Check out these various ways to study Job.
The color-coded charts of Job below show where the many questions in the book are found. There are more of them in Job than in any other book because of the debate and lack of understanding on the part of Job's three 'friends.' This in turn was because they did not have the Scriptures and were dependent upon observation and reason. Man's ignorance is stressed.
FOR STUDY: 1.) Notice how the book of 42 chapters is divided up into six sections. 2.) Discuss the questions asked on the summary chart and 3.) discuss the nature of selected questions on the chart and answers given, if any are given. (Many questions are rhetorical.)
Cards from our DESCRIBE-IT-YOURSELF set of 1,300+ are used to describe selected questions (or answers thereto) found in Job. The opening question in each study is always, "How would you describe . . . ?"
For instance, how would you describe the longest question in Job, the one the Lord asked about the creation of the oceans in 38:8-11? "38:8 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it burst forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? 38:9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddling band for it, 38:10 And fixed my limit for it, and set bars and doors, 38:11 And said, This far you shall come, but no further: and here shall your proud waves be stopped?”
The cards below were chosen from the Describe-It-Yourself deck by the study leader and were freely discussed by those in the group. At the end of the study, the cards were arranged as shown to help bring out the fact that God's main purpose in asking such a long, difficult, and poetic question was to humble Job. Above all, it was a humbling question.
GAME FORMAT OPTION
The DESCRIBE-IT-YOURSELF cards can be used for an interactive "game" somewhat like "Apples to Apples" ®. If this method is used, each group members is given a random set of cards from which he or she selects one card to play in each round. The various cards played in a given round are then compared and one winning "best" card selected each time.
For instance, if the five cards shown below were to be played in a round, the judge (who does not play a card) would probably select humbling as the best card, though the merits and demerits of all cards played should be discussed. Someone might, for instance, point out that God's question to Job was more theological than philosophical. At the end of the game, all "best" cards should be compared and judged to determine the main point of the question or answer being studied.
One of the great games that can be played with the Bible Top 55 calls for associating the people named on randomly exposed cards. Job (#38) is one of the most difficult to do this with. He is clearly associated with Noah (#47) and Daniel (#35) in Eze. 14:14 and 14:20 as a righteous man. Probably Job was included with the others because of what it says about him in Job 1:1, 1:8, 2:3, and 42:8. He was right with God, and from Job 19:25, we know that this was because he was a believer. Therefore we can also associate Job with Paul's (#10) teaching in Rom. 3:21-28 on justification through faith in the Lord (#1). In addition, Job spoke at length about wisdom in chapter 28, which is reminiscent of Solomon. So Job is not such an isolated character after all.
SUGGESTED STUDY: Prepare a set of cards with all the people mentioned above: Job (#38), Abraham (#7), Moses (#3), Noah (#47), Solomon (#5), Daniel (#35), Ezekiel (#28), Paul (#10), and the Lord Jesus (#1). Then ask how Job can be associated with the eight other Bible characters.
Job's three friends were not very helpful, and had to repent at the end. Young Elihu in chapters 32 through 37 spoke much more like God did in chapters 38 through 41. He was not commanded to repent. -- This short study is part of the Lesser-Known but Significant Servants series and shows that youthful servants are sometimes better than older ones. He seems to be somewhat similar to Timothy in the New Testament. The third of four pages and one of two worksheets in this study is shown below.
© 2020 by Jon F. Mahar, Hakusan City, Japan