Sunday, November 9, 2008

So, what is the book of Job all about?

I wouldn't pretend to understand it fully, but I decided to read the book of Job last week as I continue my enjoyment of Old Testament wisdom literature. I am starting to think that Wisdom literature is my favorite genre of the Bible. After reading Ecclesiastes I headed for Job with the aid of the new ESV Study Bible, which I received as a gift courtesy of Jeremy Morrisey.
Job is a book that is highly regarded as valuable for it's wilingness to honestly address the issue of suffering. If you are a part of a church or have studied the Bible long you have heard someone make reference to his life and his resolve to trust God in the midst of suffering. Trusting God in the midst of suffering is good and all, but I went into the reading thinking, "There's got to be more meat to the story than that." Usually the Bible has a lot to say about how we could do such an impossible task, or provides some sort of perspective that can prepare us to handle the storms of life even if ours pale in comparison to Job's (and they most certainly will, which is part of the book's value).
In an effort to keep the posts short I am going to use a couple of days to post the thoughts I have about the book and share what I learned over the past week in my own reading. If you do not currently have a part of the Bible that you are studying or reading, plan to read Job this week and you can decide whether I am way off on my take on the piece or not. So, I will begin the posts the way I began my reading. Given what you may already know about the story of Job, what specifically do you think is the message or central argument of the book? I would suggest that this is the way that we should read any book of the Bible, beginning with a desire to understand the one thing that the whole thing is saying, and then understanding the parts in relation to the whole. Yes, Job is about suffering, but more importantly it is a book about God, and tomorrow I will try to unpack what we can learn from it.

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