You’ve stopped being afraid of the book of Job. Good! You’re ready to dive in! In my Bible, Job is 33 pages shorter than Genesis and only seven pages longer than John, both of which get ten times the pulpit attention. It’s time you had a grasp of God’s classic statement about suffering. Go!
Job brings balance to the Bible, not asking us to do anything. Instead, it’s brain food.
Consider Job’s place in the Wisdom Literature:
Proverbs are probabilities, not iron-clad, double-your-money back guarantees. Though they carry verbal and plenary inspiration, Proverbs are Spirit-inspired observations of how God generally runs life. Proverbs is clear. Neat. Simple. Optimistic (“Just do this and all will be well” is often implied.) Black and white. The person with the gift of ruling or a prophet, the type-A personality, or the choleric driver will be at home in Proverbs while knowing almost nothing about Job.
Ecclesiastes is God’s reminder that even great human wisdom, pleasure, insight and/or unlimited money can leave one empty unless submitted to God.
Psalms Christians are expected to obey God, regardless of the emotional cost of giving, forgiving, praying, serving or sacrificing. But Psalms shows that God does understand and makes allowances for our emotions.
Job is God’s balancing answer to the simplicity and optimism of Proverbs. Job is God’s sanity saver, addressing the 10% of our experiences that do not fit into neat categories of Scriptural direction or make any sense to those around us.
Two Points of Contrast: Job versus Proverbs.
1.Whole Book by Itself. Proverbs speaks to many subjects (honesty, marriage, faith, money, salvation, forgiveness, truth) every one of which weighs a spiritual ton. Yet God shoehorned them into one book. But when one huge, excruciating subject (suffering) was addressed – one that would cause the rise and fall of many believers and non-believers – God had to give it a whole book by itself: Job.
2. More Print on One Subject. God invested more space in the Bible on suffering (Job-42 chapters) than on all the previously mentioned subjects (Proverbs -31 chapters). Proverbs may apply in 95% of life’s circumstances, yet God used more ink, more chapters, more pages in the Bible to tell us about the “exceptions to the rules” (meaning Job), than He gave to the rules (meaning Proverbs).
Other Posts in This Series:
Spiritual Sushi (Eight Days with Job, #1)
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)