The patience of Job

By Don Craven
Posted 3/9/19

The words of our title from the KJV, are found in James 5:11, “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy.” James sets forth in verses 7-11, three illustrations of patience, in verse 7 the husbandman, secondly, in verse 10, the prophets of old, and thirdly, in verse 11, the champion of Patience, the man Job. The only other mention of him, outside the Book of Job is in Ezekiel 14:14, 20 where listed with, Noah and Daniel; men of righteousness.

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The patience of Job

Posted

The words of our title from the KJV, are found in James 5:11, “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy.” James sets forth in verses 7-11, three illustrations of patience, in verse 7 the husbandman, secondly, in verse 10, the prophets of old, and thirdly, in verse 11, the champion of Patience, the man Job. The only other mention of him, outside the Book of Job is in Ezekiel 14:14, 20 where listed with, Noah and Daniel; men of righteousness.

When one becomes cognizant, in respect to the events and experiences in his life, from the 18th O.T book,”The Book of Job”; as overwhelming and dreadful as they were; in Job’s dealing with them, has provided succor and hope too many, over the centuries, who have been baffled, and overburdened by the emotional and physical anguish of life.

Before discussing the word patience, its meaning and synonyms from Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, I want to include here a concise summary of eight trying circumstances taken from the book of Job, which so affected his life. His patience is seen in the various ways that he was tried. The summary appears on page 153, of ‘’The Book of James” by J.J. Turner, 1983, Quality Press, is taken from his comments made on James 5:11.

Turner writes,

1. Job was tried by the loss of his wealth and estate (Job 1:13-17

2. Job was tried by the loss of his children (Job 1:18-19)

3. Job was tried by the devices of Satan (Job 2:7-8)

4. Job was tried by the loss of his physical health (Job 2:7-9)

5. Job was tried by the rebuke of his friends (Job 2:11ff)

6. Job was tried by his mental distress (Job 3:1-26) 7 Job was tried by the conduct of his wife (Job 2:9)

8. Job was tried by his desire to question God (Job 13-14)

Under patience in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, there are thirty-three references, rather surprising to me, all pertained to the New Testament. These can be narrowed down to three Greek words, keyed to “Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament”, which are shown below In the examples, first will be Strong’s number, secondly the Greek word, with its definition, and thirdly, supporting passages, where the word is used.

A). Strong’s *3114 Patience-Greek, Thayer G/E Lexicon, pg. 387, makrothume6, (mak-roth-oomeh’-o) to persevere patiently and bravely, Heb. 6:12; James 5:7-8, “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth near”

B). Strong’s 3115: Patience-Greek, Thayer G/E Lexicon, pg. 387, makrothumia: [mak-roth-oomee’-ah), endurance (ESV), constancy, steadfastness (NKJV, NASV), perseverance (NKJV), especially shown when bearing troubles and ills, Col.1:11, 2 Tim. 3:10; Heb. 6:12; James 5:10,

“Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience” James, mentions here, some unnamed O.T prophets before specifically mentioning Job in verse 11, as seen below. Also, forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs 2Cor 6:6; Gal. 5:22-23, the long-suffering with people, a virtue demonstrated by the Lord, one that was used in Paul’s list of the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)

C). Strong’s 5281. Patience-Greek, Thayer G/E Lexicon, pg. 644, hupomone (pronounced hoopom-on-ay’) is defined as steadfastness (NKJV, NASV), constancy, endurance (ESV). When our patience (hupomone) is tested; we grow in faith in the Lord (patience, perseverance (NJKV, NASV) with circumstances), like Job, those who exemplified endurance in the New Testament, manifest the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and suffering, 2 Cor 6:4, 12:12; Col. 1:11, 2 Thess. 1:4, 1 Tim. 6:11, 2 Tim. 3:10; Tit. 2:2; Heb. 10:36; James 1:3-4, James 5:11, 2 Peter 1:6.

From the above passages, two will be given some extra attention. First, is James 1:3-4, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” Of verse 4, W .E. Vines, in his Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words on pg. 168, simply states, “Patience perfects Christian character” Secondly, is 2 Pet. 1 :6, for clarity, this is the core verse of 2 Pet. 1.5-7, where the “Christian Graces are found, which are seven in number, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity Patience is positioned, in the middle, for seemingly good reason, simply stated, the first three must be internalized as an addition to ones faith, in order to acquire patience, and through patience the other three are being carried out. “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing”, James 1 :4. The word perfect in this verse means complete. The results can be seen from 2 Pet. 1.8-11, “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”

In closing, the last time patience is used in the New Testament is in Revelation 14.12-13, the rendering of the KJV is “Here is the patience of the saint: here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me. Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their work do follow them” These words and those of 2 Pet.1.5-11, are comforting to the faithful child of God.

In order to be saved, we must hear the gospel Ro. 10:13f; John 6:44-45, believe John 8:24, that Jesus is the son of God, repent, having a change of heart in turning away from sin Acts 2:38, Acts 17:30, confess that Jesus is the Son of God Ro. 10: 17 and be immersed/baptized in water Acts 2:28, 1 Pet. 3:21, for or in order for the remission of sin, and then live faithfully Rev 2:10. Though we fall short along the way, the Lord has made provisions for His children who sin, that through confession, repentance and prayer 1 John 1 :6-9, Acts 8:22, we can be cleansed from all unrighteousness by the precious blood of Christ.

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:” 1 John 3: 1

Don Craven is a member of the McArthur Heights Church of Christ, and can be reached at doncraven@juno.com