Summary: Introduction to the book of Job - sermon by Gordon Curley (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

Rough Guide to The Book of Job:


• The book of Job is unique.

• The book of Job is poetic

• The book of Job is hazardous

• The book of Job is history


• Patience.

• Suffering.


• Act #1: The character of Job (vs 1-5)

• Act #2: The conversation about Job (vs 6-12)

• Act #3: The calamity of Job (vs 14-22)


• The book of Job is believed by many to be the oldest in the Bible,

• It explores the most ancient and puzzling themes of life,

• Questions that sooner or later we all ask!

• e.g. Why do the good people suffer?

• e.g. Why does God allow pain?

• e.g. How can a person be right before God?

• e.g. How can a person come to learn and experience more of God?

• e.g. What relationship exists between God and the devil?

• e.g. Is the devil bound by the laws of God?

• e.g. Does man have hope beyond the grave?

Now if you are looking for simple answers to all those questions,

• Then, you may well end up disappointed!

• Some of those questions are clearly answered,

• But some of them are left open and you may have to ponder, reflect and engage brain!

• For me…

• I am glad we don’t have simple, clever or cliché answers to the problems of life.

• That would detract from my faith and not enhances it!

• The book of Job will scratch where you itch,

• You will get some answers to some of life’s big questions,

• But you may well be surprised how those answer reveal themselves!

• In this nine-week study series,

• We are not looking at every verse in the book of Job,

• Rather we are pulling out various themes,

• So, by all means over the next nine weeks, read, read and read again the entire book.

• Or you can listen to the audio book of Job (which takes 1 hour and 50 minutes)

• And then enjoy the studies on Sunday mornings,

• And the follow-up discussion in the Thursday night house-groups.

(A). Four Things to Note:

FIRST: The book of Job is unique.

• The book is unique because 42 chapters are given over to one man!

• There is no other book like it in the whole of the Bible.


• We have more information about Job,

• Then we have on Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph put together!

• So, that alone makes this book and this man unique.

SECOND: The book of Job is poetry:

• 95% of the book of Job is poetic,

• And poetry is always hard to get to understand and interpret and grips with.


• The book is a bit like a sandwich, the two prose sections are the bread;

• And the poetry is the filling.

• The book begins with a prose section (chapters 1 & 2);

• And it ends with the last ten verses of chapter 42 as a prose section (verses 7-17),

• But the bulk of the book is poetry.

Now remember that poetry is designed to help us see things in a new way,

• Poetry speaks to the emotions.

• It speaks to the heart above the brain.


• Newspapers deal in prose; they are sharing information and supposedly facts.

• But when we send someone a card for their birthday or for Valentine’s day etc,

• They contain a poetical verse,

• Because they are sharing feelings and appealing to the emotions.

The book of Job:

• Does not provide tightly reasoned answers to life’s problems,

• But his book will touch the emotions, it will encourage and help and comfort.

Quote: Alison Osborne:

“Poetry is so important because it helps us understand and appreciate the world around us. Poetry’s strength lies in its ability to shed a “sideways” light on the world, so the truth sneaks up on you. No question about it. Poetry teaches us how to live. Poetry is like the screen-wash (Windex) on a grubby car window—it bares open the vulnerabilities of human beings so we can all relate to each other a little better.”

The book of Job is also part of what we call ‘wisdom’ literature.

• The ‘wisdom’ literature of the Bible is made up of five books,

• Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon.

• This type of literature is mainly in the form of Hebrew poetry or song,

• And from reading and studying it will give us wisdom to live life!

THIRD: The book of Job is hazardous:

• Be careful what you quote from this book.

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