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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Job

(Return to Old Testament Contents)

 

FRAMEWORKS: INTRODUCTION to Job

   

Why Read Job: This is a good question for this book is one of the hardest books in the Bible to read and to understand. The first two chapters and the last chapter are easy to read and take in – they may raise questions but it is easy to see what they say. From chapter 3 on, it gets more difficult, in fact we would say very difficult if we want to go beyond skimming the surface and get into understanding exactly what is being said. Whether it is factual history, an account of something that happened just like this, or it is a fictional narrative to convey amazing truths, we must leave you to decide.

    

The Challenge of Job: This book, possibly more than any other in the Bible we might suggest, has the capacity to provoke questions within us and sometimes it helps to maintain a ‘big view' to cope with the smaller parts. So, for instance, we would suggest that the following are the big issues the book deals with:

•  the meaning of life and then the meaning of death,
•  the nature of the lives people live,
•  why life is sometimes cut short prematurely,
•  God's oversight of all human life,
•  the role He assigns to Satan in this life
•  and then the biggest question of all that we will consider below.

      

Approach & Lessons: As the book of Job is all about questions and answers – some right, some half right, and some just wrong, we will seek to draw out key lessons to be considered at the end of each chapter. However,

•  The biggest question that must hang over the whole book must be, why do bad things happen to good people? However, before we address that we need to reflect on the nature of the book.
•  It is thought that this book may be one of the oldest in the Bible and back in such times teaching and history was usually conveyed in story form. Later Jesus was to use parables extensively in his teaching. So, instead of a neatly packaged one by one pieces of wisdom being laid out, we find the book shown as a story which may be factual history or fictional narrative, but the aim is the same (as that found with Jesus' parables) to provide a narrative that will raise questions in us and guide us towards the truth – but it does need careful reading and then extensive thinking, for which these Frameworks are designed to help you.
•  We will go into much more detail in respect of these and other questions raised by the book, in the Appendix at the end.

      

Contents:

    

PART 1: Ch.1-2: The Testing of Job

1. Job under attack (Pt.1) (The first series of tests and Job's response)

2. Job under attack (Pt.2) (The second test and Job's response)

  

PART 2: Ch.3-31: Job & his three friends

3. Job (1): Job wishes he had never been born (Lament)

 

First Round

4. Eliphaz (1/3 – Part 1)

5. Eliphaz (1/3 – Part 2)

6. Job (2) Part 1

7. Job (2) Part 2   

8. Bildad (1/3)

9. Job (3) Part 1: The Futility of Disputing with God

10. Job (3) Part 2: Job Prays i.e. directly addresses God

11. Zophar (1/2)

12. J ob (4) Part 1

13. Job (4) Part 2: Job wants to talk to God

14. Job (4) Part 3: Confronting Mortality

 

Second Round

15. Eliphaz (2/3): Challenge & Frailty

16. J ob (5) Part 1: Worn out but remaining true

17. J ob (5) Part 2: Please Think Again

18: Bildad (2/3): Analogies & Condemnation   

19. Job (6): Woes and faith

20. Zophar (2/2): All about the folly of wickedness

21. Job (7): Theory of the wicked demolished

 

Third Round

22. Eliphaz (3/3): Accusations & Challenges from Eliphaz a final time

23. Job (8) Part 1: Job stands firm in the darkness

24. Job (8) Part 2: Job's Reflections on Injustices & eventual Judgment

25. Bildad (3/3)

26. Job (9) Part 1: Attack - Rebuke of the ‘friends' for ‘only God knows'

27. Job (9) Part 2: Defence - Job's Personal Integrity & the fate of his enemies

28. Job (9) Part 3: Interlude: Where Wisdom is Found

29. Job (9) Part 4: The Past - Job looks back almost nostalgically

30. Job (9) Part 5: The Present - Roles Reversed & a Resultant Wreck

31. Job (9) Part 6: Final Defence - Job's Final Words of Self-Vindication

 

PART 3: Ch.32-37: A zealous young man's perspective

Ch.32 – Elihu – Part 1 of 6: Introducing Elihu

Ch.33 – Elihu – Part 2 of 6: God IS a Communicator

Ch.34 – Elihu – Part 3 of 6: Job has got it wrong!

Ch.35 – Elihu – Part 4 of 6: Misguided Questions?

Ch.36 – Elihu – Part 5 of 6: God IS Just

Ch.37 – Elihu – Part 6 of 6: God IS Supreme

   

PART 4: Ch.38-41: God's perspective

Ch.38: The LORD Speaks about Creation

Ch.39: The LORD Speaks about Creatures

Ch.40: Human Impotence on the earth

Ch.41: Human Impotence on the sea or river

   

PART 5: Ch.42: Job restored

Ch.42: Conclusions & Restoration

   

APPENDIX: Considering Suffering & God

Notes looking at the many questions raised about suffering in Job

   

     

Continue to Chapter 1