Survey of the Bible - Job

Survey of the Bible - Job


Text: Job 1:6-12

 

I.         The book of Job dates back to the era after the flood

            A.        It takes place in Uz - Job 1:1

                        1.         In the area of Edom, southeast of the Dead Sea - Lamentations 4:21

                        2.         Eliphaz is from a city of Edom noted for its wise men - Jeremiah 49:7

                        3.         Zophar is from a town on the border of Edom - Joshua 15:21, 41

            B.        The length of Job’s life, 140 years after his sufferings, makes his life span similar to Abraham’s generation - Job 42:16-17

            C.        It mentions the flood - Job 22:16

            D.        Wealth is measured in livestock, not in coinage - Job 1:3; 42:12

            E.        Job was the priest for his family - Job 1:5; 42:8

            F.        Chaldeans are nomads, not the city dwellers they eventually become - Job 1:17

            G.        Mentions animals long extinct: the behemoth and leviathon

II.        Theme

            A.        Several interrelated themes

            B.        Do men serve God only because of His blessings? - Job 1:9-11

            C.        Does a righteous God use adversity to gain His ends? - Job 2:10

            D.        Is suffering always an indication of God’s punishment?

III.       Survey

            A.        The fall of Job - Job 1-2

                        1.         A behind the scene look at why disaster came on Job. Something we know as the reader but which Job and his friends are unaware.

                        2.         We are assured that Job isn’t being punished for his sins - Job 1:1, 8

                        3.         Even in disaster, Job retains his faith in God - Job 1:21; 2:10

                        4.         Three friends come - Job 2:11-13

            B.        Why does life continue? - Job 3

                        1.         Job wishes he never was born, so he would not have faced his suffering.

                        2.         Key - Job 3:20-26

            C.        First Debate Cycle - Job 4-14

                        1.         Eliphaz - Job 4-5

                                    a.         Name means “God is gold”

                                    b.         Argues from observation and experience.

                                                (1)       He sees God as righteous, punishing the wicked and blessing the good.

                                                (2)       The problem is that he doesn’t test his experience against a standard

                                    c.         He is the kindest of the three, acknowledging Job’s deeds of kindness - Job 4:2-4

                                    d.         His argument is “If you sin, then you will suffer” - Job 4:8; 5:17

                                                (1)       Only the wicked suffer, so ...

                                                (2)       An indirect accusation that sin must exist

                                                (3)       He encourages Job to repent and God would bless him again - Job 5:8-9, 17-18

                        2.         Job’s response - Job 6-7

                                    a.         Job claims his words were rash due to his grief - Job 6:1-2

                                    b.         He still would rather die - Job 6:9

                                    c.         But he challenges his friends to show him where he has sinned - Job 6:24-26

                                    d.         God is punishing him - Job 6:4

                                    e.         Job questions God’s decision - Job 7:20-21

                        3.         Bildad - Job 8

                                    a.         Name means “Son of contention”

                                    b.         Argues from tradition and history - Job 8:8

                                    c.         He sees God as the Judge, an immovable lawgiver - Job 8:3

                                    d.         His argument is “You must have sinned” - Job 8:4-7

                                                (1)       He states that Job’s children died because they sinned

                                                (2)       The wicked always suffer, so ...

                                                (3)       An implication that he is refusing to see his sin

                                    e.         If Job would repent, then God would restore joy to him - Job 8:20-21

                        4.         Job’s response - Job 9-10

                                    a.         He isn’t certain God is listening - Job 9:12, 16

                                    b.         God is punishing without cause - Job 9:17; 10:14-15

                                    c.         It appears to Job that God destroys the innocent with the guilty - Job 9:21-24

                                    d.         Job continues to question God’s decisions

                        5.         Zophar - Job 11

                                    a.         Name means “rough”

                                    b.         He is rude and bases his arguments on assumptions

                                    c.         He sees God as unbending and without mercy - Job 11:11

                                    d.         His argument is “You are sinning” - Job 11:2-6, 20

                                                (1)       Basically he says that Job has received less than he deserved

                                                (2)       Job shouldn’t be trying to figure out God - Job 11:7

                                                (3)       He too calls on Job to repent - Job 11:13-19

                        6.         Job’s rebuke - Job 12-14

                                    a.         His friends arguments are wrong - Job 13:4-12

                                    b.         Job wants to speak to God, but He won’t answer - Job 13:3, 24

                        7.         Notice that not one states what Job had done wrong. They merely assume that sin must exist because of what is happening to Job.

