I hope Jesus returns before I have to preach through a few books of the Bible. One of them is Job. But nearing the end of our summer series, Worshiping the Creator Rather Than the Creature, I selected Job 38–42:6 as one of our Texts.
In the course of preparing to preach that section of Job, I quickly realized I had to help everyone know the context. That forced me to preach the theology of the entire book of Job in one sermon.
Here’s my approach:
Title: The Next Time You Ask, “Why?”
- The test every Christian must pass (Job 1:9-11, 22; 2:4-5, 10b). Satan wanted to show God that Job’s integrity was a sham. God knew better.
- The question that shows the test is a real test (Job 3:20-26; 40:1-2, 8). This is where Job begins to question, “Why?” He says some awful things about his life, like wishing he didn’t ever live!
- How our Creator “answer” our question (Job 38:1–39:30; 40:6-7, 9–41:34). God never answers Job’s questions. Instead, God bombards Job with over 50 questions of His own. As Job is forced to answer God’s questions…
- The genuine worship that results (Job 40:3-5; 42:1-6). Job no longer demands an answer, but takes his rightful place as a worshiper of God.
I chose not to include a thought block covering Job’s friends’ attempts to “help” him, but you may want to do that. They say some good things, but God indicts them in the end and vindicates Job.
And if you want to preach Christ from Job, one way to do that is to move from Job’s “Why?” to Jesus’ “Why?” on the cross, “My God, My God! Why have you forsaken me?!?” True worship begins by acknowledging our need for the Savior God provided for us. By faith, Christ’s righteousness creates the same kind of character exemplified by Job in the opening verses of the book and sends us on a journey where our faith is tested to produce maturity (cf. James 1).
This example provides some help for tackling other similar assignments. For instance, notice that I deal with the beginning and ending of the book of Job. Many books reveal their intention at the beginning and the end. Then, you’re able to make better sense of the middle portions.
I hope you’ll have an opportunity some time to preach a whole book in one sermon. When you do, God will receive glory in the church and in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:21).
P.S. Last week I referred to Mark Dever’s, The Message of the Old Testament. It’s an excellent resource when you plan to preach an entire book of the Bible in one sermon. Dever’s book is a collection of his attempts to do the same for the Old Testament.