Summary: Introduction to the book of Job - sermon by Gordon Curley (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rough Guide to The Book of Job:
FOUR THINGS TO NOTE:
• The book of Job is unique.
• The book of Job is poetic
• The book of Job is hazardous
• The book of Job is history
TWO KEY THEMES:
• 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.