence of good health and material benefits. This lesson explores God’s refining process in believers, which is necessary to our spiritual growth.


  1. From the outset of the Book of Job, we are made aware of God’s regard for Job’s integrity. In the opening discussion between God and Satan, God identified Job as “a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil” (Job 1:8). Satan did not dispute that characterization, but asked God, “Doth Job fear God for nought?” (verse 9). What was he implying by this question?
  2. Satan was allowed by God to afflict Job (1:6-12; 2:1-6). What was Satan’s objective? What can we learn through this about Satan as the adversary of our souls?
  3. Three of Job’s friends came to “comfort” him, but instead, they blatantly accused him and cited hidden sin as the reason for his suffering. Eliphaz backed his accusations by a dream (Job 4:1 through 5:27), Bildad by old proverbs (Job 8), and Zophar by experience and reason (Job 11). What was the basis of their wrong conclusion regarding the cause of Job’s suffering?
  4. Scripture gives us insight into the thoughts of Job’s heart during his time of trial and accusations by his friends. Review the following passages and briefly summarize the “nuggets” of Scriptural truth that Job proclaimed even though he was in the midst of terrible suffering. Job 1:21; 13:15-18; 14:14-15; 19:25-27; 23:8-12.
  5. In Job 28:1-28, Job speaks on the topic of wisdom, leading up to the key question of the chapter, which is found in verse 12. In essence, Job was asking, “What is wisdom?” What are some of the points he makes about wisdom, and what was his eventual answer to the question?
  6. Affliction may impact us physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually. How did Job describe the effect on him in each of these passages? (Job 7:4; 10:15; 13:24; 16:12-14, 20; 23:8-9). What does this indicate about our possible spiritual and emotional condition during trials?
  7. While enduring affliction is not easy, it actually can bring a positive outcome in our spiritual lives. What are some potential benefits of going through a time of suffering?


We know we can trust God, but can He trust us to endure even in times of trial?