Welcome to the Bible Reading Plan! We are so glad you are joining us for this journey through Job over the next few weeks. Each day, you will read one chapter of the Bible followed by a short devotional, answer a few questions, and if you want, record any observations or insights using the interactive comments section. We believe God will use this resource to grow our knowledge and affection for Him. We know God’s Word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11). Sign up with a friend, your Life Group, or your family, and let’s dig in!
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Let’s Go, Church!
Many of us are familiar with Job without having immersed ourselves in the full story. We know that he was a good man who suffered a lot, but his story is much more complicated than that. Scholars place the story of Job’s life during the same era as the patriarch in Genesis, placing him alive alongside (most likely) Jacob. While we don’t know a ton about Job’s backstory, we do know that he loved God. We also know that he was an upstanding husband, father, and wealthy landowner. Until he lost everything.
What unfolds in this story is both important for us to read, yet a little difficult to fully comprehend. Tim Mackie, co-founder of The Bible Project, describes Job this way:
“You’ve stepped into one of the most sophisticated and mind-bending literary works in the Bible. This book has been designed to stimulate your mind and heart by raising huge questions about God’s character and the meaning of human suffering. But just so you know, no straightforward answers lie within…Most people finish the book feeling unsure they got the point, but convinced they’ve experienced something profound.”
Why should we read the book of Job? And why kick off 2022 with such a complex book? We contemplated a number of different books to kick off the new year with, but Job felt right. Life is full of suffering and hardship. If you live long enough, you will experience the full range of human emotions. You’ll experience extreme joy and profound sorrow; triumphant gains and gutting losses. As followers of Jesus, we should expect to suffer hardships this side of eternity. By reading the book of Job, we are going to learn not necessarily why we suffer, but how to suffer faithfully. When we’re able to mourn, suffer, and grieve faithfully, that is compelling to the outside world.
As we read the book of Job, examine it through the lens of the hope we have because of the Gospel. As difficult as life gets on earth, we always have the hope of eternity on our side. When you’re reading along, grab a highlighter and journal to take notes as you go! Don’t give up on the days where it might feel repetitive. Lean into the text and dig deeper with other resources that will help you clarify what needs clarifying. Make the commitment now to devote yourself to God’s Word each day as we journey through Job.
We’re excited for this new year and this new book we get to read together! Thanks for reading along.
The BRP Team
Read Job 1
1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. 2 He had seven sons and three daughters, 3 and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.
4 His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.
6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
8 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
12 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”
Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
13 One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, 15 and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
16 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
17 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
18 While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”
22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
How do you respond when the bottom drops out beneath you? When the sun is shining, there’s money in the bank, and we’re healthy, it’s much easier to praise the Lord and smile. But what’s your response when:
- you get cut from the team?
- you unfairly get a bad grade on a test?
- your boss belittles you and insults your intelligence?
- your son frustrates you yet again?
- your spouse seems to love her job more than her family?
- a loved one receives a life-threatening diagnosis?
In Job 1, we see a man who was blameless, upright, feared God, and “was the greatest man among all the people of the East” (Job 1:3b). The Lord said, “There is no one on earth like him…who fears God and shuns evil” (Job 1:8). Job faced temptation like the rest of us, but he walked away from sin.
Job was the best of the best and was richly blessed with a large family and an abundance of wealth, livestock, and servants. Satan told the Lord that Job obediently walked with the Lord only because he had everything he needed. Take it away, and his faith will go away. So the Lord allowed Satan to do whatever he wished with Job (except he could not harm Job himself). Satan brought major trial after major trial, culminating in the loss of Job’s 10 children.
The bottom dropped out beneath Job. Can you imagine what it must have felt like to lose just about everything in one day? To lose everything you own and to lose your very own flesh and blood? Most of us would probably do as Satan predicted—we would curse God to His face (v. 11).
Yet, we see something beyond extraordinary in Job. He grieved (tore his robe and shaved his head), but then he fell to the ground and worshipped the Lord. Can you believe it? Job did not sin by accusing God of wrongdoing. Instead, on the worst day of his life, Job praised the name of the Lord.
We see why Job earned the description of being the greatest among all the people. Job’s response should challenge us to do likewise. When we face trials of many kinds (which are guaranteed according to Jesus in John 16:33), will we be found faithful and worshipful like Job, or will we choose to curse God and walk away?
- Since only Jesus is sinless and perfect, what does it mean when it says that Job is “blameless?”
- Who’s really in control of Job—God or Satan? How do we know who’s in charge?
- What would it look like for you to “shun evil” in your life?
Listen to the song “Blessed Be Your Name” by Matt Redman. You can either listen in your music provider of choice or you can listen along through this YouTube link. Shane & Shane have a great version of the song as well. The song dovetails perfectly with Job’s response to his massive trials as seen in Job 1:21.
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