Falkirk Free Church, Beaumont Drive, Carron Falkirk                                                                                                                       

 

Free church of Scotland

 

Registered Scottish Charity No-SC038272  

    Falkirk Free Church
    Lectures in the Faith: 2015-2016
    Job : How God treats his Friends
    2: Has God forgotten to be gracious?


    Introduction
    Powerful poem in Ch 3 – language recalls ‘Lament Psalms’ (eg 77 and 88) – such kind of writing regularly in Christian literature. Not like unbelief (eg Ps 95)- hard questions are being asked.


    What is happening to Job?
    This is a poem and Job uses a cluster of images which are to be developed throughout the book


    The womb -  anticipated in 1:21 –here in vv11-12 mysterious life of unborn child – in v16 compared to Sheol – ‘bookends’ of life and death – see also 10:8ff; 33:6; 38:8.


    Sheol -  the world of the dead(vv13-19) – here oblivion and forgetfulness –se also 7:21; Ch14;26:5-6;33:12ff;38:16-18.


    Powers of darkness: cluster of words in vv4ff suggest evil powers- see also 10:20-22;24:13ff;40:15-24.


    The hostility of God-  espv23 – see also 16:11ff;19:6ff; Ch40.


    Why is this happening to Job?
    Numbness following tragic events.
    The silence of the Friends (2:13)
    The activity of Satan
    The perceived hostility of God.


    What hope is there for Job?
    God is in charge (v23) – does not depend on feelings
    Job, like Jacob in Gen 32:26 refuses to let God go.


    What about Job’s Friends?
    They seem to stand comfortably in mainstream Wisdom represented by Proverbs but they interpret that mechanically. Not sharply differentiated but do have a certain individuality


    Eliphaz -  a philosopher –‘we have examined’  (5:27)
    Bildad – a traditionalist (8:8)
    Zophar -  a dogmatist (11:7)
    So why are they unhelpful?
    They have a simplistic and mechanical idea of God
    They do not listen – either to God (4:12-17) or to Job
    They imagine they can put God’s case better than God eg 5:9;22:12; Ch 25
    They do not discern that supernatural forces are at work.