Thursday, October 8

The Story of Job

As I shared a couple posts ago, I am chronologically reading through the Bible over the next year and am currently reading about Job. The story of Job is speculated to take place after Noah but before Abraham. Yesterday's reading took me to chapter 17, not quite half way through the book.

Now, I've heard Job's story a number of times over my 30 years attending church...I've even read the book myself a few times. But I must say, I am always a bit amused by the book.

If you know the story, you're probably wondering what kind of morbid person would find Job's story's known for it's grief, pain, and suffering...on that note, let me share with you about the story of Job.

The First Two Chapters
These chapters set the scene. They introduce you to Job, his possessions, his character and his relationship with God. Then everyone either dies or gets stolen from him, including his health, all because Satan thinks that if bad things happen to Job, Job will turn his back on God, which doesn't happen. This section ends with Job's three friends arriving to console and grieve with him.

Chapters Three to Thirty-One
This section is back-and-forth dialogues between Job and his friends, which is a bit humorous (and long-winded).
Basically, all of Job's friends say, "Job, you sinned against God. This is why everything you had either died or was stolen. Repent! Who do you think you are to not repent to God?"
Then, Job repeatedly retorts back, "I haven't sinned you numskulls! You speak stupid meaningless words...oh, that you would shut up. God is God and can do what He wants but I have not sinned against God. I just want God to tell me why He did this."

Chapter Thirty-Two to Thirty-Seven
A fourth friend, Elihu, who is the babe of this group, enters the scene and figures it's his turn to say a few words, "[To the three friends] Job is right! You are worthless friends and say stupid words. God isn't doing this to Job to punish him. And Job, who do you think you are? You may be without sin but you sure are whining a lot. Who are you to think that God answers to you or owes you an explanation?" *cue crickets*

--This is where I imagine a long silent pause....after all, Job and his friends were bound to be humbled in light of Elihu's truthful words. But if they weren't humbled yet, then just you wait...

Chapter Thirty-Eight to Forty-Two
Having listened, watched and seen everything, now enters the person whose character has been called into question and is the center of this book even though Job's name is the title: God.
God steps in and say to everyone, especially Job, "Who do you think you are? Are you able to do anything that I have done? Can you make mountains or waters? Can you subdue beastly animals with a word? Do you know when animals you haven't even seen are giving birth and can you take care of them from here? If you're going to accuse me, can you also fight me?"
Job, who probably felt the size of a dust molecule, was probably face down in the dirt at this point, crying and broken-hearted, and said, "You're right, God. I spoke stupid words too. You are God, I am not and I'm sorry for accusing you of any wrongdoings."

Then, God allowed Job to regain his health, animals, crops, and to have more children. The one thing I find amazing about this story every time I read it is that, according to the book, Job never received an explanation as to what Satan did and what God allowed. Maybe he did...or maybe he lived the rest of his life clueless over the tug-of-war on his life. The bottom line is that he trusted God throughout all of it, even when his wife and friends were telling him to curse God or that it was all his fault. Amazing!

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