Job was a wealthy and influential man, a patriarch of good moral character. He was evidently a highly regarded counselor who befriended the needy.
Most important, Job feared God. Job is described as a man who “proved to be blameless and upright, and fearing God and turning aside from bad.” It was Job’s godly devotion—not his wealth and influence—that made him a target for the attacks of Satan the Devil.—Job 1:1; 29:7-16; 31:1.
The introductory narrative of the book of Job describes a gathering in heaven where the angels took their station before Jehovah. Satan was also present, and he leveled charges against Job. (Read Job 1:6-11.) Although Satan mentioned Job’s possessions, he focused his attention on challenging Job’s integrity.
The term “integrity” carries the thought of being upright, blameless, righteous, and faultless. As used in the Bible, human integrity denotes a completeness of heart devotion to the person of Jehovah.
Satan claimed that Job’s worship of God was based on selfishness, not integrity. Satan alleged that Job would be loyal to Jehovah only as long as God continued to reward and protect him. To provide an answer to Satan’s charge, Jehovah allowed Satan to attack that faithful man. As a result, within the course of one day, Job learned that his livestock had been stolen or destroyed, his attendants had been killed, and his ten children had lost their lives. (Job 1:13-19)
Did Job cave in to Satan’s attack? The inspired record describes Job’s reaction to his misfortune: “Jehovah himself has given, and Jehovah himself has taken away. Let the name of Jehovah continue to be blessed.”—Job 1:21.
Later, there was another gathering in heaven. Again Satan leveled charges against Job, saying: “Skin in behalf of skin, and everything that a man has he will give in behalf of his soul. For a change, thrust out your hand, please, and touch as far as his bone and his flesh and see whether he will not curse you to your very face.” Notice that Satan expanded his accusations.
By saying, “Everything that a man has he will give in behalf of his soul,” the Devil challenged the integrity not only of Job but of any “man” who worships Jehovah. Thereafter, God permitted Satan to strike Job with a painful disease. (Job 2:1-8) But that was not the full extent of Job’s trials.