There was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless, a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil.
He had seven sons and three daughters.
He owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred teams of oxen, and five hundred female donkeys, and he employed many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area.
Every year when Job's sons had birthdays, they invited their brothers and sisters to join them for a celebration. On these occasions they would get together to eat and drink.
When these celebrations ended -- and sometimes they lasted several days -- Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said to himself, "Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts." This was Job's regular practice.
One day the angels a came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan the Accuser came with them.
"Where have you come from?" the LORD asked Satan. And Satan answered the LORD, "I have been going back and forth across the earth, watching everything that's going on."
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. He fears God and will have nothing to do with evil."
Satan replied to the LORD, "Yes, Job fears God, but not without good reason!
You have always protected him and his home and his property from harm. You have made him prosperous in everything he does. Look how rich he is!
But take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!"
"All right, you may test him," the LORD said to Satan. "Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don't harm him physically." So Satan left the LORD's presence.
One day when Job's sons and daughters were dining at the oldest brother's house,
a messenger arrived at Job's home with this news: "Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them,
when the Sabeans raided us. They stole all the animals and killed all the farmhands. I am the only one who escaped to tell you."
While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: "The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the shepherds. I am the only one who escaped to tell you."
While he was still speaking, a third messenger arrived with this news: "Three bands of Chaldean raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you."
While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: "Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother's home.
Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the desert and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you."
Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground before God.
He said, "I came naked from my mother's womb, and I will be stripped of everything when I die. The LORD gave me everything I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!"
In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)