Part 1: Identify an O.T. story that your life intersects.
Job lived in a land called Uz he had a large family and extensive flocks. He is “blameless” and “upright,” always careful to avoid doing evil. As God brags to Satan about Job’s goodness Satan says that Job is only good because God has blessed him. So, God allows Satan to torment Job to show his claim was not true but he forbids Satan from laying a finger on Job. Job’s three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar heard about all the troubles that had come upon him and they set out to comfort him. Job does not like what they have to say and out of anger calls his friends “worthless physicians” who “whitewash with lies”. Job begins to think about man’s relationship to God and wonders why God judges people by their actions if God can just as easily alter or forgive their behavior. Humans cannot deceive God and Job admits that he does not even understand himself well enough to effectively plead his case to God.
I really love and hate the story of Job. It is so difficult to read a faithful servant being punished when he has done nothing wrong. Yet I think it is incredible how faithful Job could be even when Satan took everything he cared for from him. “Job said, ‘How long will you torment me? God counts me as an enemy. My closest friends abhor me. But I know that my redeemer lives!’” Job although is angry with God he never stops believing in Him. After all his suffering in the end he realizes that he cannot understand how God works.
Part 2: Discuss how this story is Israel’s story.
Scholars have proposed different beliefs of the date of the book of Job ranging from Moses in the 13th century to the 2nd century B.C. The setting in the beginning of the chapter makes scholars believe the book is very old and could possibly be the first book of the Old Testament. The theological arguments in the book make them believe the book was written later in the Israelites history. Scholars tend to date the book in the 7th or the 6th century B.C. but it is likely that the book reached its final form during the Babylonian exile.
The book of Job is part of the broad category of wisdom literature which shows an Israel that was not afraid to ask bold and crucial questions, that tried to make sense out of the diversity of evidences, and that resisted dogmatism in favor of intellectual honesty. In the book of Job there was the delay in attaining promises which made Israelites question the reason behind Gods actions. We do not understand how God works and what his plans are for us in the end. It states the fact that wisdom and understanding come from God alone and hard we search unless God grants us understanding we will not know the answer. Also in Job it reminds us that the completion of God's promises should not really...