4 Questions from the Book of Job

In my last post, I critiqued the conclusion Alain de Botton draws from the book of Job about man’s insignificance. The creation does not serve to remind man that he is small and inconsequential. It does just the opposite.

However, the book of Job does bring up significant questions.

These 42 chapters, although probably the earliest written in the Bible, poignantly capture four questions common to all men, in all societies, throughout all time. All the great world religions are attempts to answer and deal with these universal questions.

They are…

1) The question of God’s whereabouts:

“Oh that I knew where I might find Him!” –Job 23:3

2) The question of sin:

“How can a man be righteous before God?” –Job 9:2

3) The question of death and immortality:

“If a man dies, will he live again?” –Job 14:14

4) The question of suffering:

“Why does He give light to him who suffers?” –Job 3:20

“Make known to me why You contend with me.” –Job 10:2

These are the four great, universal, and perennial questions of mankind. They are ultimate and yet immediate. Perennial because they are recurring and cannot be suppressed simply by being prohibited or trivialized. Man’s own inner being demands an answer to them.

…Questions which arise not merely in borderline situations, but in the very midst of man’s personal and social life.

–Hans Küng

The answer to these four questions comes in the person and work of Christ.

They are answered, respectively, by the incarnation of Christ, the death of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, and the economy of God.

1) The incarnation of Christ

“And confessedly, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was manifested in the flesh.” –1 Tim. 3:15

2) The death of Christ

“Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” –Rom. 3:24

3) The resurrection of Christ

“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes into Me, even if he should die, shall live.” –John 11:25

4) The economy of God

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers.” –Rom. 8:28-29

“Therefore we do not lose heart; but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For our momentary lightness of affliction works out for us, more and more surpassingly, an eternal weight of glory.” –2 Cor. 4:16-17

“…I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as refuse that I may gain Christ.” –Phil. 3:8

8 thoughts on “4 Questions from the Book of Job

    • No. The first three come from the footnotes of the 1967 Scofield Reference Bible. The fourth is a rather standard observation on Job, but I think it receives the best treatment from Witness Lee. Especially in the connection he makes between Job 10:13 and Eph 3:9, his comparison of Job’s sufferings with Paul’s sufferings, and how he fits the book of Job within the entire divine revelation.

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  1. Thanks Kyle. I heard recently at a Bible exhibit that all American soldiers sent to the Vietnam war were issued a Scofield Bible. They were pretty well prepared for the first three questions but surely would have appreciated the answer to the fourth.

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    • Wow. That’s really interesting. Why Scofield? I wonder if they got one with footnotes or just the text only one. Vietnam is one of those seemingly unanswerable questions that would fit right in with the book of Job.

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  2. Sister Ying and I finished reading the book of Job today. i am so happy to see these questions and answers on this book this morning. I will note them in our hard copy of the Life Study. Thanks for the reminder, Paul is the New Testament Job.

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    • What was your take away from Job? It’s amazing to me that the oldest book in the Bible is still so relevant today. People are still asking the same questions that were first chronicled in Job’s life.

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  3. Pingback: Glorious Ruin Reveiw « life and building

  4. Pingback: 10 Reasons Why Christians Suffer | life and building

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