jueves, 10 de noviembre de 2016

The Book of Job (Biblical Summary)

Job 1:  Job was a perfect man. He was just. Along other angels, Satan comes and boasts before God. God sees him and shakes His head, saying "Where do you come from?" Satan boasts that he had surrounded the earth with evil. God explains shine lines brighter in the darkness, saying: "Haven't you seen that my servant Job is perfect -- despite all the evil you do in the world?". Satan argues: "How couldn't he? You bless him too much and protect him from me!", and added: "but he would curse you if you took away his family and possessions". God then said to him: "Behold, I allow you to touch his possessions and family, but you will not be able to do anything to him. You will see he will keep his entegrity despite all that. For his treasures are not on hearth; they are in heaven".
Job greatly mourned. Satan killed his family and his servants. Job was greatly sad. He was afflicted in both soul. But Job accepted God gives and He takes away and He never cursed God. "May it be your will heavenly God". He accepted God was just and allows bad things to test our faith in him. He blessed God and worshipped Him in the middle of his distress.
Satan came back again to God, boasting he had touched Job. "Yeah, he has kept his integrity, but not because love or such things. He has only kept his integrity because you have not done anything to his body. Do it, and you will see. He will curse you like I did". 
God remembered when Lucifer fell like a bolt from the sky after he rebelled himself against Him. "Behold, Satan, you are wrong. You will not be able to steal his life, but touch his flesh and you will see -- He will not reject me. He won’t leave me and I won’t leave me, for I love those who love me".
Satan touched Job and Job fell sick. Seeing this, his acquaintances left him. He was fired. His wife suggested him to stop thinking in God and kill himself. "Stop being so foolish about God. To hell with such things! If it hurts you so much, go and kill yourself -- that's the only option".
Still mourning, Job worshipped God. Later on, his three best friends went to visit him. But he would just keep on weeping. Job saw the vanity of life. He cursed the day of his birth greatly (Job 2-3). "Why was I born?". May no person remember my birthday”.
Job's friends speaking:
1) Eliphaz (a self-righteous friend), suggested him to trust in his own past piety (Job 4:7). He said that Job’s sons/servants had died for their own wicked deeds (Job 4:7-8). He thought that God had chose Job to be one of the uprights (Job 4:18:19), so Job didn't need to try to be holier (Job 4:16); (Job 4:21). He meant that Job could call too much, but nobody would answer (Job 5:1). He suggested that resentment may have caused Job's losts (Job 5:2-6); that he had no defender (Job 5:4). That "man was born to trouble” (5:7), so it was a natural or normal thing in life. That God would not allow the crafty to achieve success (Job 5:15:13-14) or the others to be in need. He said that Job was being chastised by God (Job 5:17), so he needed to come back to Him. "God must have done this to chastise you -- come back to him". He said that God would save him from about 6 dangerous situations, and there could be not a seventh time (5:19). That he didn't need to fear anything if he did this (5:20-21). He preached prosperity saying: "Come back to God and you will lack nothing; you will have your propierties again and he will give you many children. You will be strong" (Job 5:23-25). We have thought a lot about this, so hear us and do it.
Job answered (Job 6): "If you could measure them, all my misery and my angish would be heavier that all the sand of the earth. My words are hard, but I feel like traspassed by arrows from God. It’s like these arrows are poisoned. They hurt me. How can I enjoy life in this way? If you eat food without salt, it tastes very bad. Likewise I cannot taste my life. I don't want this life. I refuse to touch this food. This is the reason why I pray: I pray that God may take my life. "Oh God. Take me! I don't want to be here. I don't want this pain. Take me away”. I'm not allowed to take it, friends. He is the the one who gives it; I pray that he takes it away. For if I die, I know where I will go. I have this consolation: that I have not denied the words of the Holy One. BUT what hope do I have in this world? This world is not my home. This world of pain and owe and snares -- it's not my home". Look at me! I'm weak. Others are strong, but I am not.
