Job (Preaching the Word) [eBook]
The Wisdom of the Cross
Life can be hard, and sometimes it seems like God doesn’t even care. When faced with difficult trials, many people have resonated with the book of Job—the story of a man who lost nearly everything, seemingly abandoned by God.
In this thorough and accessible commentary, Christopher Ash helps us glean encouragement from God’s Word by directing our attention to the final explanation and ultimate resolution of Job’s story: the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Intended to equip pastors to preach Job’s important message, this commentary highlights God’s grace and wisdom in the midst of redemptive suffering.
Taking a staggeringly honest look at our broken world and the trials that we often face, Ash helps us see God’s sovereign purposes for adversity and the wonderful hope that Christians have in Christ.
Christopher Ash works for the Proclamation Trust in London as director of the Cornhill Training Course. In addition to serving on the council of Tyndale House in Cambridge, he is the author of several books, including Out of the Storm: Grappling with God in the Book of Job and Teaching Romans.
“Christopher Ash writes beautifully—this book is a delight to read! But that isn’t its greatest strength. Nor is the fact that these pages are filled with nuanced and fresh exegetical insights. Christopher has succeeded in producing the richest, most moving, most deeply cross-centered and God-glorifying treatment of Job I have ever read. This book marries brilliant explanation with powerful gospel-driven application. It is simply a ‘must-have’ resource for anyone intending to preach through Job.”
—J. Gary Millar, Principal, Queensland Theological College; author, Now Choose Life
“This is one of the finest Biblical commentaries I have had the privilege to read, and certainly the best I know on the wonderful but perplexing book of Job. Christopher Ash takes us into the depths of this book, taking no shortcuts. He guides us through the details, helping us to see the brilliance of the poetry and the profundity of the questions raised. More than this he helps us to see how the sufferings of Jesus shed brilliant light into the darkest corners of Job’s experience. In turn the book of Job deepens our understanding of Jesus’ blameless suffering, and the suffering and darkness experienced by those who share in the sufferings of Christ. This is a powerfully edifying exposition.”
—John Woodhouse, Former Principal, Moore Theological College
“If like me, you have shied away from the book of Job, daunted by its structure and length, do not despair, help has arrived! Christopher Ash has performed a noble service by ‘bashing his head’ against the text and providing us with such a lucid, wonderfully helpful commentary. It is both mind-stretching and heart-warming as it reminds us that like the rest of the Bible, Job is ultimately a book about Jesus.”
—Alistair Begg, Senior Pastor, Parkside Church, Chagrin Falls, Ohio
“This is the book for any who, like me, have been both fascinated and frightened by Job. Christopher Ash brilliantly engages with the interpretive challenge of understanding the text and the emotional challenge of being confronted by the awful reality of suffering and evil in the world. His exposition combines sober realism about what we can expect in the life of faith and great encouragement as we are pointed to the sufferings and glory of Christ.”
—Vaughan Roberts, Rector of St Ebbe’s, Oxford, England; Director, The Proclamation Trust; author, God’s Big Picture
“A magnificent study of one of the least read and understood books of the Bible. Here is meticulous, detailed exploration of the text, its vocabulary and poetic structure, which opens up its richness and complexity with interpretive sensitivity. This in turn produces a narrative reading that illuminates the revelatory argument of the book as a whole, with its conflict between redemptive grace and religious systems. ‘Honest grappling’ is its characteristic as the imponderable questions of the human condition are played out through the drama of Job’s individual agony. But this is also a preacher’s book, full of human empathy and applicatory wisdom providing nourishment for the deepest recesses of the soul. Supremely, it is a book not about Job’s suffering, but about Job’s God, which leads us to the ultimate answers to all our human enigmas in the reality of Jesus Christ and him crucified. This is a book to return to again and again as a valuable tool to unpack the message of Job in a generation to whom it is strikingly relevant.”
—David Jackman, Former President, Proclamation Trust, London, England
“This book has reinforced my general rule, ‘If Christopher Ash has written it, I should definitely read it.’ It is an outstanding exposition of this dramatic but difficult book, at the same time eminently accessible, yet profoundly stretching and thought-provoking. As the book’s chapters are opened up masterfully, characteristic attention to textual detail is enriched by a theological trajectory that, like a reverse prism, draws every obscure but colorfully illuminating ray from this ancient story and traces them forward to the pure brightness and clear light revealed in the cross of Christ. The pastoral warmth and power of its message comes from this recognition, that for every believer, ancient or modern, it is the reality of our union with Christ, the Christ who was glorified only through suffering, that offers the deepest explanation of all evil that we may encounter on our road to glory. I commend it most warmly to anyone who wants to dig into the riches of this extraordinary book of the bible.”
—William Philip, Senior Minister, The Tron Church, Glasgow
“This commentary is invaluable for personal or group Bible study, and also for preachers. It includes careful study of the text of Job, and the fruits of deep theological and pastoral reflection. It avoids the sadly common question, ‘What is the minimum I need to know to understand the book of Job?’ and instead asks the godly and productive question, ‘What are the full riches that God has provided for us in the book of Job?’ Furthermore, Christopher answers this question in the light of Christ and the gospel. And of course, there is much to learn here about suffering, the pastoral Achilles heel of the Church both in the West and in the two-thirds world. It is a persuasive and powerful tool to help us edify God’s people by expounding the Scriptures.”
—Peter Adam, Vicar Emeritus, St Jude’s Church, Carlton, Australia; author, Speaking God’s Words: A Practical Theology of Preaching
“This expository commentary provides everything a preacher is looking for. The ‘big picture’ is kept clear even as technical detail is explained. The text is set in its Biblical context even as the text is unpacked on its own terms. Application is faithful to the book’s Biblical purpose, acutely insightful and contemporary. It is readable, profoundly pastorally helpful, and above all Christ-centered. I could not commend it more highly.”
—William Taylor, Rector, St. Helen’s Bishopsgate, London; author, Understanding the Times and Partnership
“Christopher has produced something on a much misunderstood (and abused) book that draws us to the anguished questions of a sufferer, deals carefully with all the data, and brings us to Christ. A great help for anyone wishing to preach on Job, and for anyone wishing to hear this word from God.”
—Nat Schluter, Principal, Johannesburg Bible College
“A marvelous commentary on an important book.”
—Josh Moody, Senior Pastor, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois; author, Journey to Joy: The Psalms of Ascent