Creative Writing

My Reflections on Humor in the Book of Job

BY GLENN PEASE If someone asked you what book of the Bible is among the most famous and the most funny, what would you say? The reason the answer is funny is because it is so unexpected, for that book would be the book considered to be so serious as to be without humor, and that book would be Job. You may never have heard of it, but it is considered by many to be the longest comedy in all the Bible. It is filled with irony, sarcasm and insults much like many a sitcom on television.
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  MY REFLECTIOS O HUMOR I THE BOOK OF JOB BY GLENN PEASE If someone asked you what book of the Bible is among the most famous and the most funny, what would you say? The reason the answer is funny is because it is so unexpected, for that book would be the book considered to be so serious as to be without humor, and that book would be Job. You may never have heard of it, but it is considered by many to be the longest comedy in all the Bible. It is filled with irony, sarcasm and insults much like many a sitcom on television. It is not full of jokes, and it is not that you are going to laugh your way through it, for it is dealing with tragedy as bad as it comes, and ongoing suffering that is being endured by a completely innocent man, who has to put up with friends who are constantly trying to blame him for it all. It is full of pain, but it is also a case where tragedy and comedy exist side by side. William Whedbee of Pomona College wrote a study on Job and this is part of what his thesis said, The Book of Job continues to evoke radically diverse interpretations. In particular, the problem of the dominant genre of the book has perennially challenged and frustrated interpreters. My own thesis is that when the poem of Job is set in its full and final literary context, replete with Prologue and Epilogue as well as the Elihu speeches, the most apt generic designation of the book is comedy. 1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.If you're looking for the latest buzzCheck out Job from the land of Uz.You'll have to search the whole wide globeTo find a man greater than Job.He was a man blameless and uprightAnd he chose against all evil to fight.As through this world of woe he trod,He lived his life in the fear of God. This is Israel's first book of poetry and wisdom. We have here not, the wizard of Oz, but the wisdom of Uz. Uz was in Arabia near the mouth of the Euphrates river, or in what we today call Iraq. It is amazing how much of the Bible revolves around this country we now call Iraq, which is so much in the news. 1. The garden of Eden was in Iraq. 2. Mesopotamia which is now Iraq was the cradle of civilization.  3. oah built the ark in Iraq. 4. The Tower of Babel was in Iraq. 5. Abraham was from Ur, which is in Southern Iraq. 6. Isaac's wife Rebekah is from ahor which is in Iraq. 7. Jacob met Rachel in Iraq. 8. Jonah preached in ineveh - which is in Iraq. 9. Assyria which is in Iraq conquered the ten tribes of Israel. 10. Amos cried out in Iraq. 11. Babylon which is in Iraq destroyed Jerusalem. 12. Daniel was in the lion's den in Iraq. 13. The 3 Hebrew children were in the fire in Iraq. 14. Belshazzar, the King of Babylon saw the writing on the wall in Iraq. 15. ebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, carried the Jews captive into Iraq. 16. Ezekiel preached in Iraq. 17. The wise men were from Iraq. 18. Peter preached in Iraq. 19. The Empire of Man described in Revelation is called Babylon, which was a city in Iraq. Israel is the nation most often mentioned in the Bible. But do you know which nation is second? It is Iraq! However, that is not the name that is used in the Bible. The names used in the Bible are Babylon, Land of Shinar, and Mesopotamia. The word Mesopotamia means between the two rivers, more exactly between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The name Iraq, means country with deep roots. Indeed, Iraq is a country with deep roots and is a very significant country in the Bible.  o other nation, except Israel, has more history and prophecy associated in it than Iraq Job was one of the famous Gentiles of the Bible. Some Jews want to claim him as one of their own,but the vast majority of commentators, even Jewish ones, agree that he was likely an Arabian Gentile. There is humor in this even in that many of the greatest people in the Jewish Bible are gentiles.Judaism started with a Gentile by the name of Abraham, and here we have the description of themost righteous man in the Old Testament, and he is a Gentile. His suffering is not chastisement to get him back on the right track, for he never left the right track. His experience does not represent the typical man but the suffering of the very righteous. Ezek. 14:14, 20 make clear he was one of the best. The description of Job, that God agrees with a little later, proves that his suffering has nothing to do with punishment, for he did nothing worthy of punishment.It also had nothing to do with discipline and chastisement, for he was blameless and did not deserve any such thing. His character is such that it destroys the arguments of his friends that he is suffering because of some secret sin in his life. It also destroys most other theories as to why the innocent suffer. The book of Job does not give many answers as to why the innocent suffer, but it does eliminate most all guesses and theories that men have come up with. Job ranks next to Jesus in his sinlessness and in his suffering. Job is the most innocent sufferer that was totally man. Only two other men in all of the Bible are on his level of perfection. In Ezekiel 14 we read these words from the mouth of God himself:12 The word of the LORD came to me: 13 Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its men and their animals, 14 even if these three men—oah, Daniel [a] and Job—were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign LORD. 17 Or if I bring a sword against that country and say, 'Let the sword pass throughout the land,' and I kill its men and their animals, 18 as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, even if these three men were in it, they could not save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved. ote that 2 of the 3 are Gentiles, and the third became a leader in a Gentile nation, and spent his life among the Gentiles. One of the most interesting things about the Jewish Bible, or what we call the Old Testament, is the role that Gentiles play in God's plan and revelation. One of the most common misconceptions is that God chose the Jews because he loved them more than all other people. The fact is, God chose the Jews because he needed a particular people to be a tool by which he could reach all people with the good news of salvation. God has always been one who so loved the world, that is all people. The purpose of the Jews was to become a godly nation who could be a blessing to all nations because they would bring to all nations the good news of the one true God.  One view of Satan is that he was created to do a job that other angels would not do. His task was to investigate and report back to God all signs of sin in God's creation, due to man's free willed decisions. The occupational hazard of this kind of job is that in dealing only with the negative you tend to become negative. Satan got so carried away with his job of finding bad things that he started to promote the bad thingshe was looking for. Power corrupts and we see it in Satan. He became cruel like the secret police who have the power to abuse. I Chron. 21:1. Power even in the hands of good people has danger-I Tim. 3:6.One aspect of humor is being on the inside of what is going on, and having the privilege of knowing why the person who is going through something is doing so. We have inside information and so we know the reason, but Job knows nothing about this meeting in heaven. We already know that God considers him righteous and not in any way worthy of judgment. The friends do not know this scene either and so they come up with their own theories that condemn Job. But we already know Job is what he says, innocent and not worthy of such judgement, and so it is funny to see the friends coming up with their nonsense. We can laugh at them for we know where God stands from the beginning. They look foolish in the light of what we know.CHAPTER THREESwift used to go into his closet every year on his birthday and read this chapter, and sob as he applied it to himself. Cursing has been an age old tradition, and even today yet there are curses that deal with contemporary situations. People call down upon others bad things. Why do bad things happen to good people? That is the question of the ages, and one of the answers is that people have cursed them. Some modern curses are not quite as severe as the old time witches curses, but they are still bad enough to spoil your day. Some examples are:May ketchup always find your shirtMay all the windows you jump through be closedMay all your friends eat beans constantlyMay all the water you dive into be a mirageMay all your sandwiches have mold on themMay you have a close encounter with an insane dentistMay a rabbit mistake your nose for a carrot
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