Have you guys come to help or to judge me? I know what I have done. Since I came to God, I have kept my righteousness. And nit denied Him. Oh! Remember, my God, my life is but a vapor. I've worked from the morning until night. And when I go to bed, I count the hours I will sleep. My body tuss and my fless turns. It hurts me all and my joy has gone. But there is one thing I know. I will never ever be happy again. I will be miserable forevermore. The eyes that know are seeing me, will no longer see me. As a cloud vanishes and is gone, so I am on the grave and I will not return. When I die, nobody will remember me. This is why I won't keep silent. I must speak. Am I like the Leviatan, the monster of the sea? He will be remembered, but not to me. I must speak now that I can. What is my life? What is man? And what's the meaning of life? Oh! You know everything God. Why do you even search inside of me? Why do you not forgive my sins from the past and pardon my ofenses? If I have sinned tell me what I have done. What have I done to fail you? This is the one thing I know: I won't be happy again. I hate life in this world. I wish I could die.
Bildad (Job 8) says Job's sons received the penality of their sin and got what they deserved (Job 8:4). He tells Job that if he seeks God, God will restore him to his previous state of well-being. He acknowledges the countless and great human limitations (that we are fallible and our life is but a vapor). He suggests that his sons had been cut because they forgot God. Then he comes to say that "surely God does not reject one who is blameless and does not strenghten the hands of the evildoer"
Job answers (ch. 9): “indeed I know that this is true, but I feel totally unable to justify my own innocence before God”. Job says it is totally useless to try to argue with God. "His wisdom is profoud, his power is vast. Who can resist?". Job acknowkedges God's outstanding power manifested in the works of Creation. States that God performs countless miracles, even when sometimes we don't realize. Job acknowledges that God can do what he wants. He thinks that it is vain to dispute with his maker and he adds: "I could only plead with my judge for mercy". He recognizes that we can only beg God; because if he dared to demand God for an answer, He would still judge him severely. Job says: "He has power to destroy both the blameless and the wicked". Being positive is useless. Job thought he had been found guilty. He wishes there could be a way to meditate and have communion with God, with no separation from him (Job:33-35). He wishes there could be a bridge to God: "If there was only someone to meditate between us, someone to bring us together! Someone to remove God's rod for me so that this wouldn't frighten me anymore! Then my fear would gone" (Job 9).
Job's prayer: "Do not declare me guilty but tell me what charges you have against me? What if you were a mortal, oh God? Do you know how it feels to be a man? What if you were one of us? Even if I were blameless, I could not contend with you! I am clay in your hands. Why did you create me? Behold, my days left are few: I know I will die soon. I know I'll go to the land where there is nothing but darkness, and even light is like darkness."
If the light that is in you is darkness, how much is not the darkness? Neither Job nor any person can know all of God's purposes. God may have 'destroyed' Job's sense of security, Job's little kingdom in this world, but that was all temporary. He already had greater purposes and a better plans for His Creation. God is able to make that even destruction work together for the good of those who love him. And there He is, even when there is no darkness at all and even without sun, God shines like the greatest light upon his people.
(Zophar speaks): He suggests that Job is not to be vindicated. He accuses Job of self-righteousness. While Job suffering, Zophar expresses his wish on seeing Job judged by God's word; (he thinks Job is to be severely judged by asking this questions and by speaking about his feelings like this). Not only does he suggests that God is already judging Job for his sin, but he also says that Job has not utterly been destroyed yet because of God - that God is being merciful in his 'punishment' against Job (Job 11:6). He suggests that Job might be a deceiver who surely did some evil. He calls Job to repentance and he calls him to seek God. He seems to suggest that Job can purify himself to be accepted to God. But he suggests that if Job continues to be 'wicked', he might be removed from the earth, as a wicked one.
Job replies that he is not more unworthy than these friends (Job 12:2). If that were the case, they would also be suffering. He laments that even though God answered his plea, he has become a motif of laughter to others. Job believes himself to be righteous and blameless (Job 12:4). He states that evil people go undisturbed on this earh ( Job 12:5). He acknowledges that God is the Creator clearly manifested in the works of Creation. He acknowledges that his very life -- like the life of any living thing -- is in the palm of God's hand. "To God belong wisdowm and power, counsel and understanding are his" (Job 12). In Job 12:14-12: he states that nobody can undo something God has done. God can strip off and send empty rulers, leaders and priests.
