Alfred Place Baptist Church

1:1 The Book of Job: 1. An Introduction

1. WHY SHOULD PREACHERS SPEAK ON THE BOOK OF JOB?

i] I have a conviction that all Christians during the course of their lifetime ought to come under the authority and sanctifying influences of every part of the Bible. In other words, during our lives we should hear every verse in the Bible preached to us. That is why God has given the Book to us. Men and women deprived of expository preaching must compensate for that by their reading and by listening to taped sermons. This congregation has never heard a series of sermons on Job and the time to make up for that deficiency has come.

ii] I’ve been asked to speak on the book. Some of you have said over the years why don’t I preach through Job? It is significant what impact quite casual questions, or comments on hymns and prayers, have on a minister, but especially encouragements given on preaching.

iii] It is a response to the daunting challenge of the book. Trying to preach through Job will no doubt not only leave me exhilarated but break me and give me some discouragements. I shall periodically feel a failure and rue the day I ever began to preach through it. I plead for your patience. It is easy to make the first sermon in any series gripping. A novice can do that by merely sowing seeds of hope. The book of Job is certainly a unique challenge to the preacher. Consider its structure – the first two chapters are in prose, but then it’s poetry virtually all the way through until the last chapter or so. It is narrative at the beginning and the end, but there is in our minds as we read it and as I have to preach on it that big ‘sag’ in the middle where one is confronted with about seventeen consecutive speeches short and long, mainly long. That structure results in most ministers preaching on the first few chapters and then leaping far like another Jonathan Edwards to the conclusion. Rev. Joseph Caryl, a London minister of the 17th century, preached 424 messages on the entire book, and in the last one, after years of toiling exegesis, he acknowledged, ‘I have not attained so clear an understanding of some of the passages’. So, fools rush in …

iv] There are great truths that are only revealed in the Old Testament, the New Testament presupposing them and so not repeating what is revealed in those 39 books. For example, the details of the creation of the world are only found in the OT, the creation of man, the fall of man, the existence of Satan and his activities, the covenant of common grace with Noah, the attributes of God, the fascinating details of the old covenant economy. The Old Testament tells us more of these things than the New Testament.

How important the Scriptures of the Old Testament are. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God: He cannot say anything wrong: He says, “I am the truth.” He also says things like: “the scripture cannot be broken;” “Search the scriptures for they testify of me;” He introduces verses from the Bible in his battle against sin and Satan with these three solemn words, “it is written”.

The book of Job is referred to just once in the New Testament, at the end of the book of James where the author presumes that all his readers know about the patience of Job. The apostle Paul teaches that all scripture is God breathed, so this book of Job too has been breathed out by him. God has taken great pains to write it for us. When I get to heaven and meet with Job, will I commiserate with him and rejoice with him, and tell him that we went through his experience with him? “What a help your faith and life became to a congregation of Christians in Wales many many generations after your day?”

v] Men have spoken earnestly to me of the value of sermons on this book, that is, pastors who have preached through the book have said how much their listeners were encouraged by its lessons. “One of the most helpful series I ever preached on,” someone said to me. I have read the opening of a little book on Job called “How Does God Treat His Friends?” (Christian Focus, 1995) by Bob Fyall, who is a lecturer in the University of Durham. I learned that that book started off as a number of talks given at Durham University Christian Union, where, he claims, the students were fascinated by the message of the book of Job. That encouraged me to think that the same response could be forthcoming with our autumn congregation with its sprinkling of students, but that will depend on the blessing of the Spirit, and my own skill too.

vi] Students of the Bible have praised the book of Job, claiming it as one of the grandest portions of Scripture, and a storehouse of comfort and instruction. Somebody made the statement that Job is to the OT what Romans is to the NT. But we would be surprised at that assessment. For most of us it is one of the mysterious books of Scripture.

