The Story Begins
1There was a man who lived in the land of Uz. His name was Job. He was honest. He did what was right. He had respect for God and avoided evil. 2Job had seven sons and three daughters. 3He owned 7,000 sheep and 3,000 camels. He owned 500 pairs of oxen and 500 donkeys. He also had a large number of servants. He was the most important man among all the people in the east.
4His sons used to give feasts in their homes on their birthdays. They would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5The time for enjoying good food would end. Then Job would make plans for his children to be made pure and “clean.” He would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them. He would do it early in the morning. He would think, “Perhaps my children have sinned. Maybe they have spoken evil things against God in their hearts.” That’s what Job always did for his children when he felt they had sinned.
6One day angels came to the Lord. Satan also came with them. 7The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered, “From traveling all around the earth. I’ve been going from one end of it to the other.”
8Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you thought about my servant Job? There isn’t anyone on earth like him. He is honest. He does what is right. He has respect for God and avoids evil.”
9“You always give Job everything he needs,” Satan replied. “That’s why he has respect for you. 10Haven’t you guarded him and his family? Haven’t you taken care of everything he has? You have blessed everything he does. His flocks and herds are spread all through the land. 11But now reach out your hand and strike down everything he has. Then I’m sure he will speak evil things against you. In fact, he’ll do it right in front of you.”
12The Lord said to Satan, “All right. I am handing everything he has over to you. But do not touch the man himself.”
Then Satan left the Lord and went on his way.
13One day Job’s sons and daughters were at their oldest brother’s house. They were enjoying good food and drinking wine. 14During that time a messenger came to Job. He said, “The oxen were plowing. The donkeys were eating grass near them. 15Then the Sabeans attacked us and carried off the animals. They killed some of the servants with their swords. I’m the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
16While he was still speaking, a second messenger came. He said, “God sent lightning from the sky. It struck the sheep and killed them. It burned up some of the servants. I’m the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
17While he was still speaking, a third messenger came. He said, “The Chaldeans separated themselves into three groups. They attacked your camels and carried them off. They killed the rest of the servants with their swords. I’m the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
18While he was still speaking, a fourth messenger came. He said, “Your sons and daughters were at their oldest brother’s house. They were enjoying good food and drinking wine. 19Suddenly a strong wind blew in from the desert. It struck the four corners of the house. The house fell down on your children. Now all of them are dead. I’m the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
20After Job heard all these reports, he got up and tore his robe. He shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground and worshiped the Lord. 21He said,
“I was born naked.
And I’ll leave here naked.
The Lord has given, and the Lord has taken away.
May the name of the Lord be praised.”
22In spite of everything, Job didn’t sin by blaming God for doing anything wrong.