I’m reading Job 1-3 as I take off from Reagan National Airport headed for Nashville, TN and I think it taught me an important lesson as it relates to the book of Job. If you read Job “on the ground” it makes no sense. You’ve got to read it at 30,000 feet. What I mean by that is this: chapter 1 won’t make sense until you get to chapter 42. If you only read Chapters 1-3, you see a very incomplete picture. It’s not until you get to chapter 42 that you arrive at this 30,000 foot conclusion: despite all the bad things that happen, God is good. As you embark on this book, what most Bible scholars believe to be the oldest book of the Bible, make sure you keep a 30,000 foot perspective. Go ahead and enter into the pain: the deep depression, agonizing grief, frustrating doubt, even suicidal thoughts. But don’t forget that despite all the bad things that happen there is One who is good all the time. As Job 1:10 says, He is the God who gives and the God who takes a way.
One footnote. Over the years I’ve had “favorite worship choruses” in different seasons for different reasons. For a long time, my personal favorite was “Blessed Be Your Name” by Matt Redman. Here’s a link to listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6xo5KogzaI&feature=related. The song is inspired by Job 1.