Wait. You’re ready, right?
*Sigh with large eyeroll.* Yes, you can use Bible Gateway if you must. But I’m warning you: you’re not going to get the calfskin smell or onion-skin crackle. You’ll lose the sensory experience I’m sure God wanted us to have from the foundations of the earth. But that’s just me.
Nice, quiet study spot with plenty of time (I’d guess less than 30 minutes)?
Maybe a Study Buddy with whom you can discuss your findings?
Teachable spirit? Check. And you prayed already, right? If not, please do it now. I’ll wait. In fact, I’ll probably be hip-deep in my laundry, having stayed up late last night to edit and publish this here thang. Take your time.
[Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer in Muzak form plays in background as men and women across the world pray.]
And welcome back.
Did you remember your clean pants, just in case? I’m just saying. Those of us who’ve borne children may or may not have issues.
Oh, and I guess you’re going to need this. Just click, print, and get ready to learn. Humor Me, Lord Meet the Family. Use it to follow along and track your thoughts. The bold-faced numbers on this post and on the worksheet-type thingy (official name) match in order to help you track more easily.
You’ll also need this one: Humor Me, Lord Nature of God. Print it and put it in the very front of your notebook. We’ll be using it throughout the course of all of our studies. The Bible is one of God’s primary ways of revealing Himself to us (the peons who couldn’t find Him if we tried), so we’ll need to track what He reveals until we have as complete a picture as our feeble, little brains can formulate. If you run out of space on this one, just print more. God’s nature is big. It may take more than one sheet. I’m just sayin’.
Off we go…
Meet the Family
1. Read Job 1-2. That’s chapters one and two, not chapter one, verses one and two. It’s on page 417 and 418 in my great-smelling, crackly Bible.
No, really. Go ahead and read it. Cuz we’re really cookin’ here. I’ll wait. I’ll be humming the theme song from Jeopardy in my head.
[Pause for reading.]
Did I pick the funniest book of the Bible for the inaugural study, or what? I just re-read these chapters, and I’m laughing my head off!
Wait. What’s that? You’re not laughing? It seems sad and unfortunate? All you need is a perspective change, and I’m just the girl to lead you to it. Follow me.
Or, maybe I’ve just done one too many Jillian workouts and have, officially, lost it. The jury’s still out. Way out.
First, let’s take a trip near the Dead Sea, because when I think laughter, when I think vacation, the first place that pops in my head is the Dead Sea.
2. Reread Job 1:1. Where did Job live? _____________________________________________
While there’s some amount of theological back-and-forth about where the land of Uz was (Uz was…it rhymes. See what I did there? Clever, huh.) located, we’re not going to get caught up in the minutia. We’re just getting oriented, building context. Besides, minutia is not funny. Most of the time. Anywho, it’s commonly agreed that the darkened area of the above map is the land in which Job lived. Not all of it, for Pete’s sake. He was rich, but not that rich.
At least I don’t think he was. Just how rich was he?
3. Reread Job 1:1-3. Just how rich was Job? ______________________________________________________
Wait, do children count as assets or liabilities in this instance? Hang on; we’re getting there.
4. What kind of man was Job? Reread Job 1:1-1:5, then list all the characteristics you see in the Scripture that describe Job. Some, like ‘blameless,’ (Job 1:1) are quotable from the passage. Some, like ‘rich’ (Job 1:3) are a little more implied. Don’t be afraid to imply. Just make sure you have scripture to back up your implications (in fact, citing the verse, as I did here, is a great idea). For example, if I were going to say, “Jillian is a beast,” I’d be able to show you the first 2 minutes of her Shred dvd, and you’d be convinced. Make sure your implications are convincing. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
5. Reread Job 1:4-5. What characteristics would you use to describe his children? (I know what I’d say about those punks, she says out the side of her mouth. I know what my Mammaw would say, too, and it wouldn’t be very nice. She has a way with people.) ___________________________________________________
6. Now answer the question: were Job’s children assets or liabilities? ____________________________________________________________
The Scripture says that Job was “blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” and, later, “the greatest of all the people of the east.” Note: when the BIBLE says you’re the greatest at something, it really means it. Because it’s God’s Word. Word to ya mutha. He knows what He’s talking about. Get it? This ain’t Donald Trump standing in front of one of his myriad of buildings touting his own greatness while his plastic hair blows in the wind, all strands moving as one. This is the Lord proclaiming Job’s greatness, for the love of all that’s holy! Job was one, good dude!
Overdone? I think you got it. If you didn’t, you may or may not need to have your IQ tested.
But it sure seems to me his kids were playuhz! If they were alive today, half of them would be in rehab, and the other half would need to go. All of them would have a reality show. It’d be called Uzeylicious.
What they need is the SuperNanny with an extra-long piece of gopher bark-y to whup up on their heads a little bit.
Yet, this long-suffering man begs God’s forgiveness on their behalf, just in case. Just in case, people!
Now, I don’t know about you, but my dad probably wouldn’t be so long-suffering. He’s a gracious and gentle man, but at some point, he’d whip out the old, “You’ve made your bed, now you’re gonna lay in it” (my dad has never been one for grammatical accuracy…lay/lie…oh, that’s just my OCD? nevermind, then). Then, he’d suck his teeth, walk away, get a spoonful of peanut butter, and watch an episode of The Rifleman.
