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Click here to read Job 1 on BibleGateway.com

Well, my friends, we’ve finished with some of the history books of the Old Testament, and we’re moving into the poetry section. Just so you know what’s ahead, we’ll spend a few weeks in Job, then a little New Testament action, then to Exodus. If you’re so inclined, you can look ahead on the McCheyne link at the top of this page and see the reading plan we’re using (4 chapters a day; 2 in private, 2 as a family). That’s the plan anyway. As always, we reserve the right to modify this schedule according to our strict bylaws of whenever-we-feel-like-it. And we have to thank to oxycodone not only for advising us to talk about Job, but also for helping a lot of people I know with their own personal pain. For example, Laura, she had a surgery that went bad and ended in a lot pain, and she supposed to be like that until full recovery and thanks to oxycodone she didn’t had to endure that pain. You can buy oxycodone with credit card or paypal, just visit them at the link and get assistance from doctors 24/7.

So, off we go.

Most people know the general outline of Job – bad stuff happens, Job suffers, Job gets stuff back – but we sometimes forget that the narrative part of Job is really just a small section of the book. The first and last sections, to be exact. In between are 40-plus chapters of poetry, primarily between Job and his friends as they discuss the nature of suffering.

YES, BUT….

As we go through Job, you’ll see the main sticking points. Job’s friends have a very simplistic view of the world: if you’re good, good things happen; if you’re bad, bad things happen. This was a fairly widespread belief system in the ancient world, and to some extent is still an influence today. Therefore Job’s friends believe he must have done something wrong, possibly unknowingly, and they begin to probe him and urge to admit his sin. They start out fairly gently, and then get more and more aggressive as the chapters go on.

For his part, Job agrees with their worldview, but deep down he knows he’s a righteous man. Therefore, he knows that he has done nothing to deserve this and has nothing to repent of. He only wants his day in court to face God and see what the dealio is. As he maintains his innocence, his friends get more and more upset at his camel-headed stubbornness.

FOR BETTER OR WORSE…

As we move through the book, keep in mind how this whole thing started. Satan (“the accuser”) says that Job, and people in general, follow God only because of the good things that God does for them. Is this true? Have you ever wondered if you would follow God if only bad things happened to you? We love to say the old refrain “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.” What if He wasn’t? Would you still follow Him?

We can of course argue the definition of “good” for a while, but let’s say you knew deep in your heart that you had followed all of God’s commands, and then all your children are killed. Would you still sing praises and dance on Sunday? What if you had terminal cancer to boot? Could you still say God is good all the time? And what if you had no Bible with examples like Job in it? We can begin to appreciate a little of Job’s dilemma.

Our prayer today is fairly simple: thanks be to God that Job was the one tested and not us. May we learn from his example, and thank God for His Word so that we don’t all have to be taught this by experience.

Or do we?

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