Daily Bible Study Tips: Job

Job 1:1-22, Prologue.
Job 2:1-13, Prologue.
Job 3:1-19, Job speaks.

Comments on Job 4 to 11
Comments on Job 12 to 18
Comments on Job 19 to 21
Comments on Job 22 to 27
Comments on Job 31 to 38:21
Comments on Job 38:22 to 40
Comments on Job 42

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Job 1:1-22 (7/26/10)

Prologue.  Have you ever watched a national political convention on television?  Yawn.  There are long, boring speeches.  Occasionally the camera turns to show someone in the audience, who in the old days would be talking to his neighbor but now is texting someone who isn't even at the convention.  Job is like that, except without the exciting bits, which is why it is among the least-read books of the Bible.  We are going to read somewhere between a third and a half of the book of Job over the next few weeks.  

Deuteronomic theology (i.e., the theological statements of the early parts of the Bible) says that if you are a good person who worships God, you will be rewarded with a good life on this earth.  If you are a bad person, you will be punished with a bad life on this earth.  Eventually, the Jews looked around and noticed that sometimes bad people had health, wealth, and grandchildren, while good people were sick, poor, and without descendants.  Well, what in the world was going on?  That's not the way things are supposed to be!  A few thousand years later, we still don't think that's the way things are supposed to be, and we still wonder what's going on.  The book of Job wrestles with this thorny question.  

Job was written fairly late as Biblical books go.  It is written in the form of a play with a cast of eight main characters:  God, Satan, Job, Mrs. Job, and four friends - Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, and Elihu.  After the prologue, Job and his four friends take turns giving lo-ong, bo-oring speeches.  First we will read the prologue in full, because it sets up the problem and contains most of the action.  Then we will read a little bit from each speech.   

For the next month, be sure to remember vs. 1:8:  And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?"  We know that Job is the best there is, because God himself says so.  Keep this in mind when Job's friends start talking.   

Job 2:1-13 (7/27/10)

Prologue.  In Job's first round of troubles, he was not personally injured.  In the second round, he gets terrible sores all over his body, but he still remains faithful to God.  His wife recommends that he put himself out of his misery, by cursing God.  (This would be roughly akin to going up against the fastest gun in the West, and having your death pronounced "suicide.")  He refuses.  

Now three of Job's friends come on the scene.  At first, they have it right:  they don't say anything.  This is very often the most effective thing you can do to comfort someone who is grieving.

Job 3:1-19 (7/28/10)

Job speaks. Job and his friends sit in silence for a while, but eventually Job speaks.  He says, "I'd be better off dead.  In fact, I'd be better off if I'd never been born.  So would a lot of other people."

Copyright 2010 by Regina L. Hunter.  All rights reserved.

Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

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