Genesis & Job

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:

  • Genesis & Job: Genesis describes the creation of Earth, gives the history of all mankind, and describes a brief history of the Israelite nation from its beginning until it moves to Egypt. All of Genesis is saturated with knowledge about God, his power, and his relationship with mankind. Job is a story of an ancient man, his struggles, and his dealings with God. Although nothing is absolutely clear concerning the time period of his life, it seems as if Job lived in the time before the Israelite nation existed.
  • Promised Land: Covers the time period from the Israelites being slaves in Egypt, their exodus to Canaan, and the conquering of Canaan. This series includes the Old Testament books of Exodus to Judges.
  • Prophets and Kings: Covers the time period from the first prophet and king until the last prophet. It describes the initial occupation of Canaan, the destruction of the Northern Kingdom, the exile of the Southern kingdom, and the return to Judah. With the exception of Job, this includes the Old Testament books of Ruthto Malachi.

 

Job: Part Three

Causation or correlation? When you rely on your own experience and judgments, you are always at risk of coming to the wrong conclusion. Job and his friends could see that he had fallen from his high position. Now they wanted to explain why. Without a good explanation, they could not fix his problem. Nor could they protect themselves.

Bildad’s comments in Job 8:3-6 are an example of how he correlated righteousness with prosperity and unrighteousness with punishment. “Does God pervert judgment? Or does the Almighty pervert justice? When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin. But if you seek God earnestly and plead with him, if you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your prosperous state.”

Bildad and his friends were on very dangerous ground and did not realize it. They were blind to the fact that they had very little information about very important things. They misunderstood the nature of God and even ignored or misinterpreted reality to fit their own views. For instance, Eliphaz started his discussion with this observation, “Consider now: who, being innocent, has ever perished? Where were the upright ever destroyed?” If Eliphaz had been able to understand, he would have realized he was talking to an upright man who was being destroyed. Surely, they had all seen innocent people perish because of war or other circumstances beyond their control.

 

Downloads:
Characters:
Job and Satan
Primary Scriptures:
Job 4-37
Story Summary:
Job and his friends debate the reasons for Job’s demise
Location:
In the land of Uz
Time:
In the time of Job
References:

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