Categories
Theology

Does It Matter if Job Was a Real Person?

The issue of whether the biblical character Job is a “real person” or not is not a Christian essential. It is not necessary that Job be a real, historical person for the book to have its proper theological and practical influence. Why? Simply, some literary genres can communicate what God desires without referencing actual historical events.

The fact that Job may not be a “real person” should not bring doubt upon the inspiration and authority of God’s word in the book. If God is the sovereign, divine author behind Scripture, and he chose to include Job in his self-revelation as a wisdom parable, not “history,” then it’s still authoritative and beneficial to God’s people. The theological truths in Job (particularly God’s sovereignty, mystery, power, perfection, etc.) are not eliminated if the book is a parable, for they are still confirmed in other parts of Scripture. Doubting Job’s personal historicity is not the same as doubting Adam’s personal historicity, for example. Doubting the latter would generate quite a dilemma as it concerns the origin of man, the fall, and Christ as the Second Adam. In other words, doubting Adam would seriously undermine other parts of Scripture (particularly Rom. 5). Doubting Job would not present the same type of theological problems.

Where am I at on the issue? In the end, it seems best to me that based on the references to Job elsewhere in Scripture (Ez. 14:14, 20; James 5:11) and the various historical references in the book (e.g. Job 1:1) that Job should be understood as a real, historical person. Still, we must remember that no matter how one interprets the book (parable or history) if one believes God’s intention is behind the human author’ s activity, then Job, like the other 65 books, can be considered sufficient and authoritative.

Categories
Theology

Jesus, the Lamb of God Who Never Went Astray

I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments. (Psalm 119:176)

This verse ends the longest chapter in the Bible.  Psalm 119 is all about God’s word and the psalmist’s desire to follow it. Often he makes bold statements, as he does in verse 176, petitioning God to “seek his servant” because he “does not forget God’s commandments.”

If you read the whole chapter, however, you will notice that this is rooted in repeated requests from the psalmist for God to teach, open eyes, give mercy, give understanding, and be gracious. Our “remembrance” of God’s commands is rooted in one thing: God sovereignly and generously granting it. Thankfully, God does grant it to some.

This psalm looks forward to the Messiah, because the ability to remember God’s word and rejoice in it “like one who finds great spoil” (v. 162) was ultimately purchased by Jesus, the great treasure (Matt. 13:44) and the perfect Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). He is not just God’s servant like the psalmist; he is the Suffering Servant who took the iniquity of the sheep who have gone astray (Isa. 53:6), and he becomes our Good Shepherd and gives life to God’s flock (John 10:10). He does not simply “not forget” God’s commandments, he is the only one who has perfectly communicated God’s word, being, and character to the world (John 1:1-5; 14:5; 15:15; 17:8, 14; Heb. 1:1-3).

If you want to know, remember, and rejoice in God’s word, you must know Jesus, and all of your failures to do what God demands must be cast upon him. Run, silly sheep, and embrace your Good Shepherd.

Categories
Life

“Make Time” for Everything Else, Not the Bible

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard someone say, “I don’t make time to spend in the Word every day.”

God’s Word doesn’t go on a to-do list each day.  It is the list.  Perhaps we should “make time” for everything else we do on a daily basis instead of trying to make time for the most important thing.