Discussion Guide for Job 29-30
A reputation takes a lifetime to build, but only a few moments to destroy.
We learn a lot about Job and the type of person he was in Job 29-30. Job speaks extensively about the way that other people viewed him and treated him before calamity struck his life.
Job begins chapter 29 as an old man reminiscing about “good old days.” The older I get the more I realize that the good old days were never quite as good as people like to remember them. Nonetheless, there should be no doubt that the former days were better for Job than the present days.
We discover that Job, at least in his own recollection, was a sort of philosopher-king figure in his community. Nobody had the level of respect and reputation that Job had.
Psalm 72 is a good companion song from the pen of Solomon. Psalm 72 is written by and about a Davidic king who is blessed by God. The Psalm ultimately finds its fulfillment in Christ, who is a king in the line of David.
We can see the kind of person Job was known to be from this Psalm. The important thing to realize is that Job’s fame was not merely to make his own name great. Like the king in Psalm 72, he had a desire to reflect his own glory back onto the glory of God.
Following Job’s fall, he was looked down upon by the people who were considered to be the dregs of society. Many modern readers are appalled that Job would speak about people the way that he does in Job 30. We shouldn’t reflect our own sensibilities onto Job in this way.
There will always be people who are considered to be at the bottom of the heap of society. Many people end up there because of injustice. Others, however, deserve the scorn that is heaped upon them by society. They may be looked down upon, but they would bully people ten times worse if the roles were reversed. These are the people Job is talking about in Chapter 30.
- Based on what we learn in Job 29 & 30, what was Job’s reputation before his calamity?
- What kinds of things did Job specifically do to deserve his reputation as righteous?
- How did Job’s reputation change overnight?
Rich Mullins’ band had a song about Jesus called “Man of No Reputation.”
The more time we spend learning about Job, the more I hope we are able to grasp a picture foreshadowing some of the indignities Jesus Christ faced in his incarnation and crucifixion.
- How does the humiliation of Job parallel the humiliation of Jesus?
- Do you think that there was any redemptive value to Job’s suffering?
- When you are humiliated, how are you tempted for your self-image to be skewed away from truth?
- How does Satan use our suffering to downplay our status as beloved children of God?
- How do you fight back to retain an honest image of yourself?
- Does the cross have any meaning to your own self-worth?