vii] Another reason why this book is relevant to all men is the very events we have lived through in this unforgettable week. Job begins with these five words: “In the land of Uz”. No one knows where Uz is, but it is not in Israel, the community of the promise. It is not in the Old Covenant land flowing with milk and honey. So it might as well be anywhere in the world. Uz could be Aberystwyth, or a suburb of New York – Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island, the Bronx … and Uz. Just imagine there is a man living there and his name is Mr.. Job. He’s a believer in God, a great guy, wealthy and good living. He’s got all his savings, his office and his work in the World Trade Center, Manhattan. One of his sons works there, another works in the Pentagon in Washington, and a daughter works as an American Airlines stewardess. This past week terrible things have happened to Mr.. Job, his business and savings have all been destroyed in the World Trade Center. His son who worked there has been killed. Another son, who works in the Pentagon, has also been killed when a terrorist plane hit that building too. His daughter was a stewardess on one of those planes, and she is dead too. Next week he’s going to be desperately ill with an awful skin complaint, so that he’s going to be covered in boils. His wife is, at the end of all these horrors, going to turn against him, and say “how can you be a Christian? How can you say that God is a loving God when these things happen? Death is better than this.” Then, after a brief respectful silence, people are going to be visiting him, ringing him non-stop, Emailing him, and send him little text messages. They are going to say constant unhelpful things to him, that really it’s because of something in him that all this has happened – some inadequacy, some evil, some secret sin, and that he has to confess it. “That’s why it has happened to you.”

I’m talking about an imaginary man, of course, but we all can identify, in some way with such a Mr. Job and his angst, when the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune smite us. We know that in thousands of homes today there’s just an awful grief, and an empty chair. You might know of the moving monument to the two hundred people killed by the bomber in Oklahoma City. It is a sculpture of empty chairs. We know that chair where Mamma would sit, where Dad sat. In Oklahoma City there is one for every person murdered. Job looked at ten empty chairs. Grief permeates many homes today in England as well as New York. Why were those loved ones taken? Some of them were devout believers – one of the pilots of the planes who was forced out of his cockpit seat over New York last week was an earnest Christian, raising and nurturing his children to know the Lord of grace. It could have been one of our fathers here, but why did it happen to him? Why has he been taken, with all the promise, righteousness, kindness and richness of his unique life as a servant of God? The book of Job looks at that problem: the patriarch loses his possessions, children, and health. His own wife turns against him, and when four of his friends come they compound his pain. Why?

Job loves God, and God loves him, acknowledging Job to be a righteous man. Why does God treat him the way he does? That is a real question, isn’t it? It is always raised at the time of tragedies. In 1966 on October 21st, a vast tip of millions of tons of stone and colliery waste resting on a mountainside, and lubricated by heavy rain, slid down the hill at considerable velocity slamming into the village school of Aberfan killing 144 people, mostly children. There was that IRA bomb in Omagh killing, maiming and ruining the lives of many. There was the cruel death of Lady Di in a road tunnel in Paris. There are wars in Bosnia, west Africa and Palestine. There are Christians not getting their heart’s desire, not able to have children, contracting illnesses, men facing sudden redundancy, the wretched husband who walks out on a Christian wife, leaving her and the four children. There is a child who runs out into the street and gets knocked down by a car. Joni Earekson dived off a raft into a lake thinking the water was deep, but it wasn’t and she becomes a paraplegic. Why do such things happen?

Such suffering isn’t focused on horrific events 3,000 miles to the west of us across the Atlantic, it is our country’s question too, and all of us can be affected by fearful providences. Some members of this church will never again sit here with us because of the illnesses that they are bearing so very bravely. Another empty chair. Why? Why them? Why are we here while they are not? Am I less of a sinner? Why has God allowed it? Such questions must erupt again and again on our pilgrimage through life. Can the Book of Job help us? If it can, then what a book it would turn out to be. Job was true believer and here is God’s inspired commentary on the issue of believers who suffer. Maybe in one sentence in one sermon there will be a truth that will just be the key to open up a puzzling part of your life. Maybe some light will be given, and that’s all you need. That will be enough. I pray it will be so. Or something I’ve already said today might be that help.

viii] There are great benefits for the Christian life to be gained from studying Job. William Henry Green lists a number of these in his book, “Conflict and Triumph: The Argument of Job Unfolded” which has been recently republished by the Banner of Truth:
# To drive us to God so that we will learn always to take refuge in him.
# To train us for the Christian warfare.
# To intensify our hatred of sin.
# To add to our knowledge of ourselves.
# To lead us to growth in grace.
# To wean us from love for this world.
# To heighten our future glory.
# To testify to the glory of God’s grace.

ix] Another reason to study the book of Job is the variety of Biblical themes that it contains. Here are ten such themes, some of which have been drawn to our attention by Dr Peter Masters:

a] the absolute necessity of having the Scripture as an explanation of what life is all about. Our experience, limited to human observation, is utterly inadequate to make sense of who we are and what this world is all about. The wisdom of the greatest men in the world and the traditions that have been handed down to us by them in their novels, essays and philosophies, and all natural religion, are together utterly inadequate in answering the questions, “How can man know God? What must I do to inherit eternal life? How can I know God for myself? Can I trust him? What must I do to be saved? How then shall we live?” To answer such questions you must have special revelation from heaven. You must have the Bible in order to understand what life is all about.

