In this lab, John Piper clarifies that Job did not suffer because of disobedience. Job did not suffer because of a failure. Job did not suffer because of Satan. Job suffered because God willed it.
Some questions to ask as you read and study Job:
- What are some of the most painful experiences you have had to endure? Was it hard to trust God with your pain?
- Read Job 1:1 and James 5:10–11. How does James summarize the story of Job in his epistle? What does he expect his readers to learn from it?
- How can you grow to trust God with your deepest pain? What would it look like to take steps towards doing so?
Principle for Bible Reading
One way that people love to communicate is to use words and phrases that someone else has said in the past to enhance what they are saying now. We quote others to defend, explain, or confirm what we are trying to communicate.
The biblical authors do this as well. When you see New Testament authors quote Old Testament verses, ask what texts they are quoting to make their point or, when they do not quote a specific text, which texts they might have had in mind. Utilizing cross-references, especially when a New Testament verse or passage cites or alludes to Old Testament passages, helps us to have a fuller understanding of what the authors were trying to communicate.
Most study Bibles have cross-references that connect you to other texts in the Bible that relate in some way to that text. Whether connected thematically or by a common phrase, cross-referencing enhances our study when we take the time to look up the verses.
- Those fighting injustice might begin a speech by saying, “I have a dream.” They are not drawing attention to what happened while they slept the night before. Rather, they are linking their situation to the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to the Civil Rights era. The fullness of what is being said would be lost without thinking of events such as police hosing African Americans in the streets, water fountains for “whites” and “coloreds,” and mass rallies and marches on Washington.