And my mama? Well, we won’t even go there. Suffice it to say, she’s little, but she knows what to do with gopher bark-y.
I’m way off-topic now, aren’t I? Back to Job. Raise your hand if you’d like to have his kids as your own. *Shoves hands under hiney.* I know, right? He’s a good guy, and yet he has hellions for children. Drinkin’, eatin’ up all his food, layin’ out till all hours of the night. There ain’t no rising up and calling anyone blessed for these hooligans.
Wonder where they get that from? Certainly isn’t from my side of the family. While the Bible doesn’t say explicitly where they learned their behavior, let’s see if we can make an educated guess. Moving on.
Once Job is introduced, the story of how Satan attacks Job is played out. We’ll look at it in more detail another day. You’ve read the story (Remember? You did that while I was humming the Jeopardy song and folding Big Daddy’s camo underpants.), and you get the idea. Right now I want to fast forward to the end of Job 2, so that we can complete the picture of Job’s family.
At this point, Job has lost all his children, he’s been under attack a number of times, he’s torn what is probably his only remaining robe, and, if that’s not bad enough, he’s got a shaved head and sores all over his body which he’s scraping with broken pottery pieces. Aside: has anybody tried that? Does that help? Things that make you go….bluuuhhlll.
Enter his wife, his helpmate, his completer, the woman God gave him, his better half, the butter on his bread, the sugar in his coffee, the, oh, nevermind, you get the point.
He looks at her with the look of love, still holding fast to his integrity. She’s all he has left. She opens her mouth to speak, and he waits with bated breath for the words of life to spring forth.
“Curse God and die,” the mother-of-his-children says flatly (Job 2:9). Oh, wait! She’s the mother of the hooligans. Aaahhhh. It’s all coming to clear to me now.
Granted, for Job, it probably wasn’t very funny, but can’t you just see Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof as Job with Golde, his nagging wife?
7. Reread Job 2:9-10. While we don’t know how normally pleasant and generally fun-to-be-around she was, we can answer this question: was Job’s wife an asset to him or a liability in this situation? _____________________________________
I can’t think of a man alive who wouldn’t want a helpmate like that by his side when he’s sitting at the city gates! I mean, fellas, how proud would you be to walk around with someone so gracious and loving on your arm? I’m sure her lovely behavior was just an outward manifestation of her inner beauty.
Finally poor Job, the man who’s taken it all without so much as a whimper, loses it on her. Here in the South, we’d say, “Bless his heart” while wearing pitiful looks on our faces and clucking our tongues.
8. Now that you’ve read both Job 1:1-5 and Job 2:9-10 a number of times, return to question 4 and list any additional characteristics that the Bible would use to describe Job.
9. From the two sections of Scripture, what are some things that you have learned about the nature of God today? Do not include anything from Job 1:6-22 or Job 2: 1-8 or 11-13. We’ll work on those later. Here, I’ll give you a freebie to get you started.
God values our respect (fear) of Him (Job 1:1). I mean, He did take the time to make sure it was in the book and make it sound like a good thing, right? Fear of the Lord is a start anyway. See Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7, and Proverbs 9:10. Now, your turn. Nature of God. Ready, go. Write these on your Humor Me, Lord Nature of God worksheet-type thingy. On the left, write what you’ve learned about God, and on the right, write the scripture reference which accompanies your learning.
10. When the Bible repeats something, that
usually always means it’s doubly important. It’s like your mother yelling at you when you didn’t hear and/or obey the first time she told you to take the trash out. That’s just a for instance, though. And we both know you heard her. Reread Job 1: 22 and Job 2: 10. What statement is repeated? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
11. What do you believe God is trying to tell (loudly) us by repeating this statement? _________________________________________________________________
Life Lessons are the applications that we can take away from a long-ago story in the scripture and apply to our lives today. Today. Not tomorrow. Although tomorrow’s good, too. Too. As in, also. In addition to today.
12. What is the/are some Life Lesson/s that you’ve learned from reading these sections of Job? What can these characters teach us about how to live our own lives with intention and purpose? These can be “what-to” do’s or “what-not-to” do’s. In life, the “what-to” do’s and the “what-not-to” do’s are equally important. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
13. How will you use the Life Lesson today? Today. April 29, 2011. Today. ___________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________
Last, but not least…
14. What is the funniest part of the story from today? ________________________________________________________________
Me? I’m going with the Helpmate-of-the-Year. She only got a bit part in the screenplay, but she made the most of it!
Job: it only gets funnier from here,
P.S. Only the bold and the beautiful will post something they’ve learned in the Comments section below. Do you dare? You never know; your learning might help someone else in the quickly growing Humor Me, Lord community. I double-dog dare you.
Humor Me, Lord is a Bible study series published by AinW. It exists to help people dig deep into the word of God in order to learn about His wicked (pun intended) sense of humor. This ain’t your regular devotional. You’ll laugh. You’ll learn. You’ll rethink the way you’ve perceived God.
You won’t, no matter what the uber-religious set tells you, lose your religion.
Humor Me, Lord is a copyrighted publication of Adventures In Womanland. Reproduction or duplication of it in any format is welcomed, contingent upon proper citation being used. All quotes/references must be accompanied by the URL on which they are found.
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Oh, and special thanks to Big Daddy and my friend, Maria Keckler, for their gracious assistance. You guys rock!