b] God is sovereign in the affairs of men, over everything that happens to us, across the entire complexity of the lives of people in our congregation and outside of it in the surrounding community.

c] Again, what sort of God is the living and true God? He is wise, powerful, just and glorious. Matthew Henry claims that God is not revealed with greater clarity, fullness, reverence and eloquence anywhere in the Bible as he is in the Book of Job.

d] The book of Job is important because it shows us we have an adversary, an enemy who wants to destroy us, that there’s a dark power, a spirit of wickedness in high places which is involved and manipulative in our world. That fact will explain in part why men will take knives onto planes and stab air stewardesses whom they have never met before, binding them, and then killing themselves and everybody on board the plane by flying it into a skyscraper where thousands of others are also murdered. There is something of the pit itself in that monstrous wickedness. The power of evil is immense.

e] God can use and bless suffering to strengthen His own people

f] We have to trust God implicitly, with all our hearts, and not lean on our own understanding. This God, in whom we trust, works all things together for good to them that love Him.. That’s what the Scripture says and it is the supreme lesson of this book, how Job struggled to maintain his trust in the Almighty.

g] True believers most certainly receive incredible divine energy to keep going, without murmuring. I hear it said of somebody who endures a prolonged illness with one of those ailments for which there is no cure, “I never hear her complain”. A divine power has been given to her.

h] If we depend too much on the world – the advice and opinions of the pundits and supremos, that man in the office who knows everything, the smart gang in school, the teacher who gives his opinion on everything at the drop of a hat – then we shall be in deep trouble, because four such people came to Job when he was in great difficulty, and they didn’t stop talking. They were all eloquent men but nothing they said answered the question as to why Job lost everything.

i] The last days of some men are the very best days that they ever spent in the world

j] Nothing changes concerning what are the most important things in life from one century to another. Man’s blessings and man’s problems, attacks on the Bible and the doubts they give birth to are just the same today as they were in the Book of Job. The message that God gives is the same today. That must be the case because God doesn’t change.

So, from all the above you can see the rich variety of themes that are to be found in this book.

Those, then, are some of the reasons why we are going to spend the next weeks looking at the book of Job.

2. WHO IS THE GOD OF JOB?

The God of Job is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. All men are constrained to ask this God why he brings troubles into their lives. It is pertinent to inquire why do they ask that question.

i] Firstly, all mankind has a basic conviction in their hearts that this is a reasonable world. There is order, purpose and rationality in the creation. A rock band were saying how excited they all became at hearing of the death of Lady Di in the Paris tunnel. They were disciples of anarchy. They firmly believed that there was no purpose in life; chaos alone reigned. Their music reflected that belief and also their entire lifestyles. They lived for the moment. Life had no meaning for them, and so when they saw this event they shouted with glee to one another and said, “We’ll have some more of that!” We imagine their reaction was the same concerning what has happened in New York this past week.

How different is our world and life view. We believe that there’s a reason for our existence and a purpose in living, and that that has been revealed by God to us through his prophets, apostles and Son. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him for ever. Our world has continuity; it is an understandable universe; there is design everywhere. That comes from the fact that there is a Designer, and that Designer has made himself known. He is a glorious God, and His power and Godhead are evident wherever we look, through a microscope or a telescope. This world is not grasped by meaninglessness. My life is not a tale of sound and fury meaning nothing. It’s not at all like that. And so, because of such convictions, we naturally ask why has such and such an event happened. We interrogate providence to keep our sanity and for our own benefit. There are given answers to our questions in such books of the Bible as Job.

ii] Secondly, the nature of God himself requires us to ask the question. Three of the facts that we know about God, highlighted by Alec Motyer’s comments on Job in his “A Scenic Route through the Old Testament” (IVP), are these:

a] GOD IS ALL WISE. Job comes to this conclusion in chapters 38 and 39. The great theme of those chapters is the wisdom of God. The Lord asks Job, you remember, many questions about the creation, the morning stars, the treasures of the snow, the bands of Orion and the wild goats of the rock.

