Sometimes we endure great difficulty, and like Job, we need to come to the realization that when considering God, some things are too wonderful for us to comprehend (Job 42:3), and that the end, or purpose, of the Lord is always mercy and compassion (James 5:11).
Having concluded the content study of the book of Job, we will now consider the extensive wisdom applications for our lives.
At times, God uses our senses to make His presence known (Psalm 34:8, 1 John 1:1-4). This growth in knowledge of God deepens our relationship with Him. For examples, see Isaiah 6:1-5, Luke 5:8, and 7:6-7. Job has found that theology is only the beginning; it's important, but second to our personal walk with God.
Wisdom literature is one of the more difficult genres in the Bible. Though New Testament epistles might be the easiest for us to read and understand today, it's important to keep a balance of all biblical genres in our personal reading and corporate teaching.
These next two cycles of debate can be read in Job 15-33.
Are we trying to get the infinite things of God into our small finite minds? This is the reality of Job as he struggles through his horrific ordeal. As his friends wield accusations, Job seeks to press his mind and heart to know the wonders of the sovereignty of God. He believes it, yet it seems too wonderful for him to fully know. As he struggles through the months of his God-ordained calamity, God’s grace presses him to know and rest in the doctrine of God’s sovereignty.
If after a short time of great calamity such as Job experienced – his children killed, his lifestyle and position in the region taken away, and his body suffering like never before – would we be able to say like Job, "Blessed be the name of the Lord"? Could it be said of us that we did not sin with our lips? Job experienced supernatural grace in an hour of agony for those two verses to be written about him (Job 1:21, Job 2:10).
By Job 2:10, Satan has done his worst to Job and retreated from his life. God is silent and doesn’t make sense, and Job is alone.
Three of Job’s friends come to commiserate with him in Job 2:11-12. They respect his agony and sit with him in silence for 7 days.
In chapter 3, Job speaks. He asks the question “Why?” twenty times in this book, and a few are in this chapter. He asks why he was born (Job 3:3-10), why he is still alive (Job 3:11-19), and why he can’t die now (Job 3:20-26).
Most Christians are enduring some level of difficulty at any given point in their life. The story of Job offers us wisdom in how to endure crisis and calamity in a godly way.
Job was a man who was prepared to understand his trials because he understood his God. We need to understand what it means to be prepared for God-appointed calamity in our lives. The author of Job is seeking to convey to the reader that Job was the last person on earth that anyone expected to endure such calamity.
The book of Job is wisdom literature. Wisdom is God’s perspective on how to live practically. It teaches us how to live God’s will every day of our lives. In the Old Testament, wisdom was used in Israel’s history to primarily target the youth of the Jewish family (Duet. 6, Prov. 1-7). Job teaches our youth, and all of us, the spiritual emphasis God has for family life. Job was a model of practical living for his children, who were willing to follow that model, eventually becoming that model themselves. Living godly was not a religion to Job; it was a life born out of an intimate knowledge and relationship with his Creator, the gracious and holy Almighty. Job loved and feared God, modeling a gracious and holy example for his children. This life prepared him for God-appointed suffering: to not curse God but to trust God.
Job is a book of wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 9:10). Wisdom is not merely knowledge. Wisdom is living the knowledge of God’s will, being able to apply what we know. The genuinely saved person longs to know the will of God and perseveres in living it. Job 1:1 describes Job as blameless and upright, fearing God and turning away from evil, giving us a brief description of the person of Job and his character.
Godly people do suffer, sometimes in extreme ways. If we don’t believe that, it can lead to unbiblical assumptions, doctrine, and applications. It is incorrect to assume that all suffering is punishment for sin, or that God owes us prosperity if we obey. We can correct this thinking by getting to know God’s character.
We will take several weeks to introduce the book of Job.
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