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Introduction to the Book of Job

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1 Introduction to the Book of Job
17 January 2008

2 Names of the Book Hebrew: Iyyob, meaning either “persecuted one” or “repentant one” Greek: Iob Latin: Iob

3 Author of the Book Unknown; possible authors: Job Elihu Solomon Isaiah
Moses (lived in Midian near Uz) Hezekiah Jeremiah Baruch Ezra

4 Date and Setting Unknown
Probably occurred during the patriarchal period, around 2000 B.C. Animals showed wealth Job offered his own sacrifices, which means it was before the Mosaic Law was given (around 1422 B.C.) Perhaps written down around the time of Moses

5 Possible Location of Uz
“Uz” might have meant “east” Land of Uz Land of Midian (where Moses lived for 40 years)

6 Book Outline Chapters Controversy 1 – 2 Between God and Satan 3 – 37
Between Job and his friends 38 – 42 Of God and Job

7 Chapters 1-2 Job’s blessed circumstances Two gatherings in heaven
God’s challenge to Satan Satan’s reply to God God’s permission to Satan The tests – losing kids, property and health Mrs. Job’s unbelief Job’s friends’ 7 days of comfort

8 Job’s blessed circumstances
7 sons, 3 daughters 7000 sheep 500 yoke of oxen 500 female donkeys Very large household Greatest man of all the people of the East Offered burnt offerings in case children sinned

9 Gatherings in heaven The ‘sons of God’ and Satan twice presented themselves before the Lord (1:6, 2:1) ‘Sons of God’ in Hebrew is bene-haelohim Ben = son of, Elohim = God Job 38:4,7 – when God laid the foundations of the earth, the sons of God shouted for joy So, the sons of God were angels Satan was ‘the anointed cherub’ (Ezek. 28:14), the highest ranking angel until he rebelled

10 God’s challenge to Satan
God said to Satan, “Have you seen my servant Job? He fears Me and shuns evil.” (Job 1:8, 2:3) This was like throwing meat to hungry dog. This was probably already about 2000 years after Satan tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. So Satan was already very experienced in getting people to turn away from God. That’s what he does best!

11 Satan’s reply to God Satan answered the Lord, “Job just fears You for personal benefit. Take away his children, riches and good health, and he’ll curse you.” (Job 1:9-11; 2:4,5) Most religions are like this: pragmatic, that is, people serve gods that they think will give them what they want. But 1 Cor. 8:6 says we exist for God (That means He doesn’t exist for us.)

12 God’s permission to Satan
God said to Satan, “Go ahead and test Job! Take away his kids, animals and good health. Let’s see what happens!” (Job 1:12, 2:6) ‘Temptation’ and ‘test’ are the same word in Greek, peirasmos. So when Satan tempts us, it’s actually God testing us. Satan’s purpose for testing is to make us sin. God’s purpose for testing is to make us stronger.

13 Chapters 3 – 37

14 The debates on earth Job and his three friends went through three cycles of debate Job’s defenses were much longer than his friends’ accusations In the process of defending his innocence, he became guilty of self-righteousness None of them knew what went on earlier in heaven between God and Satan Today, when we go through God’s tests, we also do not usually know what God is doing.

15 Job’s friends Eliphaz Bildad Zophar Elihu Name “God is gold”
“Son of contention” “Rough” “He is My God” Personality Considerate Argumentative Rude, blunt Perceptive, some conceit Relies on Observation Tradition Assumption Education Voice of Philosophy History Orthodoxy Logic Argument If you sin, you suffer You must be sinning You are sinning God purifies and teaches Advice Only the wicked suffer The wicked always suffer The wicked are short-lived Humble yourself and submit to God

16 The Lord spoke to Job out of a whirlwind
Chapters 38 – 42 The Lord spoke to Job out of a whirlwind

17 The Deliverance of Job God questions and challenges Job
Job he is vile; he surrenders; he has nothing to say. (40:4,5) God says that’s not good enough: “Would you indeed annul My judgment that you may be justified? (40:8) Can you do the powerful things I can do?” Job confesses his lack of understanding and repents (42:2-6) True faith is commitment without knowing

18 Deliverance of Job’s 3 friends
God rebuked the three friends God told them to offer seven bulls and seven rams and let Job pray for them They obeyed

19 Happy ending for Job God restored Job’s wealth twofold
God gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters Job lived 140 more years and saw his great-great grandchildren – a sign of God’s blessing in Old Testament times (Don’t expect this in New Testament times.)

