With the exception of Joseph nobody in the Scripture endured the amount of suffering Job had to endure. The study of the character of Job is an interesting one. With all he went through Job came out of the ordeal with a double blessing and his character was strengthened. Did he question God through this suffering? Yes Job did, and I am glad that he was not painted as perfect, but rather as perfected (brought to maturity). Job was a man poor in spirit who the Lord allowed suffering in his life to bring that character to maturity.
First we can address his character at the beginning of the Book that bears his name:
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. (Job 1:1, NKJV)
Job was blameless and upright. The word for blameless in the Hebrew is an adjective meaning integrity and completeness. Not perfection as in sinless, but as a word used of maturity and being perfected or a finished work, proportionate and complete in all its parts. Job was a man of integrity and as the priest of his home he offered sacrifices to cover his family in case they sin in order to sanctify them (Job 1:5).
Upright as used here in the Hebrew means straight (as in a road or path), just (in character), right (as in righteous or a right standing in the view of God); often used as right in an ethical or an emotional sense, as agreeable or pleasing. Blameless and upright is the character that was developed in Job from which his being poor in spirit naturally is a piece of.
Job feared God. Those who feared the Lord were those who believed in and worshiped the God of Israel in the Old Testament. The term feared is best described as an awesome tread of displeasing the Lord – an act of reverence to the Creator God on a continual basis. Job was a worshiper and follower of the living God. This is a good place from which being poor in spirit can be built upon.
Meditate on the following passages from Proverbs regarding the fear of the Lord and pray as to how to apply these Scriptures to your life; then you will make the path to being poor in spirit an easier one: Proverbs 1:28-29; Proverbs 2:1-5; Proverbs 8:13; Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 10:27; Proverbs 14:26-27; Proverbs 15:16; Proverbs 15:33; Proverbs 16:6; Proverbs 19:2; Proverbs 22:4; and Proverbs 23:17-18.
Job shunned evil. Job did what he could to avoid sin in his life, which was the result of his character and his fear of the Lord. When one becomes poor in spirit the desire to sin is diminished. The Spirit is allowed to be in control and you walk in the Spirit (Romans 8) as opposed to walking in the flesh (Romans 7); thus you don’t fall into sin.
In Genesis 4:7 the LORD tells Cain when he does “not do well, sin as at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” We need to apply this knowledge to our lives, just as Job did. Job most likely understood God’s words to Cain applied to us all and did not want to be separated from God. Sin wants to usurp the authority from us. We should rule over sin in the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8). Why are not we doing so?
May we continue to build our character as Job had done in his life. We see where Job was at the beginning of Chapter One – a man of Character. But God uses suffering to make him even better. It is a tough to embrace suffering as a tool of maturing us into the image of Christ, but Scripture continually shows us that it does. If you want Character development take advantage of times of suffering to grow into a person of poor in spirit.
Meditate upon the passages from Proverbs above regarding the fear of the Lord and pray as to how to apply these Scriptures to your life