Walking Thru The Bible

Old Testament -- Job

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                 Walking Thru The Bible
               Author:  We don't know who is the author of the book of
               Job.  It may have been handed down by the patriarchs by oral
               inspiration until it was put into inspired written format. 
               Ancient Jewish sources say  "The only tradition which has
               come down to us with respect to the authorship of the Book
               of Job ascribes it to Moses."

                 The book is named after its principal character.  He may
               have written it himself.
               Date:  The date it was written is unsure, with theories
               ranging from pre-Mosaic times to the time of Solomon.  The
               book itself gives no indication as to time of authorship or
               date of composition.  If Moses wrote the book the date would
               fall between 1500-1400 BC.  

                 The events recorded occurred long before Moses' time. 
               Job probably lived about the time of Abraham. 
                 Key Verses:  1:21, ". . . Naked came I out of my mother's
                                womb and naked shall I return thither"  Jehovah gave,
                                and Jehovah hath taken away;  blessed be the name of
                 Key Thought:  Why do the righteous suffer?
                 Key Word:     Tried.                       
                 Key Persons:  
              Job, a patriarchal chieftain of Uz, a godly man who is
                                suddenly robbed of his children, his wealth and his

              His wife, who unconsciously becomes a tool of Satan urging
                                Job to renounce God;  

              Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar,  his three friends of long
                                standing.  These three being wise men (philosophers)
                                discuss with Job the reasons for his misfortune.  They,
                                too, inadvertently are used by Satan to try to destroy Job. 
              Elihu, a youthful observer, who injects himself into the

              Jehovah in heaven who is proud of Job's righteous life and
                                allows him to be tested to prove his loyalty;  

              Satan, the adversary and accuser of God's children who is
                                determined to discredit and destroy Job.  
               Type of Literature:  It is dramatic poetry with a prose
               narrative for introduction and closing.  It is based on a true
               historical episode (Ezekiel 14:14,20; James 5:11).  
               Period of History:  Internal evidence suggests that the
               events took place in the patriarchal period prior to 1450 B.C. 
               Purposes:  To reveal that suffering in itself is not proof of
               God's displeasure.  

               Message:  The book teaches that men should be righteous,
               not simply to gain peace of mind, health, or wealth.  These
               are rewards and by-products of righteousness.  God wants us
               to serve him because we love him and because it is the right
               thing to do, not because of what we can get from him.
               ABOUT THE MAN, JOB:  

                 Job was a real historic person, not mythical or symbolic
               (Ezekiel 14:14; James 5:11).  His home was the land of Uz
               (Job 1:1), on the border of Edom (Lam. 4:21), Southeast of
               Palestine near the Dead Sea.  He had seven sons and three
               daughters (Job 1:2).  It was an age of polygamy but it is
               noteworthy that he had but one wife.  

                 Job was wealthy having seven thousand sheep, three
               thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, and five
               hundred she asses.  He was greatest of all the children of the
               east (Job 1:3).  

                 Job's character is described as perfect, i.e., mature and
               complete.  He was upright, straight in his dwellings.  He
               feared God with a reverent respect.  He turned away from
               evil in his moral conduct (Job 1:8).  He was sympathetic
               toward the unfortunate (Job 30:25).  

                 Job was a "Wise Man" (Job 15:2).  This meant far more
               than just brilliant;  it was an honored title for respected
               philosophers and counsellors.  The wise men collected the
               wisdom of the world and taught it to their fellowman.  He
               personally feared God and continually led his family in
               sacrificial worship (Job 1:5).  This indicates the patriarchal
               form of worship.
               ABOUT JOB'S WIFE AND FRIENDS:  
                 His wife:  Satan could have destroyed her with Job's
               children. Instead he used her to try to destroy Job.  She urged
               Job to do just what Satan had said he would (compare 1:11
               and 2:9).  Her faith was shallow and unable to stand the
                 His friends:  The three friends represent four kinds of
               authority in religion.  

                   Eliphaz claimed a religious experience, basing his
               arguments on dreams and visions (4:12-17).  

                   Bildad based his authority on religious traditions. 
               He did not reflect much originality or independence of

                   Zophar was a practical man of common sense who
               appealed to human experience and wisdom (20:2-5).  His
               language was more violent and offensive.  He represents the
               prejudice and narrow-minded bigotry of mankind, thinking
               he knew all.  

