The Books of Poetry

We call the next part of the Old Testament* the ‘wisdom’ books. Sometimes, we call these the books of poetry. The books are filled with wise words, as well as psalms* and poems to help the people worship* God.

JOB

THE OLD TESTAMENT | THE BOOKS OF POETRY

THE BOOK OF JOB

 

 

Where does the book begin?

Job probably lived about the same time Abraham lived. The story begins by telling us what a good man Job was.

  

Where does the book end?

The book ends after God had blessed* Job. After he lived to be 140 years old, Job died.

PEOPLE TO KNOW

MAN_OUITLINE-11
Job
Eliphaz
Bildad
Zophar
Elihu

PLACES TO GO

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Satan* visited with God.
      Job 1:6-12
Job lost everything.
      Job 1:13- 2:1-9
Job’s friends arrived.
      Job 2:11-13
God questioned Job.
      Job 38-41
God blessed Job.
      Job 42:10-17

THE STORY OF JOB

This book tells the story of Job, a good and wise man. God himself said that Job was ‘a good, faithful* man. He respected God and refused to do evil*’. Because God was so fond of Job, Satan* did not like Job. Satan* told God that Job only loved God because God had made him rich. So God let Satan* take things away from Job. Job lost his family and his riches. But Job still loved God after all. So Satan* spoke to God again. He told God that Job would not worship* God if Satan* made him sick. So God allowed Satan* to make Job sick. But Job still worshiped* God.

When we read the story of Job, we should remember that Job was not suffering because he was a bad man. All of this happened because Job was a good man. Satan* was making these bad things happen to Job to try to make Job curse* God. But Job would not curse* God.

When Job’s friends heard about his suffering, they came to visit him. At the beginning, they sat by him and comforted him. They were quiet. But, soon, they decided to give Job advice. One of the friends told Job that he must not be such a good man after all. He told Job that no one is free from sin. He told Job that God punishes sin*. So he told Job that the reason he suffered was because he had sinned*. He told Job,

If you return to God All-Powerful, you will be healed. But first you must remove the evil* from your house.’[1]

Another friend named Elihu told Job that God was trying to teach Job something.[2] He should be careful and not accuse God of being unfair. God may be using Job’s suffering to teach him not to be proud. Job should fear God and trust* Him.

Job was not happy with the answers from his friends. They were right about many things. All people sin*. God does judge sin*. People should fear and trust* God. But they were wrong about one thing. When people suffer, it is not always because God is punishing them. Sometimes people suffer because God is doing something else. But he does not always explain what he is doing.

There were many things that Job and his friends did not know. They did not know that Satan* was making Job suffer. They did not understand that God was not punishing Job. God was testing Job. God had bigger purposes for Job’s suffering. That was hard for them to understand.

Many times in the book, Job asked to talk with God. At the end of the book, God came to talk to Job. But God did not answer Job’s questions. Instead, he asked Job many questions.

Get ready to stand up for yourself.
    I will ask you some questions.
    Then I want you to answer me.
‘Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you know.’[3]

By asking Job these questions, he taught Job about the kind of God he is. He is powerful and wise. He is caring and strong. He is just and always does what is right. He showed Job that he is a God who can be trusted. When Job heard from God at the end of the story, he did not know what to say. There were still many things he did not understand. God did not answer all of Job’s questions.[4] But Job decided to trust* God anyway.

After God spoke to Job, he gave Job great riches again. He made him healthy again. He even gave Job 10 more children. The book of Job teaches us that wise people trust* God. They trust* God even when they may not understand what God is doing.

[1] Job 22:23 See Job 5:8-17; 8:20; 11:13-15; 22:21-30; 36:8-11
[2] Job 33:29-33
[3] Job 38:3-4
[4] Job 40:1-2