Job, typical of Israel
The paradox of Job is: why does a "righteous" person need to
Consider the typical teaching of the Book of Job as a prelude
to answering that question:
- Job: sym the Law of Moses and the nation of
Israel, striving to keep that Law.
children: sym the children of Israel.
- Satan: sym
the angel that watches over Israel.
Bildad, and Zophar: sym the Arab nations descended from
- Elihu: sym the Messiah, a young man who
comes on the scene only late in the story, shows to Job and his 3 friends the
true way, and prepares Job for a greater understanding of the ways of
When Job finally repents of his self-justification, and
realizes that only God can deliver him, then he is once again blessed by God,
and that even more abundantly than before (Job 42). Likewise, Israel will do the
same (Isa 59:20; Zec 12:1-14).
- Job 1:4,5: Job diligently offers sacrifice for himself and his children.
Does his trust in these sacrifices, and his own righteous life, rather than
God's promises of mercy and forgiveness through the Abrahamic covenant, repr the
same mistake of self-righteousness that Israel makes?
- Job clams to be
righteous because he has kept a set of laws perfectly (Job 31). Cp Israel in Rom
9:31; 10:3. But no man can save himself by his own righteous deeds only: Gal
3:1-9; Rom 11:8-12; 1Co 1:23; Rom 4:1-8; Gal 2:15,16.
- Job tries to justify
himself rather than God (Job 27:1,2; 9:20,21). Likewise, with Israel: Eze 18:25;
33:17; Jer 2:23,29.
- Job's incurable wound (Job 9:17; 34:6). Israel's
incurable wound: Jer 10:17-20.
- Job a witness (Job 16:7-14). Israel as a
witness (Isa 43:10; 44:8,9).
- God is a witness against Job (Job 10:17). God
is a witness against Israel (Jer 29:23; Mic 1:1-3).
- Both Job and Israel long
for an arbitrator, but there is no one (Job 9:32-35; Jer 30:13).
- Job pleads
with God, but seems to receive no response (Job 16:20,21; 30:20-26). Likewise,
with Israel (Jer 3:21; Eze 36:37; Amo 8:11,12; Hos 3:4,5).
- Finally, God
speaks to Job (Job 38-41). Likewise, with Israel (Isa 54:7,8; Mic 7:9; Eze
Job thus becomes a witness to the righteousness and blessings
of God, to all his neighbors round about -- and a means by which they in turn
might draw closer to God (Job 42:7-9).