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Reading the Bible Day 140

So you’re in the Old Testament book of Job. Way to go! Get ready for the mental rollercoaster that lies ahead! You’ve stepped into one of the most sophisticated and mind-bending literary works in the Bible. This book has been designed to stimulate your mind and heart by raising huge questions about God’s character and the meaning of human suffering. But just so you know, no straightforward answers lie within. Rather, the reader is invited to ponder the pain and complaining of Job, the puzzling speeches of God, , and the surprise conclusion of the whole story. Most people finish the book feeling unsure they got the point, but convinced they’ve experienced something profound.


We're going to be in job for awhile...and it's a tough book. If the first 139 days have been like high school than this is like being thrown into an upper level ethics class in undergraduate. I don't share that to scare you off....but rather excitement for you to reveal to yourself the confidence you've developed in the text so far. Your ability to wrestle with the death and despair of the 1 - 2 Kings and the prophets allows you to stew in the murky grey waters of Job...and if you can do that, your faith will grow, your patience will grow, and your trust in God will only get stronger.


If you'd like to get an overview of Job before we go in I'm going to share a few videos from our friends the Bible project. Otherwise, skip past and jump straight to the reading.




Scripture to Read


Job 1 - 3

Psalm 135


Audio Bible



Questions to Consider

  1. What does this reveal to me about God?

  2. What does this reveal to me about good vs bad?

  3. Does God, or should God, reward or punish us based on merit?

  4. How does job speak to the difficult question of "bad things happen to good people? and the half truth of "God doesn't give you what you can't handle"

- My Thoughts -

Oh, boy Job. Many books have been written on this sad story. Many people have lost faith over the weight of this story. Seeing as Job is nearly 50 chapters long we'll have plenty of time to unpack this one together. Before I got into lengthy exposition about Job I want to share a few things contextually that might help. If you watched the videos earlier this will be pretty similar. Job is not a story about a dude named Job. It's not a true story in a factual sense and never was designed to be. It's wisdom literature - a fable with the purpose of teaching a moral lesson. God is less a central character of the story and more a question worth pondering. But also consider the time period in which the wisdom literature is being produced - the exile. People are trying to make sense about their suffering and why it happened. Some take responsibility, but others questions why innocents (such as those who were just babies when exile began or babies born into exile) must suffer. Therefore, we get Job, and the wisdom of Solomon, and the proverbs.


Second important thing to consider is the character "satan". Unfortunately, many of the translations give this character a proper name with a capital S, but that's not the original way it was translated. Satan is not S-A-tan, the big bag associated with Jesus. S-ah-tan simply means "adversary" and could be given to anyone. Although this character is in the heavenly courts and according to legend so was Lucifer before his fall from grace, these similarities are purely coincidental. It's dangerous to consider satan as Satan (if you believe in a Satan) because it would lead you down a road of belief that Satan has power over God or that God works with Satan. Just, no. nononononononononononono.


OK, I think I'll end there for now and share more personal thoughts on how to relate to job tomorrow. For now, stay biblical my friends and see you soon!

Prayer


Our prayer today actually aligns really nicely with Job and is surely a favorite of at least one of you. Hymn 140 - Great is Thy Faithfulness. Listen silently, hum, or sing along in praise for God or pray the lyrics below.



Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father There is no shadow of turning with Thee Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness Morning by morning new mercies I see All I have needed Thy hand hath provided Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me


Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest Sun, moon and stars in their courses above Join with all nature in manifold witness To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love

Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness Morning by morning new mercies I see All I have needed Thy hand hath provided Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me


Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside

Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness Morning by morning new mercies I see All I have needed Thy hand hath provided Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me



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