Job is almost the only book in the Bible that does not ask you to do anything. Instead, it invites you to think. It’s brain food. It conveys: “Don’t be surprised if you find yourself confused, doubting, afflicted or crushed. That does not mean that God is against you. More is happening than you know, but it is happening in the ultimate dimension of reality (the spirit realm), into which we are denied access.”
Some readers can’t identify with Job because their lives have been easy. Mostly comfortable. Yet for the person who struggles and agonizes, the very presence of Job in the Bible is gold. Why? Because for a life so difficult and chaotic to be reported in the Bible means that misery’s case is being presented. Respected. Heard.
Job’s suffering gives him an automatic in with outsiders, the poor, the prisoner, the lame, the disadvantaged, the less gifted, the falsely accused and the ordinary person in a Barbie doll world.
Job stood against the self-righteous, accepted orthodoxy of his day, of which Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar were the self-appointed spokesmen. Some have adopted Job as a rebel, an anti-establishment voice. Job can defend himself anywhere – in the university lecture hall or in rough and tumble of the street. People who are not drawn to any other Bible character – people who do not even like Jesus Christ (He appears to demand much) – are drawn to Job.
Four factors lead Bible students to conclude that Job is ancient, one of the earliest written canonical books. (1) Absence of any reference to the Egyptian captivity (which would have been a point of comparison for suffering). (2) The absence of any reference to the Abrahamic covenant (legal arrangements between God and people) that Job would likely have referenced had it existed when Job was written. (3) The long life of Job reminds us of the ancient epoch of the patriarchs, and (4) wealth was measured in terms of animals, showing an agricultural-barter system of economics.
The point is that God wanted to be on record immediately about suffering and injustice, so frequently would He use such tools to achieve His goal (Romans 8:29). This is God’s classic statement about suffering. Believers need to soak in Job because suffering is a significant part of their lives. To help us comprehend God’s perspective on suffering, Job is honest, straightforward, uncensored, irreducible, and he refuses to be sanitized. He is unedited and raw (like life) . . . so I call Job spiritual sushi.
This Introduction to Job was Day 1 from Eight Days with Job
Other Posts in This Series:
Balance (Eight Days with Job, #2)
The Bet (Eight Days with Job, #3)
Lessons from Job 1 (Eight Days with Job, #4)
Round Two (Eight Days with Job, #5)
A Few Good Men (Eight Days with Job, #6)
Eliphaz and His Demonic Dream Revelation (Eight Days with Job, #7)
Satanic Terrorism (Eight Days with Job, #8)