Editor's Note: The following is an excellent OVERVIEW of the meaning of Job's story of our young people. Please note: Ann posted this for use with her OLDER children, not younger ones.
The Book of Job
In part, our philosophy for this unit can be summed up by this quote from Neil McQueen in his “Computer Lab Lesson Planning 101”: “Teach the story until they know it! . . .and it will go on teaching your students long after they have left your classroom.”
The book of Job is complex and perplexing, and many scholars have devoted their lives to its study. My hope was to excite students about the beauty and depth of the book while not making it overwhelming and impossible to fathom.
- Become familiar with the story as told in the Book of Job
- Know the major characters: God, Ha-Satan, Job, his wife, the three main friends: Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar and young friend, Elihu
- Look at the structure of the book – prose beginning and end, poetry bulk of the book
- Understand that the Book of Job is part of Wisdom Literature. Be able to find the Book of Job in the Bible
- Learn some basics of Hebrew Poetry: “Parallelism – Poem is written in pairs of lines (called distichs); and the second line of each pair echoes in some way the thought of the first.” (Understanding the Books of the Old Testament, ed by Patrick H. Carmichael)
Main Points of Discussion
**The role of wisdom literature is to express and discuss our deepest thoughts and concerns. This is how I introduced it:
- How many believe that there was a Court of Camelot complete with Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin and Morgan Le Fey?
- How many believe that might does not make right?
- How many believe that there was a Land of Oz inhabited by Witches of East and West, a tin man and a talking scarecrow?
- How many believe there is no place like home? (For good or bad)
- How many believe that God made the earth in seven twenty-four hour days?
- How many believe that God made the earth?
- How many believe there was a man who was blameless and upright?
- How many believe there is more wisdom to be gained from studying these scriptures?
**Job is a most worthy role model. He remains faithful to God throughout horrific experiences. This does not mean he did not bring his questions to God.
**The book gives many examples of how friends interact. In the prose section we read of Job’s friends coming from afar to sit and grieve with him. In the poetry section we hear them give (a lot) of advice. Discuss what ways we receive and give help and comfort as friends.
**God is God and we are not.
The book gives us an example of the LIMITS of our understanding, and that ultimately, faith is NOT reason or understanding, but a humble response and recognition of our UTTER DEPENDENCE upon the GRACE of God.