Studies in the Book of Job
Last Wednesday we began studying the book of Job. God gave us a good start. CDs are available for those who missed it. You can email [email protected] or see us tonight for a copy. Job promises to be very edifying. It is a gritty book for real people who really suffer. As I said last week, “Job is not for wimps or sissies.” It is a book that is for those who are suffering. But it is also a book for triumphalists, those who have an arrogant confidence that their theological insight and spirituality is superior and more successful than everyone else’s.
Contrary to the common view, Job is not about answering why the righteous suffer. It is about why the righteous serve God. Job demonstrates endurance, with complaints which nearly crush him and confidence in God which sustains him. Job models growth in grace and wisdom. Using Bruce Waltke’s descriptions, Job graduates from primary school, summa cum laude (1:1-2:13). Job becomes a sophomore in college (3:1-31:40). Through the hard knocks, he graduates summa cum laude, the valedictorian of his college peers. Job finally gets to graduate school (38:1-42:6). Again, he graduates summa cum laude, armed with the knowledge of God. It is here that Job is over-awed by Yahweh and humbled before Him. Job yields to Yahweh’s sovereign rights as Creator and abandons his claims to self-justification and innocence. In the end, Job proves God’s original thesis: Job does not serve Me just because I am good to him, he serves and obeys Me because he trusts Me and he loves Me because I am more valuable to him than his stuff.
Tonight we will cover Job 1:1-5 and get to know righteous Job, before the calamities strike.
Many ask me for a list of commentaries or books when we start a new study. Here is a short list for Job:
Expositional Commentaries: John Hartley, The Book of Job (NICOT), Francis Anderson, Job (TOTC) and Meredith Kline, “Job” Wycliffe Bible Commentary are all very good.
Devotional commentaries or books: Derek Thomas, The Storm Breaks, Job Simply Explained, Mike Mason, The Gospel According to Job (short devotional readings, which are very good), William Henry Green, Conflict and Triumph, The Argument of the Book of Job (wonderful work by an old 19th century Princetonian).
Job 23:12 I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.