Lectures in the Faith 2015-2016
Job:

How God treats his friends
 

 

Where can wisdom be found?

 

Introduction:
Progress in thinking – here a number of glimpses of possible solution: Chs 9, 19 and 28.
Language of worship and law court  - powerful combination

 

Ch 9 – Where is God?
Mystery in 3 spheres:
Where is God in the created order? (vv1-13) – echoes of Ps 46 – evil in creation (vv 8 and 13) – mystery of starry heavens (vv9-10)
Where is God in society? (vv14-24) – mystery of oppression and capacity for 
Where is God in Job’s circumstances? (vv 25-35) -  first hint of an arbiter.

 

Ch 19 – An Advocate in Heaven?
Bleakness of vv 1-22 – grieving is not a straight line process – but vv 23 -27.
Who is the Redeemer? – cf Boaz in Ruth who pays a price but also enters a relationship
What will he do?  -  “stand upon the dust” – the world of the dead – Living One – repetition of ‘see’

 

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Ch 28 – The Wisdom Poem.


A calmer chapter as the voices of the Friends die away and a magnificent poem
A profound search (vv1-11) – metaphor of mining and the underground world echoes Job’s experiences so far – vv 7-8 mystery in creation – but we cannot understand creation simply by studying creation – human achievements are recognised but they are not enough.


A humble acknowledgment (vv12-22) – Wisdom not located in material universe or human world – beyond price and its true meaning beyond world of death.


A wise God (vv23-28) -  here wisdom hardly mentioned- God’s power as Creator – untameable forces – wind, rain, thunder, lightning are governed by fixed laws – these are both creative and destructive and illustrate the mystery of the ways of God.

 

V28 not a platitude but reminder of God-fearing nature of Job and underlines the problem of the book.

 

Getting our bearings
Preparing way for God’s words in Chs 38-41 by placing Job’s experiences in a wider context.
Time for reflection needed because there has been a lot of bitter and angry talk.
Human achievement is given proper place.
There is a place in Christian life for wrestling with mystery.

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