April 2007

Then the Lord asked Satan, 'Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth—a man of complete integrity.'
—Job 1:8, NLT

What is it that gets God's attention? Is it charisma, personality or one's abilities? We don't have to dig deep into the book of Job to discover the answer. From the first verse, we find God bragging about His man Job. By the eighth verse He's calling Job the "finest man in all the earth."

And He doesn't stop there. He provokes Satan to defy His evaluation of the man with this statement: "Have you noticed my servant Job?"

What was it about Job that caught God's eye? What was it about him that turned God's head and simultaneously bristled Satan to the point of feeling threatened by the man?

The answer is multifaceted. However, two things stand out: Job feared God; and he stayed away from evil (see Job 1:1).

What does the fear of God look like? How does one know if he or she has it? The biblical word for "fear" is from the Hebrew word yare. It means a reverential trust in God, a deep-seated respect for God and His Majesty. It was so evident in Job's life that even Satan acknowledged it (see v. 9).

Unfortunately, the church today has too few men and women who fear God. Instead of being known for the fear of God, many church members are known for a variety of other things, ranging from their social status to the image they uphold.

Closely related to Job's fear of the Lord was the way he handled himself around evil. The phrase "stayed away from" (Job 1:1) is taken from the Hebrew word suwr and means to distance oneself from, to remove or turn away from.

Job's fear of God caused him to stay away or distance himself from evil. Simple, yet effective.

Some might ask, "Isn't the fear of God a little old-fashioned for today?" Never!

The fear of God is what produces the fruit of resistance in the life of the believer. This gives any Christian an edge over evil. Could the lack of this trait be the source of our anemic Christianity in the Western world?

The fear of the Lord is a heart issue. It can't be developed through the keeping of ordinances or legislated practices.

Although Job lived millennia ago, he modeled the kind of character that needs to be reproduced today. Go ahead; emulate Job's character. You'll make God proud of you too!

John Chasteen is the assistant dean of Southwestern Christian University Graduate School in Bethany, Oklahoma. He writes a weekly blog at www.heycoachjohn.com.


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