Job 13:3: He wants to present his case before God; but he wishes his "friends" stopped speaking about what they don't know, because it doesn't help at all. Job indirectedly warns them. "Will you show him partiality?"; "He will surely call you to account if you secretly show partiality" (Job 13:10). Job insists he will defend his ways before God, trusting that He had done what was pleasing to Him (13:15). He hopes for His delivarence, believing himself to be godly (Job 13:16). 13:18: "Now that I've prepared my case, I know I will be vindicated". Job continued believing himself faultless (Job 13:19). Despise all this, Job states this situation reminds him of "the sins of his youth" (Job 13:26). Job states that it'd be beter for him to be hidden in death; he states that when a man dies, he is no more and doesn't come back UNTIL he is awakened, until the heavens and the earth pass away (14:10-14). Asking about this, he wonders whether there is life after death. Job states that God may take away a person's hope as if water (Job 14:19).
Eliphaz thinks Job is not paying due devotion to God. He thinks Job is sinning by speaking like that, and he thinks that Job is condemning himself more. Eliphaz says old people's wisdom is not on Job's side (Job 15:10). Eliphaz rethorically asserts that men cannot be pure and mortals cannot be righteous (Job 15:14). He states that even the heavens are impure in God's eyes and man's condition is to drink of evil as if from a cup (Job 15:15-16). Eliphaz thinks he is able to explain things to Job, since he has paid attention to the wisdom of the ancestors (Job 15:17). He seems to suggest indirectly that Job is a wicked man suffering the chastisement of his own sin (20:25-30). Eliphaz clearly believes that wickedness is severely chastised in this world.
Job answers that his friends' words are not being of comfort and arguing with him is useless. He feels sorry that his 'friends' now shake his head at him. He says that were they in his place, he would do otherwise, bringing comfort to them, instead of judgement. But he feels bad that God has "turned him over to his enemies". "All was well with me, but he shattered me". "Yet my hands have been free of violence, and my prayer is pure". 19: "Even now my witness is on heaven; my advocate is on high; my intercessor is my friend".
Job 17: "My spirit is broken; there are mockers all around me. Give me , oh God, security; for only you can do it! People spit on me. 17:9 "Despite all this, the righteous will stay righteous and those with clean hands will grow stronger, rising up like eagles". Yet, I trust in no man. My days have passed. My plans are shattered. Yet the desires of my heart turn night into day. In the face of the darkness light is near.
Bildad (Job 18) wishes Job shut up. "First be sensible and then we can talk". (18:5-21): Again, he deduces that Job must be wicked and very evil, because of all the things that have happenned to him.
Job 19: Job suffers again with his friends' undeserved reproach. He states he' s been rebuked 10 times already. Job (19:19) states that God has allowed his anger against him, and has put him in the posicion of an enemy. He says God has caused all people (family, friends and servants) to be set apart from Job (19:13-19). Job cries out for pity from his friends (19:21-22). He wishes his words were written in history. Then he reaffirms his trust in God: "I know my Redeemer lives, and in the end he will stand". Just then he asserts: Now I am sure that after his death I will see God, and He asserts God's coming judgment (Job 19:26-29). He prophecies he will be resurrected.
Zophar (Job 20) feels prompted to reply because of "my understanding". He asserts that the joy of the wicked (this seems to include Job) is brief and temporary in this world. He suggests that Job - as a wicked man - is hiding evil in his mouth, and his food will become venom and sour in his stomach. He says that he will not enjoy the rivers of the promised land, "for he [must have] oppressed the destitute and the poor", because God's anger is upon Him and He has taken away His prosperity (Job 20:5-26). He thinks that if something is going wrong with a person, it's because that person is wicked and "the heavens expose" it and "the earth" is against it and God punishes that person here (Job 21:27-29).