“Were you there when I laid the earth’s foundations?” (38:4), and Job acknowledges his ignorance. Scientists know very little. They are ignorant of 99.9999% of this universe. Isaac Newton said that he felt that the breakthrough in knowledge which his own insights had given the world were as insignificant as a man picking up one pebble on the shores of a vast ocean. What do we know? An infinitesimally small amount. But God is not a man like us. He is all knowing. He is all wise, ignorant about nothing.

b] GOD IS A GOD OF PERFECT JUSTICE. God is absolutely straight. That is the theme of chapter 40, and verses 1-14. Job is questioning what he sees – he sees some disaster like the one we saw last week, two planes going into two towering skyscrapers, the towers collapsing and multitudes of men and women destroyed. Such things happen, and they had erupted in Job’s life, so that he is questioning whether God is really a God of light, of absolute integrity and justice. So God says to Job in 40:8 “Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me in order to justify yourself – your own unbelief? Would you dismiss me in order to say, ‘well I have every reason for not loving you, and not doing your will'”.

c] GOD IS A GOD OF ALMIGHTY POWER. That is the theme of the last half of chapter 40 and of chapter 41, and that’s how the book comes to an end. And what God does in order to make this truth concrete and memorable to a man who is living around the time of Abraham, 4,000 years ago, is bring to his attention two great beasts. He says to Job think of these two creatures, the first in 40:15 is the Behemoth, a sort of Jurassic Park monster: the beast of beasts. As intimidating as a dinosaur and as big as a whale, terrifying! Yet, God says in v.19, his maker can approach him. God can come right up to him, and can take out his sword and could slit his throat without any fear. God is sovereign over the greatest creatures. Think of natural powers in the universe, light and heat, nuclear power, gravity and so on. Consider authorities and powers in the world today, materialism, Islam, political power structures, capitalism and so on. God is more powerful than any of the behemoths in all creation.

To make sure we get the message God points out to Job another beast in 41:1, the Leviathan, just as awe-inspiring as the first. Men can’t touch him (v. 8). If you lay a hand on him you will remember that battle and never do it again. Imagine a rodeo cowboy getting onto the back of the Leviathan; he’d flip him up into space. He is one fearful beast. Multiply by the universe. Men know little of the creatures, powers and forces that there are in the universe today. They certainly cannot master them, but God has no problems at all. God is in control of everything from the fall of the Behemoth to the fall of the sparrow. God is the mighty one. We’d use other analogies today, we’d say God could stand in the middle of a nuclear bomb going off and not be affected in any way by that blast. He is in the midst of the Sun, in the centre of the earth and in the chilly vacuum of outer space. It all exists in him. Jesus Christ is more powerful than the greatest power sources and structures of authority in the universe. God says (41:10-11), Who then is able to stand against me? Who has a claim and I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me. Things on the earth, things under the earth, all belong to me. This is the God of the Bible.

This is the conclusion to which we are being brought by the book of Job. Whatever your problems, these facts stand utterly inviolably: God is all wise, all powerful, and all just.

We must go one step further. If we could, at this moment, just remove one of those three divine attributes, then all our human questions as to why this or that grief occurred would be comprehensively answered in the twinkling of an eye. It would solve the question as to what’s gone on this week in New York, and all the problems that arise in our own lives. If we could take away just one of these attributes of God then there would never be a book of Job, indeed never be a Bible, and Jesus Christ wouldn’t have come into the world. We wouldn’t be meeting this morning: we would all know the answer to give to the question why.

Suppose that God was wise and just – but he was lacking in power. That would then be the explanation of what happened in New York this week. God couldn’t prevent it. That is the position of Rabbi Harold Kushner. He lost a son, and the depth of his grief drove him to challenge his faith. He decided that God could not have prevented his son’s death, or the many other similar tragedies. “I can worship a God who hates suffering but cannot eliminate it, more easily than I can worship a God who chooses to make children suffer and die,” he said. He wrote a book from his experience which became a best-seller called, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” (Schocken). God is wise and just, but impotent.

Or, imagine that God was wise and powerful – but he wasn’t straight, again we’d know what happened on September 11; a malevolent God did it. Again, if God were just and powerful – but he wasn’t wise in what he allowed to happen, then we would say, “Ah well, that’s the reason. God isn’t very clever.”

