In my younger years the book of Job scared me. I didn’t want to read it. In a way, I was afraid of what I might find there.
Growing up in the Word/Faith type of background, those (false) teachers put their own spin on the book of Job. I remember one pastor saying that all the troubles which befell Job were his fault because he spoke forth fear into his life. That alleviated some of my fears somewhat.
Later, when I came out of that false system of thinking, I found myself still wondering about the book of Job. I finally read through it. It wasn’t so bad reading through it. I don’t recall how many times I’ve read through the book of Job since. I remember after I read it early on thinking it would make a really good play for the stage. But I’ve never heard of anyone turning the book of Job into a script.
You don’t hear much in church or otherwise about the book of Job other than a passing comment or reference here or there. I wonder if others have the same fear of it that I had at one time.
Concerning the few teachings I have heard on the book of Job the theme tends to revolve around sympathy for poor Job. It is used to comfort someone going through a trial in his or her life generally. Job is always presented as completely blameless and his three friends are properly chastised for their lack of true friendship. I’ve never heard anyone discuss the young man, Elihu, who witnesses everything Job and his three friends have to say to each other. I’ve never heard much said about God’s part in the whole event either.
I recently decided to read through Job again. This time was different. So much opened up before my eyes this time and I was amazed. While I agree that Job can be used to comfort someone going through a trial, I don’t think that is the main point. The book is much deeper and richer than that.
The minor character in the book is Satan. He comes in at the beginning of the book but you don’t see him after that. The major characters are God, Job, Elihu, Zophar, Bildad, and Eliphaz. By saying “characters” I’m not implying that the book of Job is fictional. I believe it is a historical poem and part of the infallible word of God. It is a story however and stories have characters.
Since the book is titled “Job”, you might think it is about him, but it is not. The main character in this story is God. I now believe the book of Job gives an overall picture of who God really is. It displays his perfection, glory, and absolute sovereignty in men’s lives. Therefore it is a beautiful book.
It is also a messianic book because it speaks clearly of Christ the redeemer and savior. It speaks to the fallen condition of mankind and the need of a redeemer.
Although Job was righteous, he was by no means perfect. He succumbed to the same self pity we all succumb to at times. He demanded an audience with God in which he was sure he would be vindicated. Enter Elihu on the scene who sets Job straight before the entrance of God himself. When Job finally gets his audience with God it doesn’t go like he planned at all. He comes away humbled and repentant for his selfish behavior. He is accepted by God still however, which speaks to eternal security of the believer. His three friends are a different matter however. It says God’s anger burned toward them.
That’s interesting to me because when I first read Job years and years ago I agreed with a lot of the things Job’s friends had to say. This time I started to see that they were mixing truth with falsehood and they were presenting a false gospel. I see shades of every major world religion couched in the words of Job’s three friends. They were deeply religious men, but God burned in anger toward them; showing that deeply religious words and displays don’t make things right between God and man.
I have learned so much more this time reading through Job and yet I feel as if I have only scratched the surface. In the days to come I hope to deepen my study.