Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

Posted on Jun 30 2016, Pastor: Paul Mittermaier

Bible background: The book of Job is wisdom literature, along with the books of Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes. “Wisdom Literature” is not so much about the worship of Yahweh, or the history of the Jewish people. It’s about wisdom/knowledge for life. Job has the “once upon a time” style of a parable or folk story that explores deep issues about divine justice and “why bad things happen to good people.”

The book of Job is probably the work of several authors over a period of time stretching from the 7th century B.C. to the 1st century B.C. It should not be read as historical fact, but rather as a deep reflection on the subject of undeserved suffering.

How the story unfolds:

We meet Job, the LORD, and ‘the satan’ in chapter 1.

Job is described as “blameless and upright.”

God allows the satan (the accuser) to afflict Job.

Job loses his children and everything.

Job’s 3 friends give him advice and defend God.

Job replies to each of these friends, professing his innocence.

Elihu appears late in the story, maybe to set the record straight?

Then, God weighs in, demonstrating God’s sovereignty.

Job is humbled and satisfied. His friends are put in their place.

Job’s fortunes are restored. (Questions of suffering remain!)


Food for thought:

  1. You’ll notice in chapter 1 that “the satan” is not the personification of evil. The accuser and God have a running dialog going. It seems odd, but he has God’s permission to do what he does. (Remind yourself: this is just a story!)
  2. What questions arise when we hear of innocent people suffering?
  3. Job’s three friends, try to give ‘easy’ answers to why a bad fate has befallen him. When do we offer ‘easy’ answers to try to explain troubles?
  4. Job is sometimes praised for his patience! But beyond chapters 1–2, he doesn’t have patience, so much as he airs his grievances with God. Give Job credit for going to God and demanding a hearing!


Monday morning Bible Study will meet on Tuesday the 5th this week! We’ll be digging deeper into Job. offers a daily devotion (and more in-depth notes.)