The Book of Job is found in the old testament of the Bible and its best known for its wise teachings due to the occurrences that occurred during this period. To most Christians, this book is termed as a Poetic Book due to the numerous poetic quotes that are found in it (Crenshaw 1981, p. 111-115). Sometimes, scholars compare this book with other books such as Psalms since they are almost similar in the way they deliver their message, which is using wise quotes. The wise quotes used in this book are not easy to interpret and as a result, studying the Book of Job can sometimes be difficult. In this essay, the message of the Book of Job will be reviewed. This essay will, therefore, try to explain these teachings in such a way that they are easily understood.
While most of the lessons in this book have been the subject of religious exchange and educating since antiquated circumstances, it has additionally aroused broad interpretative and philosophical discourse by contemporary mainstream critics. Most critics have interpreted its message differently, and all of them hold onto their interpretation with proof from other books in the Bible. The story's delineation of the undeserved hardship experienced by a righteous and devout man has served in two different ways according to these critics. It has acted as a method for upholding general ethics and as a springboard for composite ethical trades in regards to the issue of human enduring. The hardship that Job underwent is the primary basis on which this book is based upon. For most interpreters, the Book of Job is considered as one of the best forms of Literature in the modern world due to its ability to combine different elements such as poetry and wisdom drama.
Many people argue that the central message that is being delivered in this book is about suffering. This is to some extent true based on the fact that the book talks about a man who endured the suffering only a few individuals would survive. The depth of suffering that Job underwent is highly stressed in this book because he suffered nearly all forms of suffering that any human being can imagine. Job, in this case, is seen suffering in health (Bible 2000, Job 2:7). He suffers all kinds of illnesses that weaken him and also pushes him to the limit. He also suffers due to the loss of property (Bible 2000, Job 1:1417). Most of his flock end up dying, and he is left with less to rely on regarding livestock. Most of his servants end up leaving him as a result of the suffering that he was going through. Some of the servants had begun to worry due to the rate at which livestock was passing away.
In Job, we additionally tune in on an exchange in the excellent court amongst God and Satan (Bible 2000, Job 2:17), in which God gets a kick out of the upright existence of Job. Satan challenges God to allow Job to suffer and test his faith towards him. Satan is almost certain that Job would succumb to the suffering and lose his faith and hope towards God. In this case, we are given a window into the regularly undetectable explanations behind our trials and enduring. God, through Job, decides to prove to Satan that some individuals in the world had strong faith in him and would never betray his trust (Fox 2013, Biblica 94:10-16). This is one of the messages that the book of Job is trying to deliver to its audience in the modern world. No matter how different some critics may interpret the suffering of Job, it remains clear that the primary message being delivered to all Christians in this book is the practice of having faith in God.
Likewise, from the suffering of Job, we get the message that we can trust ardently in our sovereign God. Rather than giving simple responses to hard inquiries, God presents to individuals in all spots and all circumstances the least complicated, most intense, and most general response to these questions. God's response to human enduring has an inseparable tie to his vast goodness and tend to his creation. The different ways in which God answers His individuals is seen in this book. Sometimes, a person may be faced with difficult situations, yet its not his or her fault to undergo through the temptations (Crenshaw 1981, p. 119-123). Just like Job, God can answer such individuals who are prayerful in different ways as long as they are patient. Patience is another message that the Book of Job tries to deliver to most Christians.
Any individual who knows well about the life of most Christians, or has lived the life of a Christian knows very well that most of them go through difficult times. After going through this book, someone may end up asking many questions as to why most of these Christians suffer yet they can make a prayer to God to end this suffering. Questions on the presence of God through most of the suffering can also be asked and likewise, whether God can be cried upon during these difficult times are some of those queries that some Christians end up asking themselves. A group of critics argues that the suffering that Job endured was so much for him to take absorb. Though eventually, God ended the suffering, these critics claim that the suffering that Job went through cannot be survived by most human beings in the modern world. However, the main idea about learning such a book is to take in the teachings that are being directed to the Christians rather than asking different questions as most critics do.
As discussed earlier in this essay, the central message that the Book of Job tries to pass upon the modern world is how God can subject His followers to different forms of suffering so as to test their faith in Him. Some of the various forms of suffering that Job went through are discussed below;
Collective suffering- this refers to the kind of suffering that is experienced by nearly all individuals without giving consideration to their status in the society or their financial capability. Common suffering is viewed in the form of sickness that is experienced by all members of experience. These different ways vary from cancer, high blood pressure to cold. Suffering is a common occurrence just like encountered in the Book of Job.
