Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Let God Be God - Study in Job - Part 1

Sometime around Thanksgiving, I found a book at a local book store titled ‘Let God Be God’, by Ray Stedman, with the subtitle, ‘Life-changing truths from the book of Job’. Since then, I have read through the entire book of Job, using Stedman’s book as a commentary/study guide. It has been such a revealing experience, and I have learned there is a lot going on in the book of Job, beyond the tale we have all heard of Job’s suffering.

Ray Stedman (see www.raystedman.org) pastured Peninsula Bible Church in California for 40 years, 1950 to1990. His book, ‘Let God be God’, is derived from his sermon series on the book of Job. The book reads very much like sermon transcripts, with introductory and illustrative examples, passages of scriptures, explanations of the scriptures, and applications to the reader’s life. I found it very easy to read and follow, and as an aside, I think I would have loved to hear Ray Stedman preach!

I plan to do a series of posts, aligned to the chapters in Stedman’s book, with key points and learnings from each section in the book of Job. I hope anyone who wishes to study the book of Job will get a copy of Stedman’s book; I think you will be glad you did.

Stedman – Chapter 1: An Overview of Job

We don’t have to search far to find examples of people who suffer or have suffered terrible tragedies. Lives are cut short by terrible illness, people experience horrific loss, and we wonder and search after answers. As Stedman writes:

We know that God is loving and all-powerful. We know He has the power to heal us and take away our suffering, and we know He loves us. Still, we suffer, and we wonder why God doesn’t take us out of our suffering. We wonder why he leaves us in our pain. Doesn’t He care? Has He forgotten us? Has He turned His back on us? There are the questions that throb at the heart of the book of Job.

The book of Job is probably the oldest book in the Bible. Its author is unknown. Some scholars believe it may have been presented as a stage play, but the book is not just imagery; Job is a record of historical events, and Job was a man who actually lived. Job is also mentioned in Ezekiel 14, and in James 5, and is believed to have lived around 2000 B.C, in the same approximate time as Abraham.

Most people have some familiarity with the story of Job, a man who was described as righteous, buy yet suffered a string of calamities that left him without his children, his wealth and possessions, and ultimately, without his health. Job wrestles out his questions with God, and in the end, is blessed with a double portion of all he had before. But there is so much more to see in this amazing book. I hope you will stay tuned....


3 comments:

His grace is sufficient. said...

Looking forward to your future posts on the book of Job. Most people who have lived any length of time eventually come to identify with Job in one area or another. When you can say like Job "the Lord gives and takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.", then you know whatever God has brought you to and through was absolutely worth it.

Cindy said...

I have been going through some "Job-like" trials for the past 18 months. I am looking forward to your insights in the Job study.

Cindy

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Adrienne,

I am popping over from Cindy's blog. I know I am getting in on the Job posts late, but I'll catch up.

Have you read Charles Swindoll's book entitled "Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance"? It is phenomenal and Swindoll even turned it into a Bible study workbook. I would highly recommend it as an adjunct to the Stedman book.

Looking forward to scrolling up and reading the next post.

Leah