As we saw from our outline of the book of Job on December 5, we want to deal with what is called “The Prologue” (Chs. 1-3) to the book. We want to cover these chapters slowly and carefully, doing our best not to overlook any of the critical truths which are given to us here.
I. Job’s Character (1:1-5)
As we discussed earlier, Job is presented to us as a real historical person who lived in a specific place, was marked by a godly character, and had a large family. (vv. 1-2). He was quite wealthy as shown by the number of his livestock and his large number of servants. It is not surprising that he is described as “the greatest man among all the people of the East.” (v. 3).
Job’s godliness was no private matter. He cared deeply for his family and was concerned that they would wholeheartedly follow the Lord. Holding birthday feasts was a common, perhaps almost weekly or monthly, occasion. These ten children would indulge in a period of feasting which brought with it the possibility of committing the sin of cursing God. It was hardly likely that any of Job’s children would publicly curse God, but Job’s concern was for their internal character. So he would make arrangements for them to be purified.
Although we don’t know the details of those purification ceremonies, we are told that early in the morning Job would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them (that’s ten sheep that had to be slaughtered and offered to the Lord). And we are actually told what Job was thinking as he made these sacrifices. He thought to himself, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” (v. 5). Job’s actions in offering sacrifices for his children were for the sheer possibility that they had dishonored the Lord! And we are informed that this was Job’s regular custom. His holy habit was to intercede for his ten children just in case they had cursed God in their hearts.