Week 2 Devotion (Download PDF)
Introduction to wisdom literature and the book of Job…
The book of Job begins the wisdom and poetry section of the Bible, which includes Job, the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. These books trade the cold hard facts of history for the warm beauty of artistic expression. The wisdom literature is filled with songs of praise and poems of love, but as we see here in Job it is also filled with lament, sorrow and pain.
Reading the book of Job allows us to enter into the pain and confusion that comes when there seems to be no answer to why suffering has come. Chapters 1-2 serve as the prologue for the book, setting the scene for the reader’s journey; but Job has no knowledge of these chapters. In chapter 3 we enter into the body of the book that recounts the conversation between Job and his 3 friends and this conversations takes us all the way through chapter 37. Finally, in chapters 38-42 God speaks to Job and the tension of the book is resolved.
Week Two Devotion:
Something to discuss…
Job 3:25-26 "For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me. I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, but trouble comes.”
Job’s pain is real. His suffering is severe and he doesn’t know why he is going through it. Job is adamant that there is no hidden sin in his life that has brought about this suffering and this begs the question: “Why is this happening?” There are times in life when we aren’t given a firm answer to our deepest questions. There are times in life when our circumstances are difficult, even painful, but the reason for our trials are hidden from us.
It is in those times of silent darkness that we need our best theology. When suffering comes and we don’t understand what is going on, where is God? Does He know what we are going through? Does He care? What does He want from us? How does the truth of God’s faithfulness help us endure hardship? What comfort can we find when trials and suffering comes?
The answer from the book of Job is that God wants us to trust Him. We don’t have to figure everything out, but God wants us to trust that He is working out His good purpose for us in the midst of the silent darkness. God sees, God knows and He will be faithful.
James 5:11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
Something to consider…
Much of the book of Job is taken up with Job’s friends trying to get him to confess the hidden sin in his life that is causing all of his suffering. His friend Eliphaz in 4:7-8 gives a pretty good summary of what Job’s friends think about the situation.
“Remember: who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off? As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same."
Chapter after chapter, Job’s friends work together to try and get him to confess his dirty and sinful secrets that must be the cause of all that has happened. But through it all they are wrong. Oh, they say some really good things at times but the truths they speak simply don’t apply to Job.
There is a lesson for us in this and it has to do with how we minister to one another in the midst of trials. As we come alongside a brother or sister in their season of suffering it is not our responsibility to make sure they see how bad they are. There is a time for confrontation and rebuke but we are foolish and hurtful when we speak to confront or rebuke without knowing all the details. Some hurts are better left for God to fix and our responsibility is to listen, to be present, to serve, to love and to pray for one another. Let’s not be like Job’s friends.
Something to pray about…
As you read through the book of Job pray that God would use this book to help prepare you for the times of suffering that may come. Pray that the vision of God in chapters 38-41 would give you confidence that even on your worst day you can trust God completely. Pray that God would help you to remember that even when you don’t understand what is going on in your life down here on earth, you can trust that God is fighting a battle for you in Heaven.
Pray that God would use our reading of the book of Job to grow a gospel culture at Cornerstone. Pray that we can grow as a church in loving one another through trials and faithfully representing God in our ministry to one another.
Next week we will be reading Genesis 12-31 where God begins to reveal His plan to save the world from the sin that broke out in the Garden. Our reading will introduce us to a man named Abram, who received a promise from God that changed the world.