Old Testament Survey
This week, we’ll take a quick look at the book of Job. Job is a difficult book for us to completely comprehend, and yet it is an important book, and it is one which God has intentionally included in His Holy Word. As difficult as it may be to understand, it does shed light on God as the sovereign creator of all. It also helps us to know that even when we don’t understand what is happening to us or around us, or to someone we love, God does. We see that during these times, it is our faith in Him that gets us through. Job-like times try us, temper us, and lead us toward becoming the person Christ wants us to be.
Job is the Old Testament example of exactly what the Apostle James wrote about in James Chapter 1:2-4: "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
For our study this week then, let’s take a quick look at the suffering of a good man and his dialogue with his friends and with God.
- The story of Job probably occurred before the time of Abraham. For example, we can tell from reading the text that no mention of the Law or the Exodus exists, or is referenced anywhere in the book. Read the verses below and indicate why they indicate that the story happened before Abraham?
- Job 1:3 and 42:12
- Job 1:5 and 42:8
- What do the verses below from other parts of the Bible tell us about the man called Job?
- Ezekiel 14:14
- James 5:10-11
- The book of Job addresses many issues and questions that we face today, just as Job faced then. What are at least two basic questions of issues confronting Job that are addressed in the book?
- Read Job Chapters 1 and 2 and summarize the dialogues between God and Satan.
- Describe Job’s spiritual character as presented in Job Chapter 1.
- Summarize the speeches of Eliphaz the Temanite.
- Summarize the speeches of Bildad the Shuhite.
- Summarize the speeches of Zophar the Naamathite.
- Summarize the speeches of Elihu.
- The dialogue of Job’s three friends sends him into a great depression, full of despair and is ready to die. He pleads with his friends to stop giving him advice, and what else does he tell them? (see Job 19:25)
- Now summarize God’s response. How is Jeremiah 33:3 relevant to this?
Job became a man humbled by his knowledge and experience with God. Having suffered through unimaginable trials, Job came to see and understand God in a completely different light. He came to recognize God as sovereign in all of creation, including his own life. Job also came to realize that God’s plan for His creation reaches far beyond our understanding and that, in the final analysis, we must take many steps in life by faith alone.
Just as with Job, in our darkest hour, when all appears lost, God remains faithful and will be with us through all of it. How glorious our hope in Christ that no matter what may befall us in this life, we have an eternity with Him as our blessed hope and promise.
Have a great weekend everyone.