Sunday, August 16, 2015

Job

Job is possibly the oldest book in the Bible. It is also one of the most difficult to understand.

At the beginning of the book, Job had it all. He had a large family, he is wealthy and he has standing in the community. In a moment, he lost it all. Even his health failed.

Job grieves his losses. He questions everything, but in his questioning, he continues to trust God.

Then Job’s friends came to comfort him. Their comfort comes in the form of long, poetic, rhetorical debates. Though they to phrased it differently, they all accused Job of bringing his problems upon himself by his sins. These would-be comforters are tormenters.

Finally, God intervenes. He rebukes Job’s supposed friends for talking about things they do not understand and for stirring up Job. Job confesses his own lack of understanding and returns to trusting God.

Though the book raises many questions, it answers few. The chief answer to confusion, loss and pain is to trust God.

The book is written in a poetic style. This is often beautiful and Job’s friends come generally come across as erudite. Sometimes they seem silly, as if they get lost in building beautiful turn of phrase and lose the thread of their argument. Their arguments are fundamentally hollow, and the beautiful language and seeming wisdom contrasts with the substance of their views, making them appear all the more rotten.

An interesting point to me is how much God expresses his love an admiration for Job, even though he permits the hardships Job suffers. Job was a righteous man; even God said so. The evidence of is righteousness was how he did what was just, showed mercy to the weak, and cared for the needy. It seems to me that the basis of his righteousness was that he trusted God and remained humble before Him.


Job. The Holy Bible. New King James Version. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1982.