Daily Bible Study Tips: Job

Comments on Job 1 to 3
Comments on Job 4 to 11

Job 12:1-10; 13:1-16, Job speaks.
Job 15:1-16, Eliphaz speaks again.
Job 16:1-10, Job answers.
Job 18:1-11, Bildad speaks again.

Comments on Job 19 to 21
Comments on Job 22 to 27
Comments on Job 31 to 38:21
Comments on Job 38:22 to 40
Comments on Job 42

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Job 12:1-10; 13:1-16 (8/5/10)

Job answers.   I think Job's reputation for patience is inflated.  If you had a sick friend who complained all the time and called the doctor's office several times a day for a new diagnosis, I doubt you would say that friend is "patient."  Don't get me wrong - in Job's position, I would be complaining even more than Job; however, I am not legendary for my patience.

Job says, "Yeah, yeah, you guys think you are so smart.  Just shut up a minute, okay, because God doesn't need you to defend his actions, and I want to talk to God directly.  My willingness to do that should demonstrate my innocence."  

Job 15:1-16 (8/6/10)

Eliphaz speaks again.   The book of Job, in the form we have it, is a play that wrestles with the question of why bad things happen to good people.  The play consists mostly of a series of speeches by Job and his friends.  Job is suffering, and he's pretty unhappy about the whole thing.  His friends, representing orthodox Deuteronomic theology, say that his suffering demonstrates that he is a sinner, because good people don't suffer.  Job says that he is not a sinner, and he shouldn't be suffering.  He demands answers from God, so far with no results.  Remember that we have God's word for it, right at the beginning of the play, that Job is as perfect as a person can be, so when Job says he's not a sinner, that's no brag, that's just fact.  But he's suffering anyway.  

Eliphaz says, "Oh, right.  You say you want to talk to God, but you've got no respect for God at all.  You are saying such dumb things that it's obvious that you are a sinner, like everybody else."   

Job 16:1-10 (8/9/10)

Job answers.  I said a few days ago that Job is mostly made up of long, boring speeches.  To be fair, my Greek study buddy says her Sunday School class is in the middle of Job and thinks it's fabulous.  In this email study, we're reading about a third of each speech, or maybe half.  If you think this part is exciting, I encourage you to get out your paper Bible and read the whole book.  

Job says, "You are not helping!"  Then he thinks it over and adds, "I guess in your place I'd be saying the same thing, but it's not helping."  

Job 18:1-11 (8/10/10)

Bildad speaks again.  Bildad accuses Job of not listening, which is pretty funny, since as near as I can tell, none of them have been listening to each other from the beginning of the speeches.  

Then Bildad says something really important:  "You are only hurting yourself with your anger."  Anger at  injustice is okay - in fact it may be the only human force capable of rooting out injustice - but it's a two-edged sword.  Be sure you don't cut yourself.  Instead of pursuing this potentially useful point, however, Bildad goes back immediately to the same old song:  Bad things happen to bad people.  

Copyright 2010 by Regina L. Hunter.  All rights reserved.

Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

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