Seeing Christ In The Book Of Job

One of the most intriguing aspects of the book of Job is that God steps in and takes part in the discussion. This is unique in the pages of the Old Testament, at least in this fashion. And it provides some good insight into the nature of God’s character and activity on behalf of men.

Job

God shows up to the discussion between Job and his friends. And when he does, he gives quite a speech, so long that it covers five chapters in Job, chapters 38-42.

Right away, we can see the infinite contrast between the knowledge and power of God, and those of man. God decides to answer Job’s complaint. But he does so in an unexpected fashion: he speaks out of the whirlwind. Job 37:1-2 seems to give some foreshadowing of the storm in which God appears, as Elihu speaks to Job. Perhaps the storm was on the horizon. The whirlwind is often used as a symbol of judgment. Out of the midst of the whirlwind, God answered the challenge of Job, and shows that if man cannot explain everything in God’s natural creation, how can man, then, hope to understand everything about God’s moral creation?

Job’s cry has been heard. “Let the Almighty answer me!” he called out in Job 31:35. God now answers out of the storm. Perhaps Job didn’t expect God to hear and answer. His cry seems to be one of desperation. Perhaps he regrets it. Perhaps he didn’t think it through, and just uttered it under his breath. Matthew 12:36 states: But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.

The Genre Of The Book Of Job

I have always been intrigued by the book of Job. It is one of the oldest books of the Old Testament, although some have tried to place it as late as the period of the Second Temple. But either way, it is a fascinating book.

The Book Of Job

Job is the first of the books found in the poetry and wisdom section of the Old Testament, along with Ecclesiastes, Psalms, Proverbs, and the Song of Solomon. It is a series of poetic conversations between Job and his friends, sandwiched between two shorter sections of prose, that describe the setting and the conclusion of the events contained within the rest of the book.

As poetry, Job a very interesting piece of literature. Hebrew poetry does not have meter or rhyme, like the poetry of English, or most other modern, western languages. Rhythm is not achieved by repetition of similar sounds, as it is in rhymed verse; and not by rhythmic accent as in blank verse, but rather by the repetition of ideas. This is called parallelism, and is found throughout the poetical literature of the Bible. Take Psalm 9:9 for example:

The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed,
   A stronghold in times of trouble…

Parallelism is called synonymous when the thoughts are identical, as in Psalm 9. It is antithetic when the primary and the secondary ideas are in contrast, as in Psalm 1:6:

For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
   But the way of the wicked will perish.

And it is considered synthetic when the thought is developed or enriched by the parallel, as it is in Job 11:18:

Then you would trust, because there is hope;
   And you would look around and rest securely.

And Job is filled with example after example of parallelism, which is interesting in itself. But when it comes to classifying just what kind of poetic literature Job is has been vigorously contested throughout the years. Here are few of the different forms that have been suggested by scholars.

2017 Bible Reading Plans

Because It Matters What You Read...

I believe that spending time in God’s Word is one of the most important pieces of our daily spiritual growth. God’s Word really has no way to impact our lives unless we are exposing ourselves to it consistently. Bible reading is perhaps the most critical of the spiritual disciplines.

2017 Bible Reading Plans

I’ve written several times in the past about this discipline:

This is an extremely critical element of our spiritual lives, and it seems to be occurring less and less in our culture. But when you begin to experience the many benefits of consistent, daily time spent in God’s Word, you’ll develop a craving for more.

God’s Word truly does change us.

Revealed: God With Us

Christ Revealed In The Gospel Of John

This week, we are beginning a new sermon series at our church, going through the gospel of John. We are calling it God With Us.

Revealed: God With Us

Actually, what I have done is divided the gospel of John into four smaller sections. Each section will be a sermon series in itself. We will cover two sections this year, and then break for the holidays, and another small series in early 2017. After that, we will pick back up in John and finish with the last two sections.

One of the main themes that runs through the book of John is the theme of Christ revealed. In each of the four sections, John seems to reveal a different aspect of Jesus, and builds around that characteristic. Each of these four areas are worth looking at individually, in order to see the whole picture that John represents.

John wrote his gospel about 30 years after Matthew, Mark, and Luke wrote theirs. That means about 60 years after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into Heaven is the time frame in which John writes. And about 90 percent of what is in John is unique to John. It is not found in the other three, the Synoptic gospels. And John spends about two-thirds of his time focusing upon the last week of Jesus’ life.

Developing Consistency In Your Bible Reading

One of the toughest areas of my spiritual life has traditionally been consistency in my Bible reading. It seems like it’s easy to slip away from this habit over all the other spiritual disciplines. And we can’t let that happen.

Developing Consistence In Your Bible Reading

Finding consistency is our spiritual habits is critical. But it’s not something we think about too often, if at all. We just kind of take it for granted, unless it’s missing, and then we notice, and we wish we could do better. But we don’t know how.

The Importance Of Consistency

The Bible is our primary source for knowing God and his will for our lives. He has written his love letter to us, in the form of the sixty-six books of the Bible. And, if we want to get to know who he is, and what he desires for our lives, that is where we will find it.

You learn a lot about God from spending time with him. And you get to know him better personally as well. He has opened himself to us through his word, and we can see his heart, his character, his love and much more.

And, the better you know the message of God, the better you understand his mission: to seek and save humanity. And you can see your role in that.

Unless we are reading the Word of God on a consistent basis, we won’t have a handle on these things. Reading daily will help you and I understand God better, know his Son more fully, and see his will more clearly.

Classic Bible: My Favorite Passages From 2 Thessalonians

This is part of the Classic Bible: Favorite Stories & Passages series. Read more from the series!

Paul’s letters are generally very encouraging, but one of my very favorites is his second letter to the church in Thessalonica. Full of hope about the return of Christ, this letter, though short, is packed with encouragement.

2 Thessalonians

Many scholars question if Paul actually wrote this letter, or if it was a pseudepigraph, a letter composed after his death, modeled after the first letter to the Thessalonians. However, this is problematic, and nothing in this letter would require someone to usurp Paul’s apostolic authority in order to lend weight to this letter. Reading this with the understanding that Paul is the author is best.

Paul writes this letter to address the pressures of persecution that the Thessalonians are facing. Paul encourages these believers, who are suffering intensely, to remain confident in the Lord’s return. Until then, they are to live as responsible members of their culture and community, and strive to represent Jesus well.

In that light, this letter is highly encouraging to modern readers, just as it was to the people of Paul’s day.

Here are a few of my favorite passages from the book of 2 Thessalonians:

2016 Bible Reading Plans

Spending time in God’s Word is one of the most important aspects of daily spiritual growth. Allowing God’s Word to impact your life will not happen unless you are exposing yourself to it consistently. Bible reading is perhaps the most critical of the spiritual disciplines.

Bible Reading Plans

I’ve written several times in the past about this discipline:

I firmly believe that this is a critical element of our spiritual lives. And it seems to be lacking in a lot of people’s lives. I think, when you experience the many benefits of consistent, daily time spent in God’s Word, you’ll develop a craving for more.

God’s Word truly does change us.