Job

The book of Job (rhymes with robe) has often been called the literary masterpiece of the Bible and is part of the collection of wisdom/poetic writings. Job powerfully and poignantly delves into the question of suffering and explores various understandings and responses to it, along with the help of his so called friends.

The book of Job in the BibleThe bulk of the book (chapters 3 through 41) are a series of verbal exchanges between Job and his friends, who turn out to be not too good of friends after all. This is preceded by an introduction (chapters 1 and 2) that sets the stage for the dramatic dialogue that follows. The book ends with a conclusion (chapter 42) showing Job’s steadfast faith and God’s grace. Don’t get so focused on the discourses in the middle of the book that you miss this fitting conclusion.

You may have heard the phrase, “the patience of Job” (think “longsuffering”). That saying originates from this book and Job’s stellar example. Perhaps an even better synopsis of this book would be “the love of Job.” Indeed, Job conclusively shows what real, unwavering love is towards God. We generally love others because of what they do for us or give to us. We rarely love in spite of what they do or how they treat us. In the same way, most people approach God for what he will do for them. But when they don’t feel his love or when he doesn’t make sense, their love for him waivers, fades, or even goes away. Job shows us a different way: We should steadfastly love God in spite of what is happening in our lives and what struggles we are going through.