Bible Society of South Africa

Job: faith in the fire – 16 August 2021

By Xanthe Hancox

Bible text(s)

Noah, Danel, and Job

12The LORD spoke to me. 13“Mortal man,” he said, “if a country sins and is unfaithful to me, I will stretch out my hand and destroy its supply of food. I will send a famine and kill people and animals alike. 14Even if those three men, Noah, Danel, and Job, were living there, their goodness would save only their own lives.” The Sovereign LORD has spoken.

Ezekiel 14:12-14GNBOpen in Bible reader

I want to thank the reader who wrote to ask about why Job’s name does not appear in the ‘Faith Hall of Fame’ in Hebrews 11. It’s a very good question!

Job suffered more than just about anyone else in the Bible except for Jesus himself and remained stubbornly faithful to God throughout. Why then, does his name not appear alongside other heroes of faith? Is his faith up for debate?

Job’s name appears twice in the Old Testament apart from in the book of Job itself. These verses are Ezekiel 14:14 and 14:20. In both verses Job’s name is directly mentioned in unison with Noah and Daniel. They were all prophets who lived at different times in history and had very different circumstances. Yet, they all endured their hardships. In James 5:11, Job’s perseverance is mentioned by name.

This information helps us to confirm where Job fits within God’s associations. If you read the context of these two verses you will see that God is speaking to the house of Israel, instructing them to turn from their idols or be destroyed. God clearly calls men like Noah, Daniel, and Job to be righteous examples.

Noah was directly mentioned in Hebrews 11:7 as having faith. Daniel was indirectly mentioned in the same chapter as having stopped the mouths of lions in Hebrews 11:33. I believe therefore, that when the writer of Hebrews talks about “David and Samuel and the prophets” (Hebrews 11:32), Job is indeed included alongside some pretty amazing company.

Prayer: Lord, teach me to imitate Job’s faith and obedience. No matter what our circumstances are, help me to trust in you completely. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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