Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Touching Base - Part 277

Series: The Book - Part 6
(Job 28)

This is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching is discussed outside the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.

We continue our Spring and Summer series called The Book. Over the next several months we are going to be teaching out of all the sections of the Bible and seeing how it’s put together, seeing common threads that connect the books of the Bible to make up The Book.

Last week Amanda introduced us to the Wisdom/Poetical books. Please see her Touching Base as she explained the different genre and themes we find in this section of Scripture. One thing you will note is that in this section the heart, emotion, and experiences rise to the surface. Combine that with the rich imagery of this section and you have a very engaging, relevant section of Scripture that enriches our theology. The individual seeking God is equipped with some great tools to cultivate the innermost sanctuary of the human heart.

Our text this morning is Job 28. Job probably does not need much in way of introduction but just in case read Job 1:1-12.

Before we jump in, think about the following.

To be human means to know what it is like to desire, crave, and thirst.

What desires are often at the forefront of our culture?
What does our culture say about desire?

Our big idea this morning is, Awe God, Not Stuff! Awe means to revere, value, uphold. Now think of the opposite, Awe Stuff, Not God! What is more true in our culture and why?

Text: Job 28

V.1-11 Read this section and answer the following questions.
- Is this a picture of people awing God or awing stuff?
- What is the stuff of this chapter? ( read 12-19 for the complete list)
- What imagery is the writer (Job) developing?
- Describe the effort and energy being expended?
- What image resonates with you?

Job is using the material (i.e. gold, copper) to illustrate stuff. No doubt you can make a quick list of stuff our culture goes after. But think about the stuff that is not material yet people crave. Here is my list, add to it.
• love
• acceptance
• validation
• revenge
• approval
• recognition
• success
• control
• pleasing someone

Some of what I have listed and all of what Job lists is not bad in and of itself. However, there is a problem that Job wants to point out.

V12- Note that at the summit of collecting stuff, man is left without wisdom. What is wisdom?

In the OT it involves both knowledge and the ability to direct the mind toward a full understanding of human life and toward its moral fulfillment. Wisdom is thus a special capacity, and necessary for full human living.

Do you understand the problem? People can have stuff, attain stuff, be buried in stuff but be wisdom poor.

Note where the writer leads the reader to discover the answer.

What do we learn about wisdom?

Who knows where it is?
Who embodies wisdom?
How I summarize 28:28 is, Awe God, Not Stuff!
Fear is defined as genuine faith expressed in, and animated by, a reverential awe, this is the basic meaning of the biblical idea of the fear of God.

The fear of the Lord provides a pervasive orientation throughout the Psalms and Wisdom Books. It is one of the major themes of the Poetical Books. God Himself is the true treasure.

Note that Job has been stripped down to his socks! But, he realizes that he is the richest man in the world because He has God. He doesn’t have God as a means of getting stuff. He doesn’t fear God so that God will somehow grant him a bank account full of what He desires. God Himself, by Himself, is the Treasure. And like Job points out in v.23-27, His qualifications far surpass anything we can dig out of the earth!

Take some time to reflect:

Has stuff gotten in your way of seeking the true treasure?
How do you help your kids keep stuff from becoming the ultimate treasure?
How do you know in your heart when you have crossed the line? How do you know when stuff has become an improper priority in your life?
If you were stripped down to your socks, would you feel rich?

Take some time to thank God that He Himself is the Treasure! Choose to be a 28:28 follower!

Oh ya… one more thing- If God embodies wisdom, then guess what Jesus represents? Check out 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.

If interested in joining or starting a small group contact our Director of Worship and Discipleship Amanda Van Halteren


Did you know that Job is considered the oldest book in the Bible, for a few reasons? For one, there are no priests present yet, only Job himself making sacrifices on behalf of his sons. For another, we can look at the nature of the Hebrew language it was written in. Some call it “Paleo-Hebrew”, a type of Hebrew predating that which we see in the rest of the Old Testament. In fact, some have suggested that Job might have been the first book written ever.

One controversial issue surrounding this book in recent years is whether or not Job is the story of a man who actually lived, or simply an allegory meant to help us understand the sovereignty of God (a bit like Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress).

Personally, I think he lived, and the reason for it is because of another Bible text, Ezekiel 14.14. In it, God tells Ezekiel that the peoples’ sin is so bad, that even if Noah, Daniel and Job themselves were there, their combined righteousness would be unable to save Judah and Israel! Obviously, God wouldn’t use the non-existent righteousness of a fictional character to talk about how the people could be saved.

So here, then, is another important principle to remember: Scripture always interprets Scripture! In order to best apply Scripture to our lives, we must have knowledge of its whole sweep, not just the gospels or the parts we like. Amen?


Arthur, Kay. Teach Me Your Ways: The Pentateuch (New Inductive Bible Study Series) Harvest House Publishers, 2002. ISBN: 978-0736908054. Begin at the beginning - Creation, marriage, sin, civilization. Then learn about God's continuing lovingkindness and faithfulness to His covenant people, even when they let Him down.

Geisler, Norman L., and Thomas A. Howe. When Critics Ask : A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992.

Grudem, Wayne et al. Understanding the Big Picture of the Bible: A Guide to Reading the Bible Well (p. 40). Crossway. Kindle Edition.)

Koukl, Greg. How Does the Old Testament Law Apply to Christians today? Available at the Stand to Reason website at

Longman III, Tremper. Making Sense of the Old Testament. Baker Books, 1998. Answers 3 questions: What are the keys to understanding the OT? Is the God of the OT also the God of the NT? How is the Christian to apply the OT to life?

Redford, Douglas. The Pentateuch. (Vol. 1, Standard Reference Library: Old Testament). Cincinnati, OH: Standard Publishing, 2008.

Schreiner, Thomas. 40 Questions about Christians and Biblical Law. Kregel Publications, 2010. (ISBN 978-0825438912) – all that Law… what still applies to us? What doesn’t? Why or why not?

Zacharias, Ravi and Vince Vitale. Why Suffering?: Finding Meaning and Comfort When Life Doesn't Make Sense. FaithWords, 2014.

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