Thursday, November 20, 2003

Job: Final Thoughts

This essay is #52 of an ongoing series concludes the book of Job. Click here to start at the beginning.

Final Thoughts in Random Order

When I began this study of the book of Job, I did not know what to expect. I knew that once I began it, I had to finish it. But I am a new blogger and I worried that readership to drop off. In the first case, not all of my visitors would be interested in the subject matter. In the second case, new comers would come to a series see the many posts before it and be unwilling to catch up. On the other hand, I believed the study to be important and I believed that the topic was one that I needed to do. I believed my approach to the book was important and valuable. I had taught this book twice before in a live setting and the students benefited from seeing the characters as real people and the situation as a real situation. The poetic form and slow pace of the book hides these things from the casual reader. So the guided tour approach proved effective in the classroom. I can only now hope that I have succeeded in the written form.

My favorite parts of this book are these:

  • Job's initial lament (Job 3). So often our emotional outbursts move from the irrational to the rational, and it was interesting to see how this fact played out with Job. He began by wanting the night of his conception cursed so that it never was. He ended telling everybody that he just felt bad. You watch him give ground.
  • (Job 28) The image of an ancient miner swinging by a rope as he enters the depths of the earth looking for treasures. The poetic imagery that contrasts the effort to acquire the treasures of the earth with the pursuit and attainment of wisdom is brilliant.
  • Elihu's conceit (Job 32-37). The youth of Elihu is so apparent in his speeches, and yet by the Spirit of God, he had a wisdom to share.
  • The Lord's questions (Job 38-41). Who can not read these and not be moved to worship our Creator.
  • Songs in the Night (Job 35: 10,11) In these verses, I find the theme and direction of the entire work. God our Creator gives us songs in the night. A reason to sing during our dark nights of the soul.
  • Watching the pride in Job gradually move to the forefront, and realizing that not all sin is visible.

My readership has continued to show a slow but steady increase during this series. I cannot tell you how much you mean to me. Sometimes when it was late at night and I would think of postponing a post just one more day--a potentially fatal decision, I would think of specific IP addresses that I see every day. Those would urge me on, and I would write and then go on to bed.

My plans are to take these 52 lessons and use them as starting notes for a published book.  Suggestions from y'all are welcome.

We should not think that Job exhausts the reasons for suffering. It does not, for example, cover suffering because you are a person of faith and the joy that this should cause.

Next

I will be taking the weekend off from blogging. On Monday, I will start a new series. I just have not decided the topic yet.

<>< Test everything. Cling to what is good. ><>

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