Listen, I am going to be transparent. I LOVE the Bible. However, when I think about 2 weeks in a book of Poetry I am not motivated. If there was ever a time to encourage me…this is it! I am determined to dig deeper in this book.
Tomorrow we jump into Job (pronounced Jobe). Job in Hebrew is Iyyov meaning “persecuted” or “where is thy divine father?”
The only time I heard the name Job was on the Tom Cruise film: Mission Impossible. When I was checking out churches (to fit in, un the South), I heard his name mentioned in church, and I was like “the agent on Mission Impossible??” Well, we all started somewhere, right?
Here is your visual:
On the surface, the book of Job is a simple story: Job, devoted to God, is struck down in the prime of his life. He and his friends strive to understand the reason for his sudden trials. God appears and he is restored. Clearly it’s not that simple…not at all!
Satan accused the righteous of being faithful to God only for what they could get. Satan’s confidence that he could turn Job probably came from his small victory in Heaven when he was able to turn holy angels to rebel once. God allows Satan to try to prove his point but fails. True Faith is unbreakable. I am reminded that Jesus said in John 10:
28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
I am going out on a limb but I think we have all asked ourselves “If God is a loving God, then why do good people suffer?”
We need to keep in mind that believers will suffer because of sin, for correction, for strengthening, and sometimes to reveal His comfort. But there are times that suffering occurs for purposes that we will never be able to discern.
Job and his friends want to sit around and analyze Job’s suffering to determine the “cause” and “solution”. Not only were their ideas wrong, but they also made matters worse for Job. Our “fancy” word for the day is “Theodicy”. “Theodicy is a branch of philosophy dealing with the issue of evil in light of the existence of God. If God is just and holy and good, then how do evil and misery exist? That’s the question theodicy wrestles with. So does Lex Luther in the movie Batman vs. Superman 😂.
Here is your cheat sheet:
- Job: patient under suffering, his Faith was allowed to be tested by God.
- Eliphaz- friend- believed Job was suffering because of his sins.
- Bildad- friend- believed Job had not repented of his sins (and until he does he will suffer).
- Zophar- friend- believed Job should have been suffering more for his sin.
- Elihu- (the quiet one) stood up to the 3 friends- believed God was using suffering to mold Job’s character.
So Job will take us 12 days to read. Why do the righteous suffer? This book will show the power of Satan. Satan may be mighty, but God is ALMIGHTY. This book will show the limit of Satan, and the Sovereignty of God.
11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.- James 5:11