In previous posts, we wrote about four other women who were apart of Job’s life: his wife and his second set of three daughters, Jemimah, Keziah, and Keren-Happuch. Now, we’re checking out his first set of three daughters who are namelessly mentioned in the Bible. Before a series of unfortunate events happened to Job, he had a relatively good life and a very large family. Job 1:2 says, “He had seven sons and three daughters.”
On their birthdays, Job’s sons liked to hold extravagant parties with a lot of food and drinks. They would invite their sisters to their parties and eat and drink for a long period of time. At one such party, which was held at the oldest’s brothers house, the brothers and sisters were eating and drinking and having a good old time when a mighty desert wind hit the house and caused it to collapse. Sadly, all of them died. What can we learn from the lives of three sisters who came to such a swift and unexpected end?
1. Job’s first daughters lived to party. Whereas Job was concerned about the things of God, his first daughters were not. He is remembered as someone who was blameless and upright; someone who feared God and shunned evil. His first daughters, on the other hand, are only remembered for the parties they threw with their brothers. It isn’t likely that they were concerned about fearing God, walking uprightly, or shunning evil. This should not be the case with us. Psalm 34:14 says we ought to “turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
Peter expands on this concept of how we should live in 1 Peter 3:10-12. He says that if we want to love our lives and experience good days, we should: not speak evil, not tell lies, turn from evil, do good, and seek and pursue peace. Before a series of unfortunate events happened to him, was Job loving life? Certainly. Was he experiencing good days? Surely. This is because he lived how God wants each of us to live. Because he feared God and shunned evil, God blessed him with so much wealth that he was considered “the greatest man among all the people of the East.” Because Job was blameless and upright, the eyes of God were on him (watching over him, considering him, thinking about him), and the ears of God were attentive to his prayers (paying close attention to what he was saying, eager to listen, ready to answer). If Job had been evil instead of blameless and upright, then the eyes of God would have been closed to him, the ears of God would have been deaf to him, and the entire face of God would have been against him.
Living in an upright manner doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate our birthdays or enjoy a fun party. However, our focus should be more on pleasing God than on doing things that bring us pleasure. There is more to life than eating, drinking, and dancing. To paraphrase Voltaire, God gave us the gift of life, but it is up to us to live it well.
2. Job’s first daughters did not feel the need to ask God for forgiveness on their own. Each time his children threw one of their parties, Job would wait for the celebrations to end, and then he would make arrangements for them to be purified. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts.” Job was concerned that in the midst of their partying, his children forgot about God and did things that displeased Him. This was considerate of Job to do, but it wasn’t his responsibility. Job’s first daughters and their brothers were of age. It was their responsibility to make sure that they were free of sin and spiritually right before God. Job’s first daughters knew right from wrong. They knew what sins they committed while partying. They should have offered their burnt offerings and they should have asked for God to forgive them.
Purify means to make pure; to clear from material defilement or imperfection; to free from guilt or moral or ceremonial blemish; to free from spiritual pollution. As believers in Jesus the Christ, we should strive to live lives that are spiritually and physically pure before God. It is not the job of our parents or anyone else to purify us before God. It our job. When we do something wrong, we must take it upon ourselves to go before God and ask for His forgiveness. If we do this, God will be faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
3. Job’s first daughters were not the center of their father’s life. Fathers and daughters have a very special bond, and rightfully so. There can be no doubt that Job loved his first daughters like any other good father. He loved them so much that he purified and offered burnt offerings for them. But when Job heard the news of how his first daughters died, he did not turn away from God. This is because they were not the center of his life. God was. Job recognized that God gave him his first daughters. He also recognized that God took them away. He praised the name of the Lord despite his loss.
No one person should be the center of our life. God and God alone should be at the center. Proverbs 3:6 says, “In everything you do, put God first.” If God is first and center in our life, He will direct our ways and give us success. It is easy to keep God at the center when we know how much God loves us. Colin S. Smith said, “When your heart is gripped by the love of God poured out in the cross, and when you see the extent of that love in the propitiation by which Christ became the sacrifice for your sin, bearing wrath and entering hell for you, and when you are convinced that this Christ offers Himself in redeeming love to others who do not yet know Him, a passion will be lit in your heart to pursue a God-centered life.”