First Sunday (IX)
We encounter Job this month. All four Sundays feature a lesson from the Book of Job. Job and I go way back. We go back to a summer course called “Job.” It was a lecture course, (largely in Hebrew) held in a large auditorium. On the first day that we met the professor took everybody’s picture. He took about a hundred pictures. On the second day, after he had obviously been to One Hour Photo, he laid out all of the pictures on a table. He asked each one of us to find our picture and to write our name on the back and return the picture to the table where we found it. I should have seen where this was going. I was tempted to write somebody else’s name on the back of my picture. I was tempted to write the name David Allen Hubbard, a prominent OT scholar, but I wrote my own name on the back of my picture. Before class began, the professor, Butler was his name, picked up all of the pictures and during class he began asking questions, posing each, (frequently in Hebrew) to the name on the back of each picture. At the conclusion of the course, we were each given our picture to keep, along with a letter grade that each of us had achieved for “Job” written on the back next to our names. It has always been a mystery to me how I got a B.
Mysteries abound when it comes to Job. The book undertakes the mysterious topic of undeserved suffering. Job’s very name is a mystery. It may mean “where is the divine father”; or “hated/persecuted one”; or its meaning may combine both of those meanings. We’ll undertake these mysteries, except for the one about my grade, during October. Have a blessed month!