The beginning of the book describes Job as blameless and upstanding, a man who feared God and avoided evil. Job was a man of moral integrity. He kept his life clean and even the appearance of evil was unpleasant to him. Because of this, God prospered him abundantly. “His possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.” (Job 1:3)
In the exchange between God and Satan, Satan says, “Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.” (1:10) God not only wants prosperity but protection for His people, their families and all they own. God blesses the work of His people' hands and causes increase, not decrease. The devil's purpose is just the opposite of God's, so it is important to remember that the security and impenetrability of the hedge is dependent on believing and living for God.
In Job 1:5, the hole in the hedge is revealed as Job's fear. Day after day Job got up early and offered sacrifices because he was afraid for his children. “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Job admits this fear later in 3:25, and it stands out as a treasure of truth that believers need to recognize. A heart full of fear will ultimately bring disastrous results. “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me.” Fear is a magnet for trouble. All through the Bible, God exhorts His people to “fear not.”
With all of Job's success and exceptional qualities, he allowed an unfounded fear to fester. Satan had access and took full advantage. Job's livestock was stolen or destroyed, and his servants and his children were tragically killed. Job's reaction was to fall to his knees and worship God. Satan afflicted him with boils all over his face and body. Even his wife told him to “Curse God and die.” But Job did not charge God with wrongdoing and “Job did not sin with his lips.” (1:22; 2:9, 10)
To add insult to injury, Job's friends came and tried to analyze why all of this happened. Eliphaz asked, “Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever cut off?” (4:7) In other words, Job must be guilty of something. Bildad also suggested secret sins. “If you were pure and upright...” (8:6) Zophar implied that maybe Job hadn't suffered enough for his sins. “Know therefore that God exacts from you less than your iniquity deserves.” (11:6)
Job had already confessed his error, the fear. But the accuser is ruthless, and through Job's friends he kept aggravating Job and pouring salt in the wounds. They meant well, but they were all wrong. Job finally defended himself. “What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. But you forgers of lies, you are all worthless physicians.” (13:2, 4) “Miserable comforters are you all!” (16:2) “How long will you torment my soul, and break me in pieces with words? These ten times you have reproached me; You are not ashamed that you have wronged me.” (19:2, 3) Job stood his ground, speaking words still powerful and valuable for Christians today. “Far be it from me that I should say you are right; Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go; My heart shall not reproach me as long as I live.” (27:5, 6)
Finally these three men got the message and stopped talking. In the end, God required Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar to offer sacrifices because they “Have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.” (42:8) Even though they had come to help Job, God had Job pray for them.
“And the Lord restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.” (42:10) God literally doubled all that Job had in the beginning. God even gave him seven more sons and three more daughters, so that Job will have twice as many children in the resurrection. One of the most important lessons to learn from the book of Job is that God is always good, and the devil is always bad. Satan always intends to destroy the lives of God's people, but God's desire is to bless and prosper His people, even to the end of restoring back to them what the enemy has stolen. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)