Sunday, May 7, 2023

No 2  Why Study the Book of Job?

The study of the Book of Job is my personal encounter with God--as the Book itself--is the story of Job’s encounter with God. From nothingness, emptiness, loneliness and despair, Job rose to the highest level of experience in the things of God that he had ever known. And, mind you, before the calamities of the evil day, Job had one mighty experience to begin with! His starting point was higher than that at which many people end. And as his became even supremely higher--that is what I want for myself. I want to know God as well as I may ever know Him in this life.

My study of the Book of Job is therefore spiritually motivated. I am not a theologian. I am not skilled in Biblical languages. Sometimes I can barely even hold my own in a friendly discussion with well-meaning and every-day students of the Bible. But I do have a pastor’s heart and the nurse in me says “I care.”

I can lay hold of the goal to know God as well as Job came to know God because his story tells me how that may be accomplished. What he learned, I may learn. What he came to know, I may know. This is God’s purpose for the whole Bible itself. This is how the Bible works! This is what the Bible is for!

Job Struggled on the Inside

While his physical condition could have been readily observed by anyone standing around him, his spiritual struggle was open only to spiritual discernment aided by the push of the Holy Spirit in that direction. Even his three friends never saw it, and they were intimately involved in it. In fact, their contribution to Job’s spiritual development grew out of the lack of their own spiritual development. They never saw it with their eyes. They never felt it in their souls.

They Never Knew

My friends around me will never know the depths of my own spiritual struggles because I will never reveal such to them. Job did. His telling of them, makes me stronger for the knowing of them. Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar never became stronger. Why? They were not following him. They were trying to lead him. Their goal was not spiritual discernment. Their goal was to “hold the fort--give no ground--and take captives.” And, ultimately, they lost the battle. They were themselves taken captive, so to speak.

Was Job withholding that which would have made them better believers? Probably not. Job didn’t even know what he was holding or what he was giving away. Every day of his trial was a struggle just to maintain. His growth was not even and smooth--it was torturous. He did not know where he was tending. It truly was a struggle! Job was not giving Bible studies along the way--He was a Bible study along the way!

Do you want such a rich experience in the things of God as Job came to know?

Please send questions or comments to Will Hardin at P O Box 24 Owenton KY 40359

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