Sermon Quotes: "The Protest of Job"

“Job is forty two chapters long. We may consider that rather an obvious observation... But the point is this: in his wisdom God has given us a very long book, and he has done so for a reason. It is easy just to read or preach the beginning and the end and to skip rather quickly over the endless arguments in between as if it wouldn’t much mater if they weren’t there. Far from saying the message of Job can be summarized on a postcard, in a tweet, God says, ‘Come with me on a journey, a journey that will take time. There is no instant answer-take a spoonful of Job, just add boiling water, and you’ll know the answer. Job cannot be distilled. It is a narrative with a very slow pace (after a frenetic beginning) and long delays. Why? Because there is no instant working through grief, no quick fix to pain, no message of Job in a nutshell. God has given us a forty two chapter journey. We need to read it, read it all, read it slowly.” Christopher Ash

“This speech is unusual for Job. It is the the only one in which he confines his remarks to his friends and does not fall into either a soliloquy or a prayer. The time has come to demolish their position.” Francis Anderson

“The outworkings of His justice throughout the long processes of history, which sometimes requires spans of many centuries, are part of our existence in time. It is easier to see the hand of God in spectacular and immediate acts, and the sinner who is not instantly corrected is likely to despise God’s delay in executing justice as a sign that He is indifferent or even absent. We have to be as patient as God Himself to see the end result, or to go on living in faith without seeing it.” Francis Anderson

“We cannot deduce the spiritual state of a man or woman from their current happiness or prosperity or their present sufferings. The fact of this ignorance needs to be burned onto our consciousness, lest we slip into the errors of Job’s comforters.” Christopher Ash

“They ought to understand that the undeserved hell they are watching is an awesome thing, an event that prefigures the undeserved hell of the cross, the event that makes undeserved grace possible.” Christopher Ash