Job (21) begs them just to listen carefully to what he says for a moment, and continue accusing him afterwards. Job presents then the argument that the wicked sometimes prosper greatly on this Earth. "The rod of God is not on them", and they may even die peacefully -- even though they rejected The Almighty and did not want to serve him. But Job states too that this is allowed during this time, because later the judgement of God will come upon them. Meanwhile, it is clear that the wicked men may even live better here that the innocent, and they may have enjoy greatly this life until they die; so it is nonsense to think that only the wicked suffer on this earth; it might be well otherwise. (Reminiscent of the parable of the rich and Lazarus).
Eliphaz (22) replies that men cannot please God; that God doesn't care whether we are righteous. He states that if Job had been pious, he would not be in that position (Job 22:4). That God is "charging" against Job. He argues that Job's wickedness is great and his sins are "endless". He accuses Job of having taken the clothes of the needy, sending them empty. "You gave no water to the weary and withheld food for the hungry". "You sent widows away empty-handed and broke the strength of the fatherless. That is why you’re suffering..." He claims that this is the reason why Job is suffering. He accuses Job and then he exhorts him to come back to Him.
Job (23:2-7) wishes he could find God in Person. He is sure that, before him, God would not present charges against him. He has faith that He would listen to him, without reproach, but he says he can’t. "If I go to the east, He is not there; when He works in the north, I do not realize". Job 23:10: "But He knows the way that I take, where He has tested me, I will come forth as gold". Job states that since he started seeking God, he has never departed from God's ways (Job 23:11-12). He asserts that despite this, God can do whatever He pleases. Job fears God and is terrified of him. Job states that the wicked despise light; they call light darkness and they call darkness light, yet they are on this earth cursed and they are like foam on the surface of water (Job 24). The grave "snatches away" those who have sinned. "For a little while, they are exalted, and then, they are gone".
Bildad (Job 25:4-6) rhetorically asserts that a human being cannot be upright, nor righteous, nor pure; and he adds that "even the heaven is not bright and the stars are not pure" in God's eyes.
Job replies that what we know of him is a faint whisper of him (Job 26). Job states that he will never utter lies by denying God or by denying his integrity (Job 27). If he had been a liar, he would accept it and tell the truth, but that wasn’t the case. If he said he was a liar, he would lie. "I will teach you about the ways of God; the ways of the Almighty I will not conceal". Job 28:12-13: Job asserts that there is no wisdom to be found in the land of the living. 28:15: Money cannot buy wisdom. Job (28:21) states that wisdom was hidden from the eyes of every living thing. 28:23: God only knows where wisdom lies, because He sees everything (Job 28:24). "The fear of the Lord is wisdom; and to shun evil, that is understanding" (Job 28:28).
Job (29): Job longs for the past days in which he felt the presence of God closely taking care of him; "when God's intimate friendship blessed my house; when the Almighty was still with me".  29:12: Job misses the days in which people respected him because of the things he had done for the poor: he had helped the needy, the widow, the stranger and the sick. He had rose up for justice defending their cause against the wicked. 29:18-20: Job had previously thought that his glory would never fade... People regarded him with honor and admired him; he used to comfort mourning people. Now it’s very different (Job 30): youngsters mock Job and even spit into his face. He is dishonored and ridiculed. "My dignity is driven away as if wind", and so his security. Job says God threw him to the mud. Job cries out to God but feels that He is not answering him -- that He is only looking at him (Job 30:20). Job remembers when he wept for those in trouble and grieved for the poor (Job 39:25); "Yet, when I hoped for good, evil came" (Job 30:26). Job testifies that he has cried out for help among the assembly (3:28-), but he only has "become a brother" of jackals and owls, and his illness is so deeply afflicting his body (Job 30:30) that his song has become a lament (Job 30:31).
Job 31: Job says he set his heart not to sin after women. He states God will repay the wicked with everlasting disaster for their wrong doing. Rethorically asserts that God sees every single step. Job then constructs the argument: "If I have sinned, let me be severely judged" and developes on it. He states that if he has treated people with partiality or inequality, he is to be judged. But still, he asks God to uncover his innocence. Job asks God to be his defense. Job says he hasn’t departed from God, even unto that day. Job remembers he has helped the poor, the needy, the widow, the orphan and the stranger (SEE whole chapter).
