“Jesus is the true and better Job. He’s the truly innocent sufferer who then intercedes for and saves His stupid friends.”
Though it appears as the eighteenth book in the Old Testament—preceding Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes—the Book of Job is set in the period of the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Groups using The Gospel Project for Kids will encounter Job’s story as the fifth session of the chronological study.
The story of Job will likely be unfamiliar to kids. The Book of Job is long—42 chapters—and is a book of dramatic poetry. But like the rest of God’s Word, it is significant. From Job we learn how God uses suffering in our lives, and we are led to join Job in wrestling with the question, Why?
One resource I have found extremely helpful in my study of the Bible is Talk Thru the Bible by Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa. Their commentary surmises that “the basic question of the book is, Why do the righteous suffer if God is loving and all-powerful?”
Remember, Job’s three friends all had theories about why Job suffered. Eliphaz argued, “If you sin, you suffer. Only the wicked suffer.” Bildad suggested, “You must be sinning.” Zophar concluded, “You are sinning.” It was Elihu who called on Job to humble himself and submit to God, for God often uses suffering to test and teach us.
Job refers to a Redeemer (19:25-27) and requests a Mediator (9:33; 25:4; 33:23). Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and Mediator. He was truly innocent, yet He suffered greatly for your sake and mine. God’s sovereign purpose makes sense of seemingly senseless acts like Job’s suffering and Jesus’ cross. Through the righteous suffering of one man—Jesus—there is life-giving justification for all. (Romans 5:18)
As you teach kids the story of Job, help them walk away knowing that God is all-powerful, sovereign, and good—even when life is hard. Everything God does is for His glory and our good, suffering included.