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Mystery and Faith (Pt.3)

June 2, 2019 Speaker: John Bell Series: Job: Mystery and Faith

Passage: Job 38:1–42:16

Big Picture: Job’s theological message is that people should respond to innocent, unexplained suffering by trusting God because he is supremely wise, sovereign, just, and good. Because of his omnipotent work of creating and sustaining the order of the cosmos, YHWH alone is its sovereign and benevolent lord who relates to finite man only on the basis of his own sovereign grace and man’s joyous trust in him.

  1. God’s interrogation of Job (38:1-42:6) God’s questioning of Job is the book’s climax and turning point, and its significance is at least fourfold.
  • God is too small in Job’s eyes.
  • Correspondingly, Job is too large in his own eyes.
  • God is not obligated to give Job anything, not even answers to his questions.
  • Only God is all-wise.
  1. Job’s “happy ending” (42:7-16) The epilogue is the Old Testament equivalent to the New Testament anticipation of a new heaven and a new earth. God is just, and will be seen to be just.

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Motifs in Job: Each of the following motifs is textually rooted and thus contributes to the book’s theme, but none adequately encapsulates the book as a whole.

  1. The problem of innocent, unexplained suffering
  2. Maintaining faith during innocent, unexplained suffering.
  3. Mystery
  4. Refuting retribution theology
  5. Putting humans in their place.

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Romans 11 “doxology” summary

  1. God is incomprehensible: his knowledge is deep. Which means . . .
  • Humans cannot understand everything
  • God is not obligated to explain anything
  • God deserves praise for what he does and does not explain
  1. God is without counselors: his wisdom is deep. Which means . . .
  • Humans should not try to give God advise
  • God deserves praise for not needing advise
  • Giving God advice is idolatry
  1. God is without creditors: his riches are deep. Which means . . .
  • Humans should not try to place God in their debt
  • God deserves praise for not owing anything to anyone.
  1. God is supremely sovereign. Which means . . .
  • He is the source, means, and goal of all things
  • He alone deserves glory eternally.

This series owes a plagiarizing debt to Andy Naselli’s “From Typology to Doxology: Paul’s Use of Isaiah and Job in Romans 11:34-35”; and Don Carson’s “How Long, O Lord? Reflections on Suffering and Evil

More in Job: Mystery and Faith

May 19, 2019

Mystery and Faith (Pt.2)

May 12, 2019

Mystery and Faith (Pt. 1)