How to Read and Understand Job

how to read and understand Dec 27, 2019

Have you ever come across a situation in life that you simply don’t understand? When I was 21 years old, 3 of my 4 living grandparents passed away within a 4 month period. I didn’t understand, and to be honest I still am not sure why that situation unfolded the way it did. Job addresses this type of human suffering. The kind we all go through, unexplained, difficult, excruciating circumstances that can cause us to run away from God, or run towards Him. When it comes down to it, Job asks the question, “when you are facing suffering, will you accept that God’s wisdom is higher than ours, or will you fight against what you cannot understand?” 

For years I fought against God. I didn’t want to understand. I didn’t think I could. But Job shows us a different way. 

how to job- banner.png

We don’t know when Job was written or who it was written by. It appears that Job was written by an outside narrator that gets the whole picture of the story. The narrator gets both God’s side of the story and Job’s side. Job unfortunately only sees his own pain. Job not only accepts this pain but still sings praises to God in the midst of it (Job 1:21). 

We then see 3 friends approach the situation and try to rationalize it based on Job’s actions, accusing him of sin. They believe that Job must have sinned to cause all of this suffering in his life. We realize looking from the outside in on the situation that this is not the case. There is no cause to the suffering. Ultimately, these 3 friends give really bad advice. Job does not listen to these friends, and in the end, we get a clear view from God addressing the situation. God reminds us of His authority and His wisdom over this situation and over all the earth. He can see things that we cannot, and He can keep a bigger picture in mind than we could ever see. Like Job, we also must answer this question for ourselves; will I choose to trust in the wisdom and authority of God? 

On some level, we can all relate to Job. None of us are exempt from suffering. Where the rubber meets the road is in our response to that suffering. Instead of getting stuck on what we don’t understand, let’s lean in with faith that God is who He says He is, will do what he says he will do and can be trusted with every intimate detail of our lives.


  • What do you know to be true of God?

  • How can you cling to that truth, even in the midst of suffering?

  • Will you choose to let your suffering draw you nearer to God, or push you further away?

how to Job.png