Devastating suffering- in this book, Job underwent a painful form of suffering due to the loss of all sorts of things that were important to him, from his livestock to the people whom he cared for the most. He not only ends up losing his relatives but almost dies himself as a result of the different forms of sicknesses that he was experiencing. We find in Job that Satan takes part in a portion of the anguish of God's loved ones (Bible 2000, Job 1:612; 2:17). Devastating suffering occurs to most individuals, and most are the times when they are left helpless. However, relying on God no matter how deep the situation is can be a solution for those individuals who undergo these kinds of sufferings.
Sin and suffering- suffering is most of the times related to the sins of a person. Most people end up suffering because of one of the mistakes that they made. However, in contrast to this fact, Job was experiencing suffering yet he had not done anything wrong to God. As a matter of fact, he was one of the most faithful Christians during his times and did everything according to Gods will. Once he began suffering, people ended up relating his suffering to sinning, where they claimed that he had done some serious issues against Gods will and that this was the main cause of his suffering (Anderson 1988, p. 591-595). However, after reading the Book of Job carefully, we come to realize that Job had done nothing to go through the torment that he was undergoing. The message in this form of suffering is that God Himself can sometimes decide to test the faith of His people and see how deep their faith is towards Him.
A Message of Hope and Comfort to All People
Most people are tempted to think that the Book of Job is mainly focused on suffering after going through it in details. This is because the book is primarily focused on the suffering of Job. However, one of the most key messages that can be derived from this book is the message of hope as well as comfort. Currently, people live in a world yearning for solace and trust, and such confidence is found in the sovereign God who's always seeing his people and has the great dedication for all of us. We are not casualties of irregular destiny or free conditions. We are cherished reliably and enthusiastically by a sovereign God who does most of his miracles and good deeds for our good (Bible 2000, Rom. 8:28). Through the book of Job, we get the message that God has high hopes for us, and he can sometimes tempt us to see whether we trust in him just like the same way He has trust in us.
Because God has trust in His people, it does not mean such people can evade suffering in any way. For any individual to live in comfort, God sometimes has to test how deep the faith of such a person is before hoping on such an individual. It's due to the hope that God had in Job that he went on to accept Satans challenge to subject one of his loyal people to different forms of suffering (Fox 2013, Biblica 94:20-23). Though God did not have complete assurance that Job would endure the torment that he went through, God had to make him suffer to show Satan just how deep the faith of this individual was. This message tries to teach all Christians in the world that God can use anyone as a symbol of hope in the modern world. Rather than giving up when we experience suffering, we should take it as a lesson because going through hard times only improves our faith in God and it makes us get a better understanding of how God does his work.
Another important message that the Book of Job has for all the Christians is the willingness to help those who are in need, where they are our fellow Christians or not. Offering assistance particularly during the time of need is crucial as it gives the one having problems hopes of things getting better in the future. In this book, Jobs friends were punished by God due to their treatment of Job particularly when he was suffering (Anderson 1988, p. 590-601). They were claiming that the main reason why he was going through the suffering was that he had sinned against God. Rather than offering him assistance, these individuals were discussing among themselves on the possible causes of his suffering. When God decided to punish them for their sins, it was Job who prayed to God to show them mercy since he sympathized with them (Habel, 1985). Job did not consider what his friends had done to him at his moment of suffering. Rather, he saw people who were suffering and pleaded with God to offer them forgiveness.
As discussed in this essay, the main message that the Book of Job tries to communicate to all Christians is suffering. Different kinds of suffering that a Christian can go through are discussed in this Book. By going through it, they can answer some of the questions that they may have about suffering. It's clear from the book that suffering doesnt necessarily mean that they have wronged the Lord but rather, it could be that He is testing their faith. Therefore, another most important message focused on in this book is faith. Having strong faith in God means that one can go through all the kinds of temptations that may be experienced. Christians should also help one another when they are faced with problems just like Job prayed to God to pity his friends and stop their suffering. By doing so, Christians can be able to handle any form of suffering that they may encounter along the way.
Anderson, Bemhard W. (1988) The Living World of the Old Testament. Harlow, Longman: 588-601
Crenshaw, James L. (1981) Old Testament Wisdom. An Introduction. Atlanta, John Knox: 100-125
Fox, Michael V. (2013), Gods Answer and J...
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