Job – Why?

The book of Job is the first book of poetry in the Bible, and so I read, is a masterpiece of Hebrew poetry and literature. Hebrew poetry is a little different in that ideas, not sounds, are woven together to tell a story. To learn more about Hebrew poetry, read this.

Job tackles life’s deepest questions and that is how we are going to work through it – looking at the questions and what they mean for us.

A few quick-fire facts about Job;

  • Both Ezekiel 14.14 and James 5.11 testify to Job, although the authorship, date of writing, and place of writing are unknown.
  • Most scholars, so I read, would hold that Job is the oldest book of the Bible due to the style of language used (some terms are simply unknown, thank goodness for context!).
    • This puts it as being written somewhere around the time of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with a faith influenced by events as far back as the time of Noah.
  • The central problem is theological, not human. Less about Job’s problems and more about how God is acting in the midst of them.

Despite this being old, old Hebrew poetry, there will still shine through the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus. The central problem is theological; how can God allow, permit, even promote these circumstances…The Good News of Jesus will still shine through with contrast, comparison, foreshadowing, and types.

Job was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil, yet still encountered problems that would send most of us packing. If this blameless and upright man can still encounter trials and tribulations, maybe our relationship to God is not based on who we are, what we have, or what we have done?

God is so far above and beyond our ways and thoughts that everything we think is humanly ‘normal’ in relating to others is blown out of the water when we read Job. I read recently that,

The book of Job helps free us from believing in a “score-keeping” God. We are brought to see the God who is, who is all, and who is love.

On that alone, this is sure to be a great journey!

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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