Presentation on theme: "The Book of Job. Last Week… Divine Speeches – God created the world, the universe – He is omnipotent – “Because I’m God. That’s why.” – Did not answer."— Presentation transcript:
Last Week… Divine Speeches – God created the world, the universe – He is omnipotent – “Because I’m God. That’s why.” – Did not answer Job’s questions Doesn’t even mention humans God uses human language but doesn’t talk about human things – Job gives in or gives up?
Epilogue Read Chapter 42:7-9 – Friends are in trouble; Job must intercede Friends did not speak rightly about God, but Job did, even in his borderline blasphemous comments (God doesn’t care about humans) If you don’t understand God, say so! – Don’t pretend you understand; God knows you don’t… you’ll only perjure yourself
Epilogue Read Chapter 42:10-17 – Job is restored times 2, except just 10 more kids (the 3 new daughters, however, are gorgeous; worthy of an inheritance) – Job is vindicated in the eyes of friends and family – Where was his family when he was suffering? Community can’t be trusted, community is restored – Is the doctrine of retribution affirmed? Mark Larrimore discussion with homeless This is not a single test; patience at new level
Epilogue In real life, new children would not erase the pain of losing the first set of beloved children, but the book of Job does not deal with such matters. The point is that Job has returned to his previous prosperity plus some. (Tremper Longman III - Job (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms))
Epilogue The epilogue does not suggest such an unrealistic way of thinking [that new children can replace dead ones]…Again, restoration is not primarily for Job’s benefit; rather it demonstrates that God’s policies are intact and unaltered in the aftermath of the challenges made to them. In light of the preceding points, the epilogue is the perfect conclusion to the book. The challenges to God’s policies have been addressed, and various misconceptions about God and the cosmos have been dispelled. In the process we have gained wisdom. This wisdom does not erase our suffering, but it does help us avoid the foolish thinking that might lead us to reject God when we need him the most. (John Walton - Job (The NIV Application Commentary)) Most importantly, Job’s relationship with God is restored.
When you suffer… Consider this strategy: Let Job the patient (see epistle of James) be your model so long as that is possible for you; but when equanimity fails, let the grief and anger of Job the impatient direct itself and yourself toward, or even against, God, for only in encounter with God will the tension of suffering be resolved. (Dr. Ralph Klein)
When others suffer… We should never be complacent – “God never gives you more than you can handle.” – “God is always on time.”
Elie Wiesel How could I say to Him: “Blessed be Thou, Almighty, Master of the Universe, who chose us among all nations to be tortured day and night, to watch as our fathers, our mothers, our brothers end up in furnaces? Praised be Thy Holy Name, for having chosen us to be slaughtered on Thine altar?”
Elie Wiesel “I have not lost faith in God. I have moments of anger and protest. Sometimes I've been closer to him for that reason.” For Wiesel, faith is located in our continuing Job’s questioning, not in our finding there an answer…
Elie Wiesel “Why do you pray?" [Moishe] asked me, after a moment. Why did I pray? A strange question. Why did I live? Why did I breathe? "I don't know why," I said, even more disturbed and ill at ease. "I don't know why." After that day I saw him often. He explained to me with great insistence that every question possessed a power that did not lie in the answer. "Man raises himself toward God by the questions he asks Him," he was fond of repeating. "That is the true dialogue. Man questions God and God answers. But we don't understand His answers. We can't understand them. Because they come from the depths of the soul, and they stay there until death. You will find the true answers, Eliezer, only within yourself!" "And why do you pray, Moishe?" I asked him. "I pray to the God within me that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions.”
This is most certainly true. “We praise, not because we have to, not because God needs to be flattered, but so that we might remember what God has done and can do; we praise so that we might remember that God is at work in our lives, that we are not alone; we praise to gain courage and strength; sometimes we praise to hold God accountable…and finally, we praise God in order to let the next generation of people know all of this—to tell a story of God’s presence and the power, and the hope and life that comes with it.” Pastor Joe Skogmo St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Lowry, MN