Thus every problem you had in life would have an answer; there would be a pigeon hole in which to insert whatever sad providence you had known – either the absence of wisdom in God, or the absence of power in God, or the absence of justice in God would explain everything. The disaster happened because God wasn’t powerful; that illness happened because God wasn’t wise; or that heartache happened because God wasn’t straight. You would have a perfect explanation for everything, why you lost all your money in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers; why you’ve lost your sons and your daughter and the support of your wife. God is not up to the job of looking after you and looking after the world. God doesn’t have the power to do what he wants to do. He isn’t always wise. He isn’t always straight. So Job would have the explanation at his finger-tips, his wife also, and she wouldn’t waste her breath in cursing a weak deity – poor old God. His four comforters would not yaketty yak at length. The talk of God’s part in anything would all be wrapped up in a few sentences. “Let’s get on with the serious matter of therapy…” There would be no need of 42 chapters of debate and discussions centering on God. It would be so simple if God were weak, or ignorant, or malevolent. Children in school would tell us the answer in a bored voice on their way to the important things in life … like relationships.

But a stool with three legs stands firm. The pyramids have lasted millennia and will last millennia more, and these three attributes of God are not like a flimsy two-dimensional card which a puff of breath might blow down. This threefold cord is not easily broken:

(i) God is almighty. He works all things after the counsel of his own will; he does as he pleases amongst the armies of heaven and amongst the inhabitants of the earth and none can stay his hand and say what are you doing. Of God, through him and to him are all things. He is the potter, and we are clay. He makes one vessel unto honour and one to dishonour. God is all powerful, God is almighty.

(ii) God is all wise, he knows the way that I am taking and will take. He knows that each one of us would be here this morning, and he decreed this message to teach you certain truths. This is the providence that you have got to accept, he has brought you here to tell you these things, some for the first time, and to reaffirm them for many of you. He knows all about you – “Can any hide himself in a secret place and I shall not see him saith the Lord; don’t I fill the heavens and the earth, saith the Lord.” He sees the end from the beginning. God is all wise. There is nothing he does not know. You go into him and there you find absolute shrewdness, sensibility, discernment. He is the absolutely wise Lord.

(iii) God is utterly straight. The angels are virtually saying to one another Straight! Straight! Straight! Or, righteous, righteous, righteous! But, holy, holy, holy, they actually say. God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. You shine through his being the glorious light of his own omniscience and you can find nothing but absolute justice, goodness and truth.

In the end you have got to trace everything that happens in your life back to this God, back to the primary cause, the first cause of everything. If you trace it merely to things that are seen and heard, to the secondary causes of our pain – to sickness and viruses, the fallibility of men, politics, bad religion, evil actions, poorly designed buildings, incompetent mechanics, errors of judgment, or whatever, then you’ll be in trouble because they are mere secondary causes. God is greater than all of them. God could easily bypass them if he chose. Couldn’t God easily deflect the trajectory of a plane or vehicle? God could make a metal detector pick up a knife that someone was carrying onto a plane God could alert a security guard and a mission of destruction would be aborted. In the end you have to go to God, the origin of everything that touches us, yet without in any way taking away the genuine responsibility and that freedom which any true responsibility entails from me, and from you, and from all men and women. God is the sovereign initiator of everything and we are completely answerable for all our actions.

We hold those two with complete certainty, though no human mind has been given a clue as to how they can be reconciled. We all answer to our Sovereign God. Hyenas and sharks and wasps are not accountable for the pain and death they give, but men with a conscience made in God’s image are. Those two truths of his sovereignty and our responsibility are taught in the revealed Word and we cling to them both, all our lives, especially that time the phone rings with the dreaded message. In the end everything is traced back to God, to the one who is righteous and the one who is wise and the one who is great. You and I have to trust him, and that’s what Job learned in the end. He acknowledges (in 40:3) “I am unworthy, how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth, I spoke once but have no answer. Twice I’ll say no more.” When Job further speaks (in 42:3), he reveals his trust in God, “You asked who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge; surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. You said ‘listen now, and I will speak and I will question you, and you will answer me.’ My ears had heard of you and now my eyes have seen you, therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

So this book tells us how Job got to that position, and that helps you and me also to get to that destination. We’ll discover the awesome means God uses to bring Job to this conviction, to get him to trust God absolutely. That is our goal as Christians, to “trust in the Lord with all our heart, lean not to our own understanding, in all our ways acknowledge him, and he will direct our paths.” So the great contribution that Job makes is to encourage us ask the big questions. And those questions are not how can I become famous, how can I become rich, how can I get most fun in life. But they are questions like these: Can anyone know, love and serve God for what God is in himself, not because of what we get from him, and not because we can understand him. Are there men who love him and serve him just because of what the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is? He is absolutely sovereign in everything, in my losses and crosses, and also in all my million joys. And I freely live under his eyes, sustained by his power, my very breath is in his hands. Not a puppet, but a responsible creature. And as that is what ultimate reality is all about I get the goose flesh of fear before him as that truth comes to be to me the whole truth of God and myself..

The great questions I must ask are these: is it possible for us to comprehend what God is doing in his world? What are the benefits that come from knowing and serving God when some who serve him best suffer most? You ask yourself such questions, you interrogate the Bible, you ask one another, you question your minister. While there are no easy answers, there are better answers that your present ignorance. There are certainly few better questions that you can ask. Job had comforters who thought they knew these things, but all they revealed were enormous limitations. The four men discovered that they didn’t have the answers at all. Derek Thomas in his fine book on Job, “The Storm Breaks” (Evangelical Press), observes how Christians can in times of trouble pick up the book of Job and read it thinking they are going to get a quick-fix answer, but they’ve come away disturbed, and they haven’t got the answer why this particular providence has happened to them.

Job is complicated, and it is a glorious book, but its central themes are clear. It has two positive messages, one about God, that he is a righteous loving Father. The other is about the man who trusts in God, and the possibility of him enduring and following the Lord his Shepherd though he walk through the valley of the shadow of death. But the book of Job is not the Bible’s last word on suffering. This Almighty One, who is the God of Job, sent his own Son to die on the cross. The only truly innocent sufferer was Jesus Christ, and he, voluntarily, when he needn’t have suffered, humbled himself even to the death of the cross. He took extraordinary anguish, absorbing it, embracing it. Those sufferings were immediately related to the evils that Job – and you and me – have done in our lives. God ultimately entered Job’s world, and he experienced what Job suffered, death in the family and the loss of all things. Jesus, we presume, lost his own father Joseph when Jesus was a young man. But this same Jesus went on to suffer the loss of everything, his clothes are stripped from him, his back is beaten to a pulp, he is crucified and hung up on a cross. His very life is taken from him. God does not say, “But you have to spare my Son’s life!” Jesus leaves the world with nothing, and yet he keeps trusting his Father. Behold the patience of Jesus! He is able to say, “Father into thy hands I commend my spirit”.

This Jesus was there in Manhattan and Washington on Tuesday; he was with the trapped people in the building. He was present when people jumped out of the building, and with them as they fell through the air. He was with the fire-fighters as buildings fell on them, as the Port Authority men and NYPD were going about their jobs choking, breathing in thick clouds of dust, trying to rescue and help people and keep alive themselves. He is still there today and will be for ever with their families now in their grief. He still remembers all he went through. He is able, out of his great compassion, to comfort, help and strengthen us. Even when he doesn’t tell us specifically why things have happened to us as they did, refusing to satisfy all our curiosity as to his will and ways, God does give us contentment with himself, and with the knowledge that one day we’ll know much better why he dealt with us as he did.

17 September 2001 GEOFF THOMAS

RECOMMENDED BOOKS [Many of these are available through the Christian Book Shop in Aberystwyth.]

William Henry Green “Conflict and Triumph” Banner of Truth
David Atkinson “The Message of Job.” IVP.
Bill Cotton “Job: Will You Torment a Windblown Leaf?” Christian Focus
Derek Thomas “The Storm Breaks: Job Simply Explained” Evangelical Press
Gary Benfold “Why Lord? The Book of Job for Today” Day One
Robert Fyall “How Does God Treat His Friends?” Christian Focus
Don Carson “How Long O Lord?” IVP (Chapter Nine on Job)
K.J.Popma “A Battle for Righteousness” available from Jubilee Publications.
Alec Motyer “A Scenic Route through the Old Testament” IVP (especially pp. 110-112 were helpful in the above sermon).
John Calvin “Sermons on Job” (159 sermons in the 1574 Facsimile Ed.) BoT.
Joseph Caryl “Exposition of Job with Practical Observations” reprinted in 2001 in Grand Rapids after being out of print for 350 years, in 12 volumes of facsimile edition. Poor Caryl’s reputation has been savagely attacked for killing a congregation by systematic expository sermons. The facts are the very reverse. Caryl preached 424 sermons, averaging ten sermons for each chapter of the book of Job. He would preach a single sermon on Job one month and then the next month he would preach two sermons from the book, so that in all he preached no more than 18 sermons each year on Job while preaching at the same time on many other parts of the Bible. So that is the reason it took him 24 years to complete and publish his profound series on the book. The congregation thrived under his humble ministry.