2003-04-07 - Introduction to Job
James 5:11 Behold, we count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and the dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.
Are you ready? You are about to experience a change in some of the devotionals I send out. This is not for the faint of heart. I intend to undertake a study of the first chapter of the book of Job and then maybe the second also. These devotionals will be different in that they will be more exhaustive and deeper into the text than those I have done in the past, but they will be the same in that I will always seek to bring practical and useful thoughts from the text. I have always worked on the assumption that if you can't let the text or the thoughts lead your heart thoughts, well, then it is not worth reading.
I intend to use several sources in these devotionals (which means I will have to do some study). Job is an interesting book. The Hebrew is odd and unlike the rest of the Hebrew of the Old Testament. I will consult several Biblical encylpeadia's, maybe even one that is less that 100 years old. I will be looking at Matthew Henry's commentary some. Also, I will look at the modern commentary in the NICOT set by John E. Hartley, but so far I don't like it. I will be looking at the commentary on Job by James Durham. Mainly I think I will be depending on Joseph Caryl's work on Job. It is the standard work on the book and as I have been reading it, I can only say that it is a masterpiece (12 volumes). I am blessed to own a copy of it. It was written during the English Civil War, 1643-1649. The first paragraph really speaks to us today who are sending troops to liberate Iraq. Here it is:
"This book of Job bears the image of these times, and presents us with a resemblance of the past, present, and (much hoped for) future of the condition of this Nation. As the personal prosperity of Job, so his troubles look like our National troubles; and why may not the parable be made up, by a likeness in our restoration? Job was the most flourishing, the greatest man of all the men of the East. We are the greatest, and lately were the most flourishing Nation of all the Nations of the North. Our Oxen (like his) were strong to labor, our sheep brought forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets, our Garners were full, affording all manner of store; our sons (like his) as plants grown up in their youth, our daughters as corner - stones polished after the similitude of a palace."
I hope you can dig deep with me into this book. I look for your insights and seek your input also. The Lord is very gracious and if you have wisdom into this book I would love to hear from you. This is a hard book for many reasons. It is hard for theological, and for practical reasons also. I may make mistakes in this series, but I will try not to do so. We must remember that things don't always go well with us and that the Lord can teach us through hard lessons. I hate saying that, and I would hate it even more while going trough a hard lesson, but that is the truth. The book of Job is a window into how God works with us, and at times it is simply to teach us. God is gracious and never forget that in your struggles.
There will be a few more introductions to this book before we get into it.
Soli Deo Gloria,