(Job 32): The three of Job's friends stopped arguing with Job, because he continued to be righteous in his own eyes. Elihu, the young one, became very angry against Job, for justifying himself rather than God - and he grew angry against his friends, for they comdemned Job but could not refute him. Job 32:6 Elihu says that he has expected more wisdom than old men (so he starts trying to refute Job). He states that the spirit of God is the one from which understanding comes from. Elihu expresses his eagerness to speak and says "I will tell you what I know". He says he won't flatter or be partial, for he says he fears God. Job 33: Elihu questions Job because he said he was pure. Says that God responds to no one's words. Elihu claims angels intercede on man's behalf and only then their prayer can be heard. Elihu says he only wants to vindicate Job and teach him wisdom. Job 34: Job starts to accuse Job of wrong-speaking. Job is accused of being friend of wicked men. Elihu states that God repays in this life all the bad and good deeds. Elihu believes Job has accused God of evil-doing. Elihu proclaims that God is just and impartial. Then he says that God prevents wicked rulers to rule in this world. He states that human deeds, whether good or bad, do not affect God in any sense (Job 35:5-8). "Job opens his mouth with empty talk, without knowledge", he claims (Job 35:12). 36:4: "One who has perfect knowledge is with you". In Job 36:8, he says that “the ones exalted are exalted by God, and the ones afflicted are afflicted because they have sinned". Elihu believes in the theology of prosperity (Job 36:11) even though he states he states that we shouldn't be enticed by riches. Elihu recognizes God's greatness is beyond understanding[goose_sou1] .
God then speaks to Job in a storm (Job 38). God says Job obscured His plan speaking with words without knowledge (Job 38:2). God starts teaching Job that He has taken care of His creation from the beginning of it. God teaches Job that the wicked also suffer on this earth (Job 38:15). God teaches that He takes care of the weather and of the places and animals not seen by Job. Even for them, God provides food and takes care of their babies. God provides freedom and strength for the animals too (Job 39). How much more for human beings? God has foreseen the weaknesses and strengths of His Creation. He limited the power of some (he uses the ostrich, which is not very smart, as an example), but also endowed them with other great gifts (the ostrich is even faster than a horse and a rider). God has known, foreseen and cared for every detail of His creation.
God says that Job has argued with the Maker and accused the Almighty, and He demands him to answer (Job 40:2). Job confesses it and repents, by shutting up (Job 40:4-5). God still rebukes Job: "Would you discredit my justice?; Would you condemn me to justify yourself?" (Job 40:8). God rethorically states He does humbles the proud and crushes the wicked. God states that Job's justice and his work against wicked things is not enough to stand before Him (40:14) cause humans cannot be saved by his works of justice. God can easily control and subdue even the greatest of the creatures: Behemot. And Leviatan (Job 41), whose pride and strength is subdued by God. No one dares to challenge such a creature; the same way, no person should dare to challenge God. "Everything made under heaven belongs to God" (Job 41:11).
Job 42:1-4: Job confesses his theological errors, his mistaken interpretation of things and of God’s care, acknowledging that he spoke without understanding. He states that God "can do all things". He confesses his sin, by saying, "I certainly spoke of things I did not understand". Job repents (45:5-6): "My ears have heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes".
42:7: God states that He is angry at Eliphaz and his two friends for they did not speak the truth about Him, like Job (who indeed had been God’s servant!). God was angry because they did not speak righteously about God (Job 42:8). God then tells them to bring sacrifice so that judgement upon them is withheld; and God says Job will intercede for them, in order for them to be restored. (God wouldn’t listen to the prayers of the friends until they His wrath is withhold).
Job 42:10: Following Job's prayer for his friends, Job was restored and his possessions were multiplied even more than at the beginning. His former acquaintances came to him and consoled him and each of them gave him a present of silver and gold. Job had children again. His daughters were the most beautiful women on the land, and they received inheritance from their father. Job lived 140 years and had grandchildren and grandgrandchildren, whom he saw. 

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