The first type of reader I’m targeting are those like Job: at some level they need to learn more about the sovereignty of God. This is a hard lesson, and I doubt anybody will pick up the book for this reason alone. But, it’s the main lesson Job learns.
Remember that Job is declared blameless and upright by God Himself at the beginning of the book. So, there was no sin to correct. And, God never overtly tells Job WHY Job has the troubles (at least, not in the story).
Now, when I’ve needed a lesson about Jesus being LORD and not just saviour, there has always been a compelling reason: I was disobeying Him in some way. But, Job is different; the only reason he needed the lesson is to “fine-tune” his faith in the Almighty. Job says this in the middle of his speeches:
“Oh that my words were written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book! That with an iron stylus and lead they were engraved in the rock forever! As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God;” (Job 19:23-26, NASB from www.biblegateway.com)
Job already trusted God. Almost completely. Almost …. He just needed a little tweak. He even understood that he would have some kind of afterlife, even though the theologies of the day wouldn’t have “known” that. He picked this thinking up purely from his relationship with God.
God COULD have taught Job this lesson in many different ways. However, as is typical with God, He has more than one purpose for His actions. In this case, in my opinion, the major lesson of the book is for the OTHER types of readers I’m targeting. More on those in future posts.
But, God needed a man who wouldn’t buckle under the pressure, and out of all the people who ever lived, Job was chosen. To me, that’s a mighty high compliment. So, the people I suspect WILL buy my book, for a lesson on sovereignty, are those who have gone through a big trial. They will have already surrendered to God, most likely, and they’ll read my book for reassurance, or a tune-up of the message or their faith. Or, just to understand that God really does still love them.
It was a hard lesson Job learned. But, I think he eventually learned just how high a compliment God paid Job by choosing him. And, he certainly figured it out once he was in the throne room of the Creator!