Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Chronological Bible- Week 3

Hello All! Sorry to be so late posting a lead-in for your third week of reading through the Chronological Bible. How is your experience going?

This week marks the first time that the Chronological Bible really changes from reading the regular Bible. Typically Job is found right before the Psalms, halfway through the Old Testament. This traditional placement is due to the fact that Job is viewed as "Wisdom Literature" and so it gets linked with Psalms, Provers, Ecclesiastes, etc, that all have a more poetic, teaching kind of focus. The Wisdom books, along with the Law and Prophets, make up the three primary sections of the Old Testament.

Putting Job after Genesis, however, grounds it in time where it most likely occurred. We have scant few details on the setting, but from what little details we can glean (such as the fact that Job functions for his children as a kind of "priest" in chapter one- definitely pre-Covenant, pre-12 tribes kind of behavior), it seems evident that the story of Job happened sometime during the events of Genesis.

What I love about this book is that it gives us a very early picture into the struggle humans were having in understanding who the Almighty God truly was. Was he like all the other gods of the age- rewarding those who pleased him and punishing those who didn't? Or was this God somehow nearer, somehow more real and personal than any other concept of God? As Job wrestles with the "why" of his circumstances, he comes to know the "Who" standing behind them.

Job has MANY challenging verses and ideas. How are you processing them? What do you find difficult?

May you discover unique insights about God as you read through Job this, and part of next week!

Peace-
Nick

6 comments:

Mary Hagle said...

I find Job challenging because of our "drive-through" ways . . . I keep wanting to say, "Yeah, I get it" to his buds . . . and "Let's get to it!" and then realize I'm missing Job's struggle to come into the fullness of his God, so uniquely different from the gods who were worshipped in that time. How about the ones we worship now?!? Slow down? OK!

Anonymous said...

I found it interesting of how Job blamed things happening to Him on God but it was satin who was doing the issues Job was having. We today seem to have the same problem. A hurricane, flood, wind storm, falling trees are all considered "Acts of God" but, satin is the principality of the air and is the cause of many of our issues today. BUT GOD is in control and will be the winner in the end.

Don Jen said...

It probably wasn't very nice of me, but I laughed at Zophar in chapter 20 when he said he was "greatly disturbed" about hearing a "rebuke that dishonors me." Did he take any time to think about his beliefs? Did he even consider that he needed to amend his world view? God calls us to be ready to give an answer/defense to anyone who asks about our beliefs (1 Peter 3:15). If someone challenges me for something I say or believe, I hope I can be ready with an answer supporting my position. I also hope that when I'm wrong, I will not be so blocked emotionally at being offended that I don't have the good sense to consider a new perspective. As for Job's three friends, it's too bad they didn't have the book of Proverbs to read "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." (10:19) and "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent." (17:28).

Anonymous said...

Nick: Gen: 46:13 states that Job is son of Isachar.

Pastor Nick said...

Most translations of the Bible use the name "Jashob" in Genesis 46:13 and not Job. Other than this mention of a name that could be interpreted as "Job", are you aware of any other evidence as to why Job might be a son of Issachar? I can't find any other evidence, and names were often repeated in that area of the world, so the reference alone probably isn't enough to establish the Job in the book of Job as third son of Issachar.
But still a an interesting possibility!

Nick

Pastor Nick said...

On the "acts of God" idea and blaming everything on God- in some ways, this actually reflects the pre-modern mindset that Job and his friends would have had. In their minds, the world was divided into two categories, physical and spiritual, earth and heaven. Anything that happened to earth from the heavenly realm was said to have come from God. So in their minds, it was not a contradiction at all to believe that, say, a hurricane had come from Satan and was evil, but they would still say it was "from God" because of their worldview.

Make sense? Probably not to us, but it did to them!