Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.

3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

4 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.

5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?

10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

Job 2:11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.

12 And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.

13 So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.

Job 42:7 And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.

8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.

9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job.

10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

MEMORY VERSE: And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. —Luke 22:31-32

CENTRAL THOUGHT: Job, a perfect man before God, was allowed by God to be severely tried by the devil, so that he lost his children, possessions, and good health. After his friends critically judged and chastised him, God rebuked them and Job prayed for them—upon which God turned Job’s affliction completely around and gave him twice as much as he had before—a type and example of Christ’s intercession.


Job 1:1 “Perfect”: complete; blameless; a man of integrity. “Upright”: straight; level; right. “Eschewed”: to turn aside (from the wrong path).


The purpose of the lesson today is to primarily show the example of Job praying for his friends after a time of grievous adversity and subsequent chastisement and persecution from them. In reading various commentators’ opinions as to the location of Uz, the place where Job lived, and the age in which he lived, I found great disagreement. Some scholars even put forth that the whole story is a parable and not about a real person. Some hold that Job lived in the time of Isaac, some say he lived around the time of the giving of the law, and others maintain that he was from the time period after the Babylonian captivity. As to the setting of the story, many believe he lived in the desert/wilderness area between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, and others insist it was Edom where it all took place. Various opinions are also given about the authorship of the poetic book. So that information is not really the point of the lesson.

One important thing we do want to note about Job is that he was a man of prayer. Very early, every day—continually—the scripture points out, he made burnt offerings on behalf of his family, interceding to God for them. Could this be the “secret” of Job’s life of integrity before God?

We skimmed over the part of the story where Satan asked God if He would allow him to afflict Job’s body. God allowed this up to the point of taking Job’s life, and Job was smitten with boils completely covering his body. It was at this dark point in his experience that Job’s wife railed on him, suggesting that he curse God and die. Job held fast his integrity with God and would not curse him. He was then visited by his three friends. Chapters 3-37 contain the dialogue between Job and his friends; God’s answer to them is in chapters 38-41.

In the final chapter of Job, God commanded Job’s friends to offer sacrifices as repentance for their folly and failure to speak the right words; He also commanded Job to pray a prayer for them that God would accept. After Job prayed for his friends, God turned his captivity—that is the point of the lesson. What a beautiful foreshadowing of Christ Himself. Though rejected, forsaken and persecuted by His own friends, He still prayed for them and loved them unto the end. He prayed for us—those who would believe on Him—that God would keep us from the evil of the world, just as Job prayed for his family and friends.

For our memory verse I have included the place where Jesus told Peter that Satan would attempt to destroy him. “But,” Jesus assured, “I have prayed for thee.” Did Peter remember Jesus’ words when he followed his master “afar off” instead of loyally sticking by Him? Did he recall those words when the Lord turned and looked at him after he had, even by oaths, emphatically disowned His Lord? The words “that thy faith fail not” mean literally, “That thy faith fail not utterly, or finally.” Did the words of Jesus save him from utter despair when he was out weeping bitterly? I believe they did.

—Angela Gellenbeck


  1. Explain the actions and purposes of Job’s three friends during his time of affliction.
  2. How did God judge them and what did He tell them to do?
  3. Share how Christ likewise prayed for those who had rejected and denied Him.
  4. Share how we also enter into this important element of true friendship—praying for others.
  5. Share a personal example of how this took place in your own life.



Years ago an older minister advised me, “When you read the Old Testament look for JESUS.”

Following that tip has greatly enriched my study of the stories in the Old Testament, and it certainly has influenced how I look at Job. While every detail, of course, doesn’t imply a type and shadow, I believe the simple application of Job’s example to the life of our Lord is entirely within the realm of accurate Scriptural interpretation. We may widely differ in our opinions, but we may all be comforted in the reality that as our true, divine Friend, Jesus, did then, and does now, pray for us (Hebrews 7:25). Where would you or I be without His intercession?

We in turn are to be that kind of friend to those around us. I think of the story about the five missionaries who were killed by natives in Ecuador in the 1950’s. Their widows did not forsake the village in anger; rather, they forgave and prayed for the murderers. In time, they found that it was only ignorance and superstition that was the motive for killing, and reaching back into the village, they were able to bring several of those very people to a saving faith in Christ.

Earnest prayer and intercession is the way to enter into the very life of Christ in us. He prays; we pray. He loves and intercedes through us. In this lesson we see the word perfect again. Keeping a heart of forgiveness for the weaknesses and failures of our friends, and praying for those who don’t always treat us well completes our experience; it is a part of that openness and perfection of true friendship.

—Angela Gellenbeck


Two motto plaques that hung on the wall in the home of my grandparents, Bro. Murphy and Sis. Natalie Allen, read, “Prayer Changes Things” and “Jesus Never Fails.” I’m glad to now have those same plaques hanging on the wall in my home.

In 1 Timothy 2:1-6 we read: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

In Isaiah 53:12, Romans 8:34, and Hebrews 7:25 we read about the tender and earnest intercession that Jesus, our Savior, has made and is even now making for us. What a comfort it is to know that He is, even now, interceding and praying for us! Truly, we have “No Friend Like Jesus” (Evening Light Songs #103). And yet, what a challenge to know He also made us a “holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5). May we ever be faithful in prayers and intercessions. Paul exhorted, “Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).

It is also comforting to know that “the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27).

—Harlan Sorrell