Preaching Job

In recent weeks I have been preaching through Job. The series is not a verse-by-verse exposition but a thematic overview. I suspect the series will consist of nine sermons. However, I always reserve the right to call an audible.

Preaching Job is a privilege. It is also quite challenging. Each week I am aware of the fact that I am standing before men and women, many of whom are facing acute and in some cases chronic suffering. In the congregation I serve there is cancer, abandonment, the wreckage of childhood abuse, wayward children, Lupus, economic devastation, the death of loved ones, and much more. Preaching to suffering people about this man Job and the God who was sovereign over his calamity is a tricky thing.

Don't misunderstand. It's a good thing to come before God's people to proclaim any passage of Scripture. It is also a good thing to come before God's suffering people to proclaim His all-encompassing sovereignty. But it is a sobering thing as well. Never should we preach "the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord," in a glib fashion. By all means preach it! By all means preach Romans 8:28 to the suffering. But do so tenderly. It is truth too precious to be ruined by triumphalism or lack of sympathy.

Recommended Resources:

Unfortunately there is not a glut of scholarly commentaries on Job that are also thoroughly evangelical or committed to a high view of Scripture. However, there are a few that are helpful. I would recommend Hartley's volume in NICOT and Longman's in the Baker series. Keep in mind however that if you are, like me, committed to a Christo-centric reading of the Old Testament you will find a few major points of disagreement with both Hartely and Longman. Nevertheless, if you are preaching through Job both of these commentaries are well worth working through.

There are some excellent expositional commentaries on Job. The two that I recommend most highly are The Storm Breaks by Derek Thomas and Job: The Wisdom of the Cross by Christopher Ash.

You may also want to check out the following volumes which have been quite helpful for me:
Crying out for Vindication: The Gospel According to Job    
Now My Eyes Have Seen You    
Calvin's Teaching on Job