I’ve just finished a sermon series in Job at Glenquarie Anglican. Job’s a deep book, full of challenging thoughts and big questions and answers. It’s also 42 chapters long but not the sort of book (IMHO) that lends itself to a full systematic exposition. Instead I chose to break it up in the following way (following the pattern we established a few years ago at Neutral Bay Anglican).
Here are all four sermons with a brief overview of why I chose to break the book up in this way.
Job 1-2. Setting the Scene. The opening 2 chapters set out the main issue of Job and provide an engaging narrative that draws the reader in to Job’s plight and the “back story” in the heavenlies.
Job’s “Comforters”. Job’s friends arrive and seek to help him by explaining the reason for his suffering. As they do, and get it hopelessly wrong, Job slips further into despair. This provides much of the content of the book and seeks to show us that simplistic theodicies always fail.
Job’s Hope. Despite his terrible circumstances, the poor advice of his friends, and a gradual drift into a dark night of the soul, Job is still able to express a vibrant hope and trust in God. We are surprised with how full this hope is, seeing clear indications that Job’s hope is the same as that of every Christian. The content for this sermon comes from the same central section of text that also gives us the “comforting” words from the friends. Rather than seek to distinguish between the friends’ words and Job’s response in a number of sermons I thought it better to tease out each strand in separate sermons.
God’s Majestic Answer.God’s response, when it comes in the closing chapters 38-42, is perhaps more confronting than the initial events of the book. We learn, along with Job, that one ultimate response to the question of evil and suffering is that God is God! As strange as this answer might be we see that it actually brings great comfort to Job as his and our understanding of God is deepened. We also see that God’s sovereignty is not in any way in conflict with His control over all things even the most evil acts for God’s control over all things was most gloriously displayed in the most evil act that ever occurred, an event of great goodness which brought salvation and the hope in which Job and we can rest, no matter what our circumstances.
You might also enjoy these two songs which seek to communicate some of that awesome majesty of God’s final words.