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Old Testament Survey

Job




Key Verses

2:3-6
13:15
42:5, 6
42:10


Key Chapters

Chapters 1-2
Chapters 38-42


Key Concepts

Affliction, misery, hardship
Righteous, Righteousness
Sovereignty


Thoughts for Reading

We all suffer, but God is faithful to sustain us as we suffer.
Do you have an example of this in your own life?


Job 2:3-6
And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. 4And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. 5But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. 6And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.

Title

To the modern English ear, Job does not resemble a book of poetry, but it certainly is a book of wisdom. The book is named for its main character. Job’s name means “to come back or repent.” This is an appropriate name for a man upright in God’s eyes who allows his pride to get the better of him. Job is probably the oldest book in the Bible. It is about a physical and spiritual experience of an ancient patriarch whose faith was tested to the uttermost.

Job or Elihu may be the author of this book, although there is some tradition that Moses is the author. The patriarchal family structure of the book and the offering of sacrifices by the head of the family suggests a time similar to that of Abraham. Moses could, then, have written this book from other records or oral stories which were present.

PURPOSES

For most of us, the point of reading Job is to answer the modern question, “Why do good people suffer?”

God’s answer is simple. God knows best. This is set against the background of Job’s three friends and “comforters” who provide stereotyped views on life and pain.

The poetry of Job is found from 3:1 to 42:6. Chapters 1 & 2 are a prologue, while the closing verses form an epilogue.

A simple out line of the book is:

Job 13:15
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.

Job looks to God and forward to God (19:25-27). Yet, Job is prideful like all of us. Chapter 29 records Job using “I,”, “Me,” or “My” fifty-two times! Just like all of us, Job can not keep “self” out of the way. But God is patient with Job, just as He is with all of us. God knows what is best for us, for God is God, and we are not! This is the true lesson of Job. God allows Satan to take virtually all Job owned and possessed as a test of faith.

Job was not meant to know the explanation of his trial...If Job had known, there would have been no place for faith...The Scriptures are as wise in their reservations as they are in their revelations. Enough is revealed to make faith intelligent. Enough is reserved to give faith scope for development. 7.

Job’s three friends can only see events from man’s viewpoint:

Eliphaz based his statements on his own personal experience and dreams, not on revelation from God. He believed all suffering is punishment for sin (doctrine of strict retribution) and accused Job of living as a fool in vanity and social injustice.

Bildad’s philosophy believed that when a man suffers, he falls into the pit that he has dug for himself. This is basing one’s beliefs on human tradition or authority. He, in essence, confronted Job for walking as an unbeliever.

Zophar was the legalist of the group. He rebuked Job for being simple and wicked and causing his own problems. His solution was for Job to repent. Zophar displayed the common attitude of being dogmatic and arrogant, a "holier-than-thou attitude."

Elihu means "God is his" or "My God is Jehovah" or "He is my God"

Elihu was closer to the truth. His goal was to encourage Job to live above his circumstances, to walk by faith and not by sight. Although the youngest of Job’s comforters, his views were closest to God’s answer and response. Elihu’s philosophy is that God is good and He is above man. God always does what is right. Sufferings are often God&s way of refining the righteous. God is God!! Elihu stresses the Sovereignty, Justice, Power, Goodness, and Care of the Creator.

God comes out of the Whirlwind, asking Job more than 70 rhetorical questions. This is the longest divine speech recorded in the Bible. It shows the contrast of human frailty as against God’s Deity and Sovereignty.

Psalm 46:10
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Job is humbled, and God has not made a single direct statement to Job!

Job 40:4-5
“I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. 5 I spoke once, but I have no answer— twice, but I will say no more.”

Job 42:1-6
Then Job replied to the LORD: 2 “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. 3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ 5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

Bible reasons for trials and afflictions

Jesus in Job

Job seeks a Mediator who can stand for him before God (9:33). Job knows there must be a Redeemer (19:25-27). Ultimately, Job seeks his answers to these questions in God, the one Who can serve these functions. Job looks forward to one who can identify with his sufferings and answer Satan’s accusations. Who is this but Jesus (Heb 2:14-18; 4:15; Rom 8:28-34)?

Job 19:25-27
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

Remember, the book ends with Job still NOT knowing about God’s conversation with Satan in Chapters 1 & 2. The book ends without Job learning why he suffered.

Another lesson from Job is the reality of Satan. At the same time, Job should provide great comfort concerning our victory over Satan, even if viewed only from the Old Testament:

Can you find God’s refining in your life?

Footnote:
7. J. Sidlow Baxter, Explore the Book, Six Volumes in One, Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1960, 69 of “volume 3.”

 

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December 9, 2019

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