So I decided to have a new segment on Sunday (for those of us who don’t go to church regularly…me included) I’m not trying to be preachy, I just think there’s an aversion to the Bible at this time, and that people either think it’s lame or that it’s hard to understand.
Overall it’s a book written by everyday people like us; fisherman, poets, musicians…and I think almost everyone owns one (it being one of the most-printed, best-selling books.) I hope we can participate in Bible Sundays with an open mind and heart and most importantly, no fear. Please welcome Belle our Bible Sunday guest blogger. -Skye
This book reminds me of the one of my favorite movies, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Job, just like the movie, starts right in the middle of a nail biting scene that freaks you out, but we’ll get to that scene later.
Setting the Scene:
A nice God fearing man, Job has seven sons and three daughters who party everyday because they are so rich and happy. Job makes a daily sacrificial prayer for them in case they have sinned against their creator (being the good father that he is.) He practices wisdom in everything he does, and has a great relationship with God.God knew the quality of man Job was and was rightfully proud of him.
Job’s life is fulfilled; he owns seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred donkeys and a large number of servants. He was the greatest man in the entire east. His life was like a never ending country club of bliss.
Meeting over Coffee:
So the angels dropped by to report to God and among them came Satan. God asked Satan, “What are you up to?”
Satan answered God, “Going here and there, checking things out on earth.”
8 God said to Satan, “Have you noticed my friend Job? There’s no one quite like him—honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil.”
9-10 Satan retorted, “So do you think Job does all that out of the sheer goodness of his heart? Why, no one ever had it so good! You pamper him like a pet, make sure nothing bad ever happens to him or his family or his possessions, bless everything he does—he can’t lose!
11 “But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away everything that is his? He’d curse you right to your face, that’s what.”
12 God replied, “We’ll see. Go ahead—do what you want with all that is his. Just don’t hurt him.” Then Satan left the presence of God.
Hell literally breaks loose:
For the next FORTY (gosh) chapters we witness how God allowed Satan to destroy everything that had been good in Job’s life. In one day at the same time all his oxen were stolen by a marauders, his sheep were killed by lighting, and all the camels were stolen by a different tribe. All the care-taking servants of the animals were killed too. And worst yet, another servant runs in to say a tornado had destroyed the house where all his children were partying and they were all dead because the house had collapsed on them.
Sacrificial Worship, it ain’t easy to do:
Job’s reaction to such calamitous news, was something I would have a hard time doing. He tore his robe,shaved his head, as was custom of mourning, and fell to the ground and worshiped God. He makes the statement,
21 Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
naked I’ll return to the womb of the earth.
God gives, God takes.
God’s name be ever blessed.
22 Not once through all this did Job sin; not once did he blame God.
Where you wish these coffee meetings would just stop:
The paranormal scene repeats itself again with the angels and Satan dropping by to visit God In heaven.
God brags on Job having such integrity and Satan just wants Job to loose face.
4-5 Satan answered, “A human would do anything to save his life. But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away his health? He’d curse you to your face, that’s what.”
Satan took out his big guns, and covered him with itching wide open sores and scabs from head to foot. With nothing to alleviate his pain he went and sat in a trash heap of ashes and scraped himself with a broken pottery shard.
This is a book about undeserved suffering especially when the suffering of a good person does not have an explanation. It is also the mystery of suffering while holding on to the invisible idea of hope. In all this Job would say, “I know my redeemer lives, and with or without this body, one day I will stand before him. I long for that day.”
Wherein you wish Job had better friends:
His four friends came to look in on Job for they heard about his terrible losses. From far away they didn’t even recognize him. For seven days his friends could not speak. When they finally spoke they offered all sorts of wrong advice, philosophies, religious diatribes, methods and pedantically tried to convince Job that he had sinned and he was perhaps just a hypocrite.
His friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar and Elihu gave wrong advice to Job to the point that God was angry with their words. Even Job’s wife told him, “still holding on to your precious integrity? Curse God and die! Be done with it!”
In a way, I can understand that the woman was going through tremendous pain herself having lost all her children at once. There was bitterness there. But, the words of his friends show there are no words of man from doctrines, philosophies or just higher level intellectual thoughts that can be applied to such profound losses and pain.
Job does not once blame God or sin against him.
Chapter 38 and 39 are the two most beautiful poetic chapters in this book about God’s sovereign, immense wisdom. Read it here. How does man’s wisdom, if we can call it that, compare to God’s? Who are we to question God?
And he lives happily ever after:
At the end of this incredible book, about one man’s relationship with God and his unfailing faith that God was good, even when he didn’t understand what was happening to him, God steps in to reward him.
10-11 After Job had interceded for his friends, God restored his fortune—and then doubled it! All his brothers and sisters and friends came to his house and celebrated. They told him how sorry they were, and consoled him for all the trouble God had brought him. Each of them brought generous housewarming gifts.
12-15 God blessed Job’s later life even more than his earlier life. He ended up with fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand teams of oxen, and one thousand donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first daughter Dove, the second, Cinnamon, and the third, Darkeyes. There was not a woman in that country as beautiful as Job’s daughters. Their father treated them as equals with their brothers, providing the same inheritance.
16-17 Job lived on another 140 years, living to see his children and grandchildren—four generations of them! Then he died—an old man, a full life.
This man named Job was attacked emotionally as he lost all his children. His wife hated him, and his choice of friends had him doubting himself.He was attacked financially and lost all his wealth in one day. He lost his self- esteem when he lost his position of respect in the community. Even his health went bad, and It was not a disease that could be hidden gracefully. It was painful and ugly. What else is there for a human to hold on to, when everything else is gone?
On a side note, check out The Brick Testament which illustrates the book of Job with Legos. Pretty neat.