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Chronological adventures reading the Bible: Abe then Job

February 6, 2013 Leave a comment

This year I’m off to a slow start on my Bible reading–I blame it on myself–and am reading the Bible chronologically. I read Genesis up to the point where God commands Abram to “Go west, young man!” and am now reading the Book of Job. Currently, Job is in misery, wishes to die, wonders why God would allow this despite all the righteous stuff Job has done, and if alive today, would consider his friends’ advice as much of a help as, to quote that delicious simile of Dr. Sheldon Cooper’s, an air conditioner on the ice planet Hoth.

“Richard!” you gasp. “You’re not reading the Bible in order?!”

Nope.

While Job is listed right before Psalms and roughly in the middle of the Old Testament, it actually is considered the Old Testament’s oldest book. Whereas Genesis and the other four books of the Pentateuch were probably written by Moses around 1500 B.C. (a ballpark estimate, indeed), Job was probably written a millennia or two sooner.

I find this an interesting approach, to read the Bible as it takes place rather than reading it in traditional western order. We must realize, of course, that while the Word of God is divinely inspired, neither the book order nor the chapter stops are.

Not an easy read, but I find Job a fascinating book. A man does everything right and still suffers misery and wonders: Why?

Job was probably not written by Job, so it’s most likely that he never knew during his time on earth about the dialogue between God and Satan. How God bragged on him and how Satan challenged Job. And how God allowed all those terrible things to happen to Job, knowing he would bend, but not break.

More thoughts as I continue reading.

Richard is currently working on a blog posting (probably several parts) about his experiences in Baptist churches. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Reading the Bible, finishing Job, Psalms and Proverbs thoughts

January 18, 2012 1 comment

To paraphrase the famous Wolf Brand Chili commercial: How long has it been since I’ve updated this blog…[brief pause that’s not long enough for anyone to respond]…well, that’s too long.

2011 saw me do something I hadn’t done probably since graduating from Pensacola Christian College in 1995: I read the Bible completely through. About 66 percent of the time I read daily and the other 33 percent I either didn’t read or had to catch up and read several days’ worth.

It obviously is better to read every day so you can focus on quality rather than quantity.

I’ve read of some Christians who read 20 chapters a day and others who read the Bible cover to cover in a month. Perhaps someday I’ll try that, but at this stage, the more I read, the far less I retain and comprehend. After all, the Bible’s not a Archie comic book. When you read in Romans about faith and salvation, each chapter seems like it should broken down over a week’s time…

Today, I finished reading the Book of Job as, in 2012, I’m reading the Bible chronologically. Fascinating book. Job was a godly man who lost everything, wrestled with the question “Why?” while his friends accused him of having unconfessed sin and pride. After all, God never punishes the righteous, does He?

Wrong.

I think of one godly friend, Terry, who while in his early 30s died of cancer. He left behind a wife and young daughter. I don’t know why and won’t know until eternity. Maybe this planet simply didn’t deserve him.

Job learns two things from a discussion with God: 1) Job isn’t not God and 2) Job is going to have to trust God. While the first two chapters indicate why Job went through what he did, nothing at the book’s end indicates Job knew why. It’s possible he did, but it’s also possible Job had to wait until heaven to find have his “Why?” question answered: Because God simply wanted to prove to Satan that humans serve God out of love for God and a desire to know Him rather than how much money and possessions He gives them…

A friend suggested I read Psalm 5 recently. It reminds me of that advice from PCC given to us from Pastor Jim Schettler about reading through a Psalm or Proverb every day. I figure through diligence you can read through both books twice in a single year. Granted, the Psalm 119 is long, but there are several Psalms that are shorter than I am (for the record, I’m about 5’8″).

Richard Zowie is a Christian writer who feels it’s best to be a Christian first and a writer second. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.