Our Bible reading plan is in Job right now and I must confess that I didn’t enjoy this book in the past like I do now. Here are some tips to remember as you read Job:
- Read with an awareness that Job has suffered terribly and is trying to make sense of what has happened to him.
- Read with an eye on who is speaking. Job’s three friends (Bildad, Zophar, and Eliphaz) mock him and put him down. They condemn him and assume that he has done something to deserve all the bad that has happened to him. As you read their comments keep their point of view in mind.
- Listen for the way Job interacts with these men (12:2 – “No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you.” Or 16:1 – “I have heard many things like these. You are all miserable comforters. Is there no end to your empty words?”). What we find is sarcasm and realism and honesty. Something you won’t see much of on Face Book (ok maybe the sarcasm).
- Remember that Satan is “the accuser of the brethren” still and there may be times that we are in his crosshairs.
- Watch for how Job talks about his desire for someone who would mediate between he and God (9:32-33 – “For He is not a man like me, that I can answer Him, that we can take each other to court. There is no one to judge between us, to lay his hand on both of us.” Also in 16:21 – “I wish that someone might arbitrate between a man and God just as a man pleads for his friend.”). Job is longing for someone (Jesus!) to come and be our Advocate with the Father – 1 Timothy 2:5-6: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, Himself human, who gave Himself – a ransom for all.” Also 1 John 2:1: “My little children, I am writing you these things, so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ the Righteous One.”
- At the end of the book God speaks (beginning in Ch. 38). Until then we see these men grappling with the questions of evil and suffering and punishment from their perspective.
Hopefully this will help you to read Job with greater understanding. Keep reading! God’s Word is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword!
God’s blessings as you read to grow and deepen your faith in Christ!
Bro. Tim Hobbs