Job's Sufferings, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn. Original source.
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Preaching Series on Job (2 of 5)
Job 3:1-10; 4:1-9; 7:11-21 Commentary
by Kathryn M. Schifferdecker
[This is Week 2 of a 5-week preaching series on Job.]
Job 3:1-10; 4:1-9; 7:11-21
The patient Job of chapters 1-2 gives way to the anguished Job, who curses the day of his birth. His friends, who started out well, offering him their comforting presence in silence for 7 days (Job 2:13), now offer him advice instead. They claim that the innocent don't perish, but Job's experience (and ours) says otherwise. They claim that suffering is the result of sin, that Job must have done something wrong to deserve such suffering.
Job's response is more honest: He laments. He calls a spade a spade. He holds on to his integrity, knowing that he has done nothing to deserve his suffering. He speaks directly to God about his suffering and holds God accountable to God's promises. In this, he echoes the psalmists.
Job's friends are useless theologians; they talk endlessly about God without ever speaking to God on behalf of their friend. Job is more direct. He begins by speaking about God, but then moves more and more to speaking to God, ...
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