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Having trouble with Job

Discussion in 'Bibliology & Hermeneutics' started by silent water, Aug 16, 2003.

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  1. silent water

    silent water Member

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    I am reading this book for the first time, and I find it very confusing. It seems so far, 13 chapters into it, that at this point, Job is physically ill, his children died, and he is crying out to God, expressing grief for his situation, and his friends insist it is because he is being punished for sin. Yet the opening chapter makes it clear he is a righteous man, and he is defending himself, and suggests that God is soveriegn and this is a test. But I am not sure, the poetic language used makes it difficult.

    Could someone post a brief outline of this book, or direct me to a link that explains it? Thanks.
     
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  2. kimber1

    kimber1 mean people suck

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    i don't have a link for you (sorry) or much time either but yes, i believe it was a test of Job's faith and he came through with flying colors. God allowed satan to tempt him but He did say not to lay a hand on him. there is a verse (and again--sorry-pressed fro time here) that says God will not allow us to be "pushed beyond what we can't handle" (just a break down of it! :))
     
  3. filosofer

    filosofer Senior Veteran

    +287
    Lutheran
    One of the great tragedies in sports is when the athlete begins to believe the press reports. :)

    Job is righteous by declaration. But in the process of analyzing what happened to him (via conversation with his three friends), Job begins to question the basis for the declaration and for the consequences of that declaration. Ultimately Job wants God to take the witness stand and answer his challenge: Why does the righteous person suffer unrighteously?

    And that leads to the major issue: is a person right before God (justified) by action or by God's declaration. Note the following:

    6:8-10
    7:11, 20-21
    9:2, 14-15, 20-21
    10:1-7
    13:3
    23:2-7
    etc.

    Then notice the opportunity that Job desire comes: God actually does speak to him and allows Job to respond. For two chapters God asks Job questions (chap 38-39). At the end Job responds that he has spoken but will not any more (40:3-5). It would appear as if the point is made. God is God - the all-powerful God who created and controls the universe. Notice God's pointed question in 40:8: Will you condemn me that you may be righteous? -- either God is righteous and acts righteously (justifying) or Job is righteous and God is unrighteous.

    But it doesn't end. God invites Job to further investigation (40:6ff). Finally, Job comes to the proper conclusion:



    Only as Job repents can he truly understand that God is indeed just/righteous and acts righteously, even in the midst of suffering. Ultimately God answers Job's question when The Righteous One suffers unjustly - when Jesus dies innocent on the cross. And in the midst of that greatest injustice, God brings about his final act of justice - declaring the sinners righteous.
     
  4. silent water

    silent water Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    So Job is wrong to declare himself righteous early on? (I am only through Ch 18 at this point) Basically is it saying that righteousness comes with repentance and humbling oneself to God, not with personal declaration?

    So the message of Job is, It is not works that make one righteous, but, through trial and repentance that makes one righteous? If this is the case than it fits with message of the Gospels quite nicely. Even though Christ is not mentioned by name in Job, the method of salvation is stated clearly, that by faith and repentance, not works, one is righteous in the eyes of God.

    I am not through reading it yet, but this seems to be what is going on so far, based on what I have read and what you guys have said.
     
  5. filosofer

    filosofer Senior Veteran

    +287
    Lutheran
    Only Job did not declare himself righteous. That was God's declaration to the Satan (1:8). The statement in 1:1 is a reflection of this statement.

    Close. The righteousness that is declared is an alien righteousness (alien to our sinfulness), namely God's righteousness. Only when the person repentants can he/she see, believe, and receive the righteousness of God credited to the person's account (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4).

    Note the precursor of Jesus, even though not identified by "name", and his work in Job 19:25-6:
     
  6. Karl - Liberal Backslider

    Karl - Liberal Backslider Senior Veteran

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    The point is that Job's friends are wrong.

    The message of the book is simply that (this'll never get through the board software without cheating) $#!+ happens, not because we're being punished by God, but because $#!+ happens.

    Faith is the belief that despite the reality, God will one day sit us down and say "Look, I can explain...."
     
  7. silent water

    silent water Member

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    Are Job's friends telling him that he is being punished for sin?

    Why does Job get so frustrated after they speak? Does he think that he is moral, yet God is doing this unjustly?

    It seems that Job thinks God hates him. "He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counted me unto him as one of his enemies." (19:11)

    I still don't understand each side's position in the discussion.
     
  8. silent water

    silent water Member

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    I bought Halley's Bible Handbook today, and it has a really good explanation of all the books of The Bible. I understand Job much better now, and would recommend this book.
     
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