An ancient African proverb imparts wisdom about tackling huge projects: “How does one person eat a whole elephant? One bite at a time.” The Genesis & Job Series is the first bite of Eyewitness Bible Series in tackling the Old Testament.
The most casual reader soon recognizes the majority of the writings of the Old Testament have to do with the history of the Israelites (also known as Hebrews or Jews). Embedded in the Old Testament is a wealth of knowledge about God and his character, books of poetry and proverbs, and a host of prophecies.
In Bibles used by most Protestant Christians, the Old Testament consists of 39 writings, called books. The Eyewitness Bible Series groups these books into three different series:
In the previous episode, Satan, with God’s permission, tested Job by taking away all his possessions and family. In this episode, God grants Satan permission to continue Job’s test and take away his health, replacing it with pain and agony.
In Job 2:9, Job’s wife says, “Will you maintain your integrity? Curse God and die!” These short sentences help set up two important aspects of Job’s story. The more minor of the two is Job’s relationship with his wife. These sentences are often used by modern readers to condemn his wife for being against Job. However, it is as likely that she is being merciful to him. Death looks like a much better alternative for him than life.
The second, and most important, aspect her comments set up is how humans understand God. In her belief system, God reacts directly based on the actions of humans. If Job is righteous, God lets him live. If Job opposes God, God will kill him.
A primary purpose of the book of Job is to explore and understand the nature of God. Did God reward Job and his friends with prosperity because they were righteous or for some other reason? When Job lost everything, was God punishing him for some unknown sinful behavior or for some other reason? Was God punishing Job at all or was something else going on? Why did so many other people have to suffer because God allowed Satan to test Job? Why does God do what he does? The questions go on and on and on.
Job’s responses to his wife were not rhetorical. He knew he must accept the good and bad that comes to him; he had no other choice. He only desired to know why things happened to him. Why did God behave the way he did?
Paul – Brian Shoop
Japheth – Bryan Chatlien
Satan – Christian Heep
Job’s Wife – Leticia Magaña
Job – Bob Reed
Lot – Patrick Arnez
Isaac – Tod Upchurch
Esau – David Burkhart
Rachel – Magdalen Vaughn
Reuben – John Ruegsegger
Joseph – Blake McNamara
Benjamin – Jackson Kelly