                   Elihu claimed to speak for God by inspiration
               (32:8).  He appears to be a younger man who was an
               observer of the discussion (32:6).  He was an impetuous
               youth.  He sought to defend God, arguing that affliction is
               the chastisement of a loving Father.
               The friends argued that all suffering is the result of personal
               sin, therefore Job's great suffering proved him to be a great

- - - SERMON - - - 
                            What Do You Weigh?
                               Job 31:6

               1.  On the front page of a newspaper sometime ago
                      appeared a most attractive pen picture.  It was an 
                      old-fashioned set of balances, or scales.  In the weighing pan
                      on one side was a picture of very fat sultan of middle
                      eastern country.  His head was adorned with a silk
                      turban, and a happy smile wreathed his face.

               2.  As we think of that picture, there are a couple of
                      passages of Scripture which come immediately to our

                 a.     Belshazzar gave a great feast.  Before the astonished
                            eyes of his guests, a part of a hand came out from
                            nowhere and wrote on the wall four words:  "Mene,
                            Mene, Tekel, Upharsin." 

                 b.     The other verse is the one in Job 31:6, and this filled
                             with such a great message for us:  "Let me be
                             weighted in an even balance, that God may know
                             mine integrity."  Job was talking to his so-called
                             comforters.  They had been interpreting his disasters
                             as the result of his disobedience and sins.  His
                             defense was this magnificent statement:  "Let God
                             weigh me in an even balance  [that is, in scales that
                             are perfectly balanced], and both you and God can
                             examine my integrity."

               1.  This set is individual and belongs to you alone.  No one
                                  can see the face of it except you.  There are many things
                                  about you that no one else knows. You know yourself
                                  better than anyone else in the world knows you.  What
                                  do you weigh in your own little private set of scales?

               2.  Paul said, "Let a man examine himself." (I Cor. 11:28). 
                                   To what do you aspire?  What is the purpose of your
                                  life?  What kinds of pictures do you hang on the walls of
                                  your imagination?

               3.  Several years ago a preacher told of young lady that he
                                  and his wife had taken into their home for a few weeks. 

               4.  What you weigh in your own scales is most important. 
                                  It can bring happiness and joy.  It can add zest to life and
                                  help you face the dawn of a new day with joy and
                                  confidence.  On the other hand, what you feel about
                                  yourself can make you feel terrible and rotten and not fit
                                  to live with not caring to live. 

               5.  It can mean having the abundant life that Jesus told us
                                  about or it can mean a miserable existence and even
                                  death.  First, what do you weigh in your own scales?

               1.  These are the scales that you cannot see.  They are
                                  turned facing the other way.  We are familiar with the
                                  little sentence, "O wad some power the giftie gie us to
                                  see oursels as ithers see us!"

               2.  These scales are more important than we sometimes
                                  think.  Influence is sacred.  No Christian has the right to
                                  say, "I don't care what people think of me."   "Adorn the
                                  doctrine [gospel of God" (Titus 2:5).

               3.  "What do you weigh in the scales of other people?" is a
                                  searching question. 

               4.  Illustration from a famous preacher in a
                                  Gospel Meeting in Abilene, Texas. 

               1.  These are the scales about which Job is talking.  His
                                  desire was that God would weigh him in an even balance
                                  so that God might know his integrity. 

               2.  How many of us would want the people we know to look
                                  at God's scales when we are put in that even balance? 

               3.  Of course, God's scales don't weight in pounds and
                                  ounces, and Job wasn't talking about that kind of weight. 
                                  He was talking about those scales of God which weigh
                                  the intangible things, the invisible things.  God's scales
                                  do weigh such things as integrity, courage, zeal for the
                                  kingdom's work, honesty, sincerity, earnestness, and
                                  especially faith.

               4.  Friend, if God were to weigh you in his balances, what
                                  kind of a faith would he find?  Is yours a trusting
                                  obedient faith?

               5.  If you want to correct what the Lord knows about you in
                                  his scales make your life right with Him; obey the

                 Repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins. 

-- Windell Gann -- Walking Thru the Bible --

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