20 Themes Spiritual war and Satan Testing of God and Satan
The role of suffering Sovereignty of God Repentance and faith

21 Spiritual war & Satan Jesus said Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy (Jn. 10:10) Peter says Satan is a roaring lion seeking someone to eat (1 Pt. 5:8). But whenever he or his demons try to do something, it’s because God has sent them on that mission. We acknowledge Satan, but fear God. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

22 Spiritual war & Satan Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil … having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. - Ephesians 6:11,14-18 NKJV

23 Testing of God and of Satan
God testing us and Satan attacking us are really the same thing. So Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father in heaven … lead us not into temptation / testing” (Mt. 6:9,13) God will test us, but when we are tested, we face potential failure, so we ask Him to not test us. When God tests us, we need the whole armor of God – truth, righteousness, gospel of peace, faith, salvation, Word of God, prayer

24 The role of suffering Rom. 5: 1-11 – Results of Justification
The purpose of our suffering is to help us develop a Biblical hope; that is, to make us not expect things from God that He has not promised in scripture (1-5) Christ died for us when we were His enemies, but now we have peace with God and are saved from His wrath, so when He disciplines us, we can trust Him (6-11)

25 The role of suffering Hebrews 12:1-11 – God’s Discipline
Whom the Lord loves he disciplines If you are without discipline, you are illegitimate and not sons No discipline seems pleasant at the time but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of peace for those who have been trained by it.

26 The role of suffering Suffering is God’s discipline for His children
His goal is correction to develop godly behavior His goal is not punishment; that’s for later So the goal is not to execute justice It is like a scalpel in the hand of a surgeon It’s not from evil intent, so it’s not like a dagger in the hand of an assassin So thank God for it!

27 The benefits of suffering
But He knows the way that I take, and when He has tested me I will come forth as gold. (Job 23:10) Consider it a pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Perseverance must finish it’s work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

28 Sovereignty of God And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

29 Repentance and faith In Job 40:4,5 Job gave up, but God went on for two more chapters. Then Job repented. He would rather be God’s obedient servant than anything else. Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened … take My yoke upon you and learn form Me.” (Mt. 11:28,29) You are going to wear the yoke, whether Jesus’ yoke or someone else’s. God will only accept repentance and faith in His Word. Being good is not good enough.

30 Application Be aware of the spiritual battle going on around you, especially in the area of interpersonal relationship. Satan loves to divide and conquer. Put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6) – truth, righteousness, gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the Word of God and prayer

31 Application Avoid the tendency to assume that your suffering or others’ suffering is due to sin, because innocent people suffer too. Don’t assume that you know with certainty what God is doing in your life or someone else’s life. We walk by faith, not by sight, so we can never be 100% sure.

32 Application Learn to trust God’s goodness and power in the midst of trials and suffering or through tough circumstances. In the midst of adversity and tragedy, don’t ask “Why?” ask “Who is causing it?” Put your hope in God no matter what.

33 Application Bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2).
Be slow to judge others’ circumstances (Mt. 7:1-5). Don’t be like Mrs. Job, Eliphaz, Bildad or Zophar, but instead be a wise friend: Someone who gets the facts straight before making accusations, and Someone who comforts and encourages friends when they are suffering.

34 Application When your friends seem to be breaking God’s commandments and you feel responsible to confront them: First ask questions to understand the situation before making accusations Only make accusations when you have clear facts Otherwise, wait for God to reveal more

35 Application When others accuse you of wrong-doing
Repent if you think they are correct Otherwise, thank them for their concern, briefly defend yourself and then spend time alone in prayer, asking God to show you if you are really guilty.

36 Application Develop an eternal hope, and don’t expect God to do things for you in this life that He hasn’t promised to do for you in the Bible. Ask God to help you become like Job – His obedient servant, whom He can trust to pass through any of Satan’s attacks.

37 Bibliography Special thanks goes to the following: for their maps NASA for their Satellite images Bruce Wilkinson & Kenneth Boa for their information in Talk Thru the Bible Walt Henrichsen for his wisdom and insight shared during Bible studies he has led and in books, articles and s he has written Edward Reese for his chronology and dating in The Reese Chronological Bible

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