Summary: Here is my rather lengthy work concerning the Book of Job. It is certainly not a "sermon" actually, but could serve to help prepare wither a single sermon or a series regarding this book.
The Book of
An Instructional Commentary
Pastor Eric J. Hanson
For a period of about four years, I have desired to produce a course on the book of Job. What brought this about was a careful reading of this book together with note jotting in the margin of my Bible.
I soon discovered that much of what has been traditionally taught about this book is not correct. There has been much damage done to believers down through the years due to such teaching.
Probably the worst and most common abuse of this book has been the unthinking quoting of the ramblings and ragings of Job and his companions as though their words were from God. Near the end of the book, God sharply corrects and rebukes these men. People, who have taught the words of these men as though they were true doctrine, have many times caused people to get a warped view of what God is like. Please know that all of these men spoke much error together with some truth.
As you study the book of Job, bear in mind that Job was not an Israelite. He did not have the Abrahamic covenant. He did not have the Law of Moses, and in fact, he lived prior to Moses.
Job did have a covenant with God, and it did provide this specific benefit: his life was protected from premature death. He did not, however, have the promises given to Israel in Deuteronomy 28:1-14. This is important for us to know!
It is my prayer and steadfast hope that the Lord will use this course on the book of Job to clear up some very muddied waters and to strengthen the faith of many. May God bless you as you study it.
In Jesus Christ our Lord,
Eric J. Hanson. (1988)
HOW TO USE THIS COMMENTARY AS A GROUP BIBLE STUDY
At my own home church, we have found that this works well as a course used the following way. (Pray first of all, inviting the Lord to teach and direct things.)
1. Someone reads a group of verses, such as Chapter 24, verses 5-12 (on page 13).
2. That person then reads the commentary remarks connected to those verses.
3. Discussion may be sparked by this.
4. The group leader keeps things from going too far off the subject.
Using this method, a Home Fellowship group or a Sunday School class can cover three chapters per session in about 30-40 minutes of reading and discussion. At the end of the course, there are life applications to take away from this book. –Pastor Eric (2005)
DEFINITIONS FROM THE BOOK OF JOB
Job: “One ever returning to God” from the Hebrew “Ayeb”.
Uz: The eastern area where Job lived. The people there could trace their line back to Nahor, not Abraham’s grandfather of that name, but his brother of that name. The area was named for a man named “Uz”. He may have founded Damascus and Trachonitis. The area where Job lived was located in the Syrian Desert between Damascus and Edom
Eliphaz: One of the three friends of Job. His name means “God is strong.” He was probably the least patient of these three friends. He was descended from Esau, and was a distant cousin to Job.
Bildad: This friend of Job had some Israelite blood through either Asher or Judah. He seemed to be quite patient and knowledgeable of God. The meaning of his name is not certain.
Zophar: This third of Job’s friends seems to have been the most patient of the three. His name simply means “chirper”, but the name Naaman (from whom he was descended) means “pleasant, a delight”. My assessment of Zophar is that he would have been good to have around. Through the tribe of Benjaman, Zophar also had some Israelite blood in him.
Elihu: The fourth man to come and be Job’s “friend”. This man’s name means “He is God.” His Father’s name meant, “blessed”, and indeed Barachel was blessed to have Elihu for a son. The tribal name, “Buz” means contempt, and indeed Elihu showed contempt for his older companions with all of their false assumptions. He too was related to Abraham, descended from Nahor, and was therefore a distant cousin of Job.
All four of these men were distant cousins to Job.
HOW TO USE THIS STUDY GUIDE DEVOTIONALLY
1. Pray before each session. Ask God to open your eyes and speak to you.
2. Quiet yourself and approach the Bible with faith and expectancy that the Lord will meet you there.
3. Read a few verses. Then read the commentary connected to those verses. Take your time and let things sink in.
4. Finish the course of the study, and think about the lessons to be learned. Be blessed and equipped!