            D.        Second cycle - Job 15-21

                        1.         In the second cycle, the men speak again in the same order.

                        2.         The arguments are shorter, as if each is getting angry

                        3.         Eliphaz - Job 15

                                    a.         He charges Job with sin by trying to justify himself - Job 15:5-6

                                    b.         He repeats his argument that it is the wicked who suffer - Job 15:20

                        4.         Job’s response - Job 16-17

                                    a.         Job complains his friends are no comfort - Job 16:1-5

                                    b.         Job wishes for a mediator between him and God - Job 16:18-22

                                    c.         He says he is losing hope - Job 17:15-16

                        5.         Bildad - Job 18

                                    a.         Bildad complains Job isn’t listening to his friends - Job 18:2-3

                                    b.         He emphasizes that the wicked suffer - Job 18:5, 21

                        6.         Job’s response - Job 19

                                    a.         Job points out that instead of comfort, they only manage to increase his suffering - Job 19:1-5

                                    b.         Job believes he has been wronged by God - Job 19:6

                                    c.         God isn’t listening - Job 19:7

                                    d.         He has been abandoned - Job 19:13-19

                                    e.         But he hasn’t lost faith - Job 19:23-27

                        7.         Zophar - Job 20

                                    a.         Wickedness only triumphs in the short term - Job 20:4-5

                                    b.         Evil’s sweetness turns bitter - Job 20:12-18

                        8.         Job’s response - Job 21

                                    a.         Job points out that not all wicked people suffer - Job 21:7-13

                                    b.         Job was asked the destiny of the wicked and his response is why don’t they ask the wicked around them - Job 21:27-30

                        9.         Notice that again no specific charge is made against Job, but also notice that they stopped calling for Job to repent. They focus on asserting that Job is sinning in some unnamed way.

            E.        Third cycle - Job 22 - 26

                        1.         In the third cycle, Zophar stops making any more arguments

                        2.         Eliphaz - Job 22

                                    a.         Eliphaz decides that it must be because Job is hiding secret sins - Job 22:4-5, 12-15

                                    b.         Again he pleads with Job to repent - Job 22:21-25

                        3.         Job’s response - Job 23-24

                                    a.         Job longs to find God and reason with Him - Job 23:3-7

                                    b.         He is amazed at what the wicked seem to get away with doing - Job 24:1-4

                                    c.         But he knows the ultimate outcome - Job 24:24

                                    d.         Yet, still his friends have not proved he has sinned - Job 24:25

                        4.         Bildad’s short reply - Job 25

                                    a.         No one is just before God - Job 25:4

                                    b.         Thus, Job’s claim of righteous must be for naught

                        5.         Job’s response - Job 26

                                    a.         Job says Bildad is useless to him - Job 26:1-4

                                    b.         He acknowledges God’s greatness - Job 26:14

            F.        Job’s defense - Job 27-31

                        1.         He asserts the truth - Job 27:3-6

                        2.         God punishes the wicked - Job 27:8

                        3.         Wisdom is found with God - Job 28:12-13, 28

                        4.         Job recounts his past - Job 29:2-4

                        5.         But his present is miserable - Job 30:1,16,27

            G.        Elihu’s insight - Job 32-37

                        1.         All four are in the wrong - Job 32:1-5

                        2.         Wisdom isn’t reserved for the old alone - Job 32:6-9

                                    a.         Young men can have God’s breath

                                    b.         Words are longing to come out - Job 32:18-22

                        3.         Elihu can mediate for Job - Job 33:4-7

                        4.         Job was wrong to maintain his innocence while charging God as his enemy - Job 33:8-13

                                    a.         God works to deliver men from destruction - Job 33:29-30

                        5.         Job was wrong to say God takes away justice - Job 34:5-9

                                    a.         God does no wrong - Job 34:10-12

                                    b.         Job had put himself above God - Job 35:2-3

                                    c.         God cannot be manipulated - Job 35:6-8

                        6.         God uses affliction to teach - Job 36:20-23

                        7.         God should be exalted - Job 36:24; 37:23-24

            H.        God’s challenge - Job 38-42

                        1.         God rebukes Job - Job 38:2-3

                        2.         God questions Job about

                                    a.         His understanding of creation - Job 38:4-15

                                    b.         His understanding of things - Job 38:16-38

                                    c.         His understanding of animals - Job 38:39-39:30

                        3.         God again challenges Job - Job 40:1-5

                        4.         God questions Job about

                                    a.         His standing before God - Job 40:6-14

                                    b.         His standing compared to the great creatures of the world - Job 40:15-41:35

                        5.         Job’s repentance - Job 42:1-6

IV.      What Job teaches us

            A.        That God deserves all glory

                        1.         Satan said Job would turn on God. God said he would not - Job 1:9-11, 20-22; 2:10

            B.        God makes use of sufferings - Deuteronomy 8:1-9

                        1.         To humble us - Job 40:1-5

                        2.         To test us - Job 2:3

                        3.         To see ourselves more accurately - Romans 12:3; Job 42:5-6

                        4.         To discipline us - Hebrews 12:5-11

                        5.         To prepare us for the future - Job 42:10

            C.        It addresses, though doesn’t fully answer the questions we have about suffering

                        1.         It shows us that man doesn’t know all that goes on to address the question why he is suffering

                        2.         Suffering isn’t always caused by personal sin

                        3.         Suffering may be a compliment of God’s confidence in us