Welcome to the Mountjoy Ministries Blog

This blog was authored by Bryan W. Sheldon, author and Bible teacher. His books are listed below. The studies in the blog are offered in the desire that they may be helpful in directing readers to the truths contained in the Bible.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Book of Job

Living for God when Life is an enigma

The Answer of God

God provides an answer. Not the answer Job wanted but nevertheless an answer. The answer is linked with the character of God.

In chapters 1 and 2 God is identified by His personal name YHWH. This is His Name when He is linked with revelation, redemption and restoration, as evidence by the compound names YHWH-Tzidkenu (The Lord our righteousness); YHWH-Jireh (The Lord who provides), etc.

In chapters 3 through 37 He is identified by the Name Elohim, which is the Name used when He is linked with creation and providence.

The in chapters 38 through 42 He reappears in the narrative under His Name of YHWH to provide an answer for Job.

What we are indicating here is – the test was initiated by YHWH and in the end is answered by YHWH. This strongly suggests that to be able to rightly respond to difficult issues such as bereavement and loss, and be able to rightly react to questions such as ‘why do the innocent suffer?’ you have to understand the character of God.

Jesus (Salvation of YHWH)

The character of God in revelation, redemption and restoration is best seen in the person of Jesus. And the cross (the emblem of the unjust, inhuman abuse of the only innocent man that ever lived) is the highest expression of the wisdom of God. It does not commend itself to human reason, INDEED IT IS FOOLISHNESS TO MOST. “We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness (1 Cor. 1:23). This confirms what God revealed through Isaiah: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8–9).


The answer is complete and final

There is no question that God cannot deal with - but the answer invariably comes at the end (not in the middle or at the beginning). For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known (1 Cor. 13:12) .

The first speaker was God, ‘In the beginning was the Word’ (John 1:1) and the last speaker will be God! When God has spoken – all will be silenced, except to say ‘Amen’. In the book under consideration, after all others have fallen silent,  God speaks and Job is compelled to say, "Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth. (Job 40:4)   He is silenced!!

The answer is convincing

YHWH answers with a stream of rhetorical questions regarding the mysteries of creation.

“Do you know about the layers of the thick clouds? (Job 37:16)

“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail? (Job 38:22)

“Can you hunt the prey for the lion, Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions? (Job 38:39)

“Do you give the horse his might? Do you clothe his neck with a mane? (Job 39:19)

He is calling on Job to ‘learn wisdom’.  If YHWH has bestowed skill and wisdom on the smallest snowflake will He act carelessly with the crown of His creation? If the minutest detail of any animal declares divine wisdom, will He act carelessly with man? Even if Job only knows God in terms of Elohim, i.e. in terms of creation, God says, that is still enough information to come to a right understanding of the character of the Lord of heaven and earth.

God was saying  to Job TRUST ME! And He has the same message for us, i.e.

Trust Me!

The answer is compensating

7000 sheep at the beginning: 14000 at the end.

3000 camels at the beginning - 6000 at the end.

500 yoke of oxen at the beginning  - 1000 at the end.

500 donkeys at the beginning  - 1000 at the end.

7 sons and 3 daughters at the beginning - now another 7 sons and 3 daughters. (N.B. People are not the same as animals!)

And this man, who had been covered with sores from head to toe, was the father of daughters of whom it was said:  

In all the land no women were found so fair as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers.(Job 42:15)

Conclusion to Job

By the end of the book Satan is defeated and God glorified.  Note - Satan is absent at the end of the book.

Reading the book of Job perhaps could teach us how to live for God when life is an enigma.

At least we should learn the one main lesson – God said, and continues to say: