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Bible Insights

Job’s Conclusion

A common lament of Job throughout the story bearing his name is his begging God to answer his pleas. However, it seems that Job (and his friends) are too busy talking to give God a chance. When God does respond, Job’s friends are rebuffed, and Job’s righteousness is affirmed.

Now we can read Job’s conclusion to the entire matter.

Job’s brief reply to God’s discourse is humble and contrite. After acknowledging God’s complete knowledge (omniscience) and total power (omnipotence), Job unabashedly admits:

“I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” This is Job’s conclusion to his ordeal. May we follow his example.

With all of our knowledge and assumed understanding of God and his ways, I think that Job’s words are more often an appropriate and accurate posture then for us to assuredly spout our religious opinions (theology) as if they were fact.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Job 40-42, and today’s post is on Job 42:3.]

Discover more about Job in Peter’s book I Hope in Him: 40 Insights about Moving from Despair to Deliverance through the Life of Job. In it, we compare the text of Job to a modern screenplay.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Consider Job’s Daughters

A Refreshing Perspective

At the conclusion of the book of Job, God blesses him even more than before. One of the blessings mentioned is that Job has ten children. Seven are sons and three are daughters. Let’s look into Job’s daughters.

What is interesting is that in an age when sons are revered and daughters are essentially ignored, righteous Job elevates his daughters.

It is Job’s daughters who the Bible mentions by name, not his sons.

Additionally, Job grants his daughters an inheritance, along with their brothers.

This is a counter-cultural move—and one that I think pleases God greatly.

May we do the same.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Job 40-42, and today’s post is on Job 42:13-15.]

Discover more about Job in Peter’s book I Hope in Him: 40 Insights about Moving from Despair to Deliverance through the Life of Job. In it, we compare the text of Job to a modern screenplay.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Job: Fact or Fiction?

Among those who care about such things there is a debate as to the veracity of the story of Job. Succinctly, was Job a real person or is the book about him a work of fiction?

Supporting evidence that Job wasn’t a real person:

  • Job is not mentioned in any of the historical books of the Bible and only referred to once outside of the book bearing his name.
  • Job was “blameless and upright” (Job 1:1). And despite being afflicted, he “did not sin” (Job 1:22 & 2:10). Since only God is without sin, this characterization is false. Although it could also be hyperbole, a practice that occurs elsewhere in the Bible.

Supporting evidence that Job was a real person:

  • God, as recorded by the prophet Ezekiel, refers to Job along with Daniel and Noah (Ezekiel 14:19-20). Surely, if Job was fictional, God would not mention him in the same context as two people who did live (for whom there is biblical support).
  • In that same passage, God testifies that Job was righteous. It seems unlikely that God would so affirm a fictitious person as righteous.

So was Job a real person or not? Was his story fact or fiction?

The answers to these questions will never be fully resolved, but for me it doesn’t matter. Whether he is real or imagined, whether his story is fact or fiction, Job’s account is part of God’s inspired word. So regardless we can learn from it, be inspired by it, and be strengthened in our faith because of it.

Arguing about its origin is only a distraction from the truth that in contains.

May the Bible’s account of Job teach us and point us to God.

Discover more about Job in Peter’s book I Hope in Him: 40 Insights about Moving from Despair to Deliverance through the Life of Job. In it, we compare the text of Job to a modern screenplay.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

When Was the Book of Job Written?

Earlier I wondered if Job was real person or a fictional character. Despite support for both perspectives, my conclusion was that it doesn’t really matter. We can learn from him regardless if his life is a fictitious or historical account.

Another debated question, which is without definitive answer, is when was Job written? While some say that it was an early book of the Bible—perhaps even the first—this conclusion is more speculative than evidentiary.

Regarding this, let me make two observations:

First, there are significant thematic parallels between the books of Job and Ecclesiastes, specifically regarding the brevity of life and futility of living.

Second, the books of Job and Song of Songs have a similar construction, which is not found anywhere else in the Bible. Each is heavy in dialogue—almost exclusively so—reading like a screenplay.

The books of Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs were both written by King Solomon. Because the book of Job shares a similar construction and theme, perhaps Solomon also wrote Job.

Knowing when Job was written doesn’t really matter either, but it is an intriguing thought to consider that perhaps King Solomon is the author.

Discover more about Job in Peter’s book I Hope in Him: 40 Insights about Moving from Despair to Deliverance through the Life of Job. In it, we compare the text of Job to a modern screenplay.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Four Lessons from Job about Devotion to God

Job Professes His Spiritual Practices

The words of Job’s friend Eliphaz fail to comfort him. Instead they stir up anger. With a friend who speaks like Eliphaz I’d be angry too. In Job’s reply to his so-called friend, he professes what he has done to align himself with God. He claims his practices prove his devotion to his Lord.

Job Follows God

Job says that he follows closely behind God. It’s as if he walks in God’s shadow, placing each step in the footprint of his Lord. With intention he trails after God, focusing on staying right behind him.

Job Resists Distractions

Job follows God with unswerving dedication. He keeps his eyes fixed on God, walking in his path. Job does not look to his left or to his right. He tunes out worldly distractions so he can remain steadfast in keeping aligned with God, going everywhere that God goes.

Job Obeys God’s Commands

Next Job says that he keeps the commands of God. He listens to what God says and follows his words with unswerving commitment. It’s as if Job pauses in expectation for God to speak. Then he immediately obeys him, doing everything he says to do.

Job Treasures God’s Words

Job ends his testimony saying that he values God’s words more than food. Though we might think this refers to the written Word of God, the Bible, it does not. Job likely lives in a time before the Scriptures existed. This means Job treasures the spoken words of God.

Job would rather feed his soul by listening to God then feed his body by eating food. For Job to hear God speak, Job must remain in close relationship with him.

There is nothing we can do to earn God’s favor. He loves us regardless of what we do or don’t do. Click To Tweet

The Outcome of Job’s Devotion

Job is a man who carefully follows God with singular focus, obeying him and valuing everything he says. It’s an example of godly devotion we will do well to follow.

You’d think that for Job’s dedication, God would bless him and keep him from discomfort. Yet for this time in Job’s life, he is in much distress and God’s blessings are absent in his life. Though a positive and pleasant outcome await Job, it’s far removed from his present life.

This is a hard reality to accept and to comprehend. Yet there are two things we must remember. First, God is Sovereign and can do whatever he wants.

We must accept this truth even if we don’t like it.

Second, there is nothing we can do to earn God’s favor. He loves us regardless of what we do or don’t do. In the end, we, like Job, will see God’s blessing and reward. Until then we should follow Job’s example of devotion to our Lord.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Job 21-24, and today’s post is on Job 23:11-12.]

Discover more about Job in Peter’s book I Hope in Him: 40 Insights about Moving from Despair to Deliverance through the Life of Job. In it, we compare the text of Job to a modern screenplay.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

God Speaks to Job…and to Us

When God Speaks, We Must be Ready to Listen

Job’s friends come to comfort him. At least that’s how it appears, but in actuality they’re not much help. Their words assault Job and his character. In exasperation Job goes on a sarcastic rant against his so-called friends and then becomes poetic as he contemplates God’s power.

He ends this part of his discourse by saying, “Who then can understand the thunder of his power?” (Job 26:14).

Job uses thunder to imply God. That’s a powerful metaphor.

Today, we have a scientific explanation for thunder. And even though we comprehend thunder in an intellectual way, it still produces an all-inspiring sound that gets our attention.

Imagine how the ancient world viewed thunder: booming, terrifying, powerful, unseen. It might be as close as they can come to comprehending God. Yet even this falls short, far short.

Like thunder, God is both powerful and unseen. Who can understand that? Also, like thunder, God can have a booming loudness. And he can be terrifying, too.

Yet in contrast, God can also be a still small voice, a gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:12). Which is it?

Both.

God Speaks to Job

Job is in the midst of unimaginable turmoil, of unbearable pain. Everything has been taken from him, except for his breath and his faith—and both of those are tenuous.

He seeks God for answers. He desires to hear God talk and explain what has been happening. He likely wants to hear the booming voice of God to assure him who’s in control and that there’s a purpose in all he has gone through.

In addition, if God spoke in a loud booming voice, not only would Job hear, but so would his unhelpful friends. God would put them in their place, or so Job hopes.

And, later, when God does speak to Job, it’s out of the storm (Job 38:1). And what accompanies a storm? Thunder, loud, booming, terrifying—both God and the storm.

When God speaks, are we listening? Click To Tweet

God Speaks to Elijah

When Elijah has his moment of doubt, he also waits for God to speak. First there’s a wind. Then an earthquake. And finally a fire. But God isn’t in those things. God isn’t loud, booming, or terrifying. Instead he is a gentle whisper. And when God’s whisper comes, Elijah is ready to listen (1 Kings 19:11-13).

God Speaks to Us

God can speak to us in many ways. Sometimes it’s loud and other times it’s soft. Maybe God speaks to us through nature, or friends, or circumstances. Through it all, God speaks to us.

The question is, are we listening?

[Read through the Bible this year. Today’s reading is Job 25-28, and today’s post is on Job 26:14.]

Discover more about Job in Peter’s book I Hope in Him: 40 Insights about Moving from Despair to Deliverance through the Life of Job. In it, we compare the text of Job to a modern screenplay.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

What Can We Do to Help Others?

Discover Ten Reasons Why People Speak Well of Job

Job had everything and he lost it all. He can’t figure out what happened or why God seems so distant. Though enduring hard times, he asserts he has done nothing wrong. To reinforce this claim of right behavior, he says that everyone who heard of him has good things to say. They commend him.

Here’s why:

1. Job Rescued People Who Asked for Help

When people in trouble ask for our help, how do we react? It’s easy to come to the aid of friends, but what about strangers?

2. Job Aided Orphans

God has a special place in his heart for those without parents. When we help orphans, we benefit them and honor God at the same time.

3. Job Brought Joy to Widows

In addition to orphans, God also wants to make sure widows received care. Though their plight today isn’t as detrimental as it was then, we do need to be intentional to help widows in need.

4. Job Behaved Rightly

Following Job’s example, we can do the right thing every day. It should be part of who we are and how we act. The Bible calls this righteousness.

5. Job Became Eyes for the Blind

We should help those who can’t see. What can we do to make their life a little bit easier?

6. Job Became Feet to Those Who Couldn’t Walk

Likewise, we should assist those who struggle with mobility issues. What can we do to help them?

7. Job Was a Father to Those in Need

To those with unmet needs, we can be like a father—a loving, gracious father—to help them out.

8. Job Pursued Justice

We can pursue justice for the oppressed and help them find relief from their oppressors.

9. Job Opposed Evil

Evil is all around us. Do we ignore it, or do we oppose it?

10. Job Rescued Victims from Evil

When evil exists, victims result. What can we do to rescue victims from their plight?

What can we do to help someone today? Pick one thing today and pursue it. Click To Tweet

Moving Forward

This is a long list, an endless amount of need for us to address. Jesus said we’ll always have the poor with us, but that fact isn’t an excuse to ignore them. Though these needs could overwhelm us, we should do what we can to help those around us. Pick one thing today and pursue it.

What can we do to help someone today?  

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Job 29-32, and today’s post is on Job 29:11-17.]

Discover more about Job in Peter’s book I Hope in Him: 40 Insights about Moving from Despair to Deliverance through the Life of Job. In it, we compare the text of Job to a modern screenplay.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Why Do We Love God? When Do We Love Him?

We Must Adore the Almighty Regardless of Our Circumstances

It’s easy to love God when things go well. When our lives are great and we receive his blessings, we can thank him, praise him, and appreciate his goodness. It’s easy to love him when life is good.

However, life isn’t always so good. Sometimes our lives are a mess. When we don’t receive God’s blessings or experience his favor, do we still love him? We should, but our situation makes it much harder. In fact, for some people hardship turns their love of the Almighty into blaming him.

Although understandable, this isn’t right.

Love God Because

When we love our Creator during the good times, we may be loving him because of what he’s done for us. We love him for his favor. We love him for his blessings. We love him because he’s benevolent.

Love God Despite

But when we’re going through difficult times, we must love him too. This is much harder to do, but we must press forward to love him, despite our circumstances. He deserves our love regardless of our situation.

How Does Job Relate to God?

In the Bible, Job, at first, has every reason to love his Creator because of what he did for Job. And when it’s all taken away from Job, he has every reason to turn from God and blame him. But he doesn’t.

Despite what Job goes through, he doesn’t blame God. Click To Tweet

Though the Bible doesn’t say that Job loves God, it does imply this when we see Job steadfastly affirming God for who he is, despite the turmoil he undergoes. This isn’t a gushy, emotional love.

It’s an intentional, push-through-the-hard-times effort to give God what he deserves: our resolute devotion despite our circumstances.

Job’s wife condemns him for maintaining his affirmation of God, his love for his creator. She says, “To end your suffering, just curse God and then die (Job 2:9). Job doesn’t agree. Despite what he’s going through, he doesn’t blame God (Job 1:22 and Job 2:10).

Though the way we show God we love him may vary with our circumstances, we must always love him. It’s easy to love him because of what he does for us, but we must also love him despite what we’re going through.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Job 1-4, and today’s post is on Job 2:9.]

Discover more about Job in Peter’s book I Hope in Him: 40 Insights about Moving from Despair to Deliverance through the Life of Job. In it, we compare the text of Job to a modern screenplay.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Peter DeHaan News

Peter DeHaan Releases Second Box Set

The Dear Theophilus series Books 1 through 5

The first five books in the popular Dear Theophilus series are now available in a convenient e-book box set. This Dear Theophilus box set includes:

  • Dear Theophilus: A 40-Day Devotional Exploring the Life of Jesus through the Gospel of Luke
  • Dear Theophilus Acts: 40 Devotional Insights for Today’s Church
  • Dear Theophilus Isaiah: 40 Prophetic Insights about Jesus, Justice, and Gentiles
  • Dear Theophilus Minor Prophets: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope
  • Dear Theophilus Job: 40 Insights About Moving from Despair to Deliverance
Dear Theophilus Books 1-5: Exploring Luke, Acts, Isaiah, the Minor Prophets, and Job

In Dear Theophilus Books 1–5: Exploring Luke, Acts, Isaiah, Job, and the Minor Prophets, lifetime student of the Bible and ABibleADay.com founder, Peter DeHaan, PhD., digs deep into the beloved Gospel of Luke to unearth 40 thought-provoking gems that can inform your beliefs and transform your life.

Next, he builds on that foundation by exploring 40 more jewels from the book of Acts.

Then, he examines Isaiah, the Minor Prophets, and the book of Job for 120 more nuggets of gold.

In this five-book box set treasure, you’ll discover:

  • The way Luke viewed God, and how his view might change your view
  • How Jesus’s followers in Acts met daily in people’s homes and public spaces, which ignited church growth
  • The parallels between the books of Isaiah and Revelation, about peace, woe, and salvation
  • The Minor Prophets’ place in the biblical timeline—because the Bible doesn’t list them chronologically
  • How the book of Job resembles a play and the way that can enlighten our understanding of suffering, Satan, and God’s sovereignty.

The Dear Theophilus series explores Scripture like you’ve never seen before. It’s part devotional, part bible study, and fully life changing.

Explore the powerful way the words of these books of the Bible can speak to you today, as you increase your understanding and grow in faith.

In Dear Theophilus Books 1–5, you’ll encounter eye-opening insights from passages you thought were familiar. Find fresh truths as you gain a broader appreciation of what the Bible says and how this ancient book is still relevant for us today.

Ideal for both individual and group study, these books includes Scripture references and questions inviting further discussion.

Get the Dear Theophilus Books 15 box set today to deepen your understanding of Jesus and his church.

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Peter DeHaan News

New Book Releases: Dear Theophilus Job

Dear Theophilus Series, Book 5

Peter DeHaan’s latest book Dear Theophilus Job is now available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover. It’s book five in the beloved Dear Theophilus series.

In Dear Theophilus Job you can explore the book of Job as if watching a movie, with the biblical text serving as our screenplay. It’s a fresh take on an ageless story, breathing new life into one of the Bible’s more perplexing tales.

Consider:

Do your eyes glaze over when you read the book of Job?

Are Job’s friends too pompous? Is God a bit aloof? Can you push through all the lengthy speeches? Does Satan have too much control over poor Job? If you cry “foul,” you’re not alone. It doesn’t seem fair.

Job doesn’t have to be boring, however. But to access its profound message requires adopting a fresh approach. It calls for pursuing a unique take to embrace this ancient story.

I Hope in Him: 40 Insights about Moving from Despair to Deliverance through the Life of Job

What if we read Job like a screenplay?

In Dear Theophilus, Job, founder of ABibleADay.com and lifetime student of the Bible Peter DeHaan, PhD, digs deep into the dialogue in the book of Job. By doing so he reveals heart-thumping drama, misguided do-gooders, and heretical notions about God that still exist today.

In Dear Theophilus, Job, you’ll discover:

  • That the book of Job resembles a play and how that can inform our understanding
  • How well-meaning people can misrepresent God
  • A glimpse into the heart of our Lord
  • That life isn’t fair, but God is
  • The way Job questions the Almighty and lives to talk about it

Part devotional. Part Bible study. No fluff. Totally life changing.

In book five of the Dear Theophilus series, you get all this and more: Thought-provoking insights about justice, mercy, and deliverance. God’s power, patience, and sovereignty. And don’t overlook the guile of evil Satan.

End with a greater appreciation of how the book of Job can inform your actions and attitudes today. May it change you and inspire you.

Buy Dear Theophilus Job today and move from despair to deliverance!

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.