Which Biblical Patriarch Are You?

Which Biblical Patriarch Are You? January 16, 2015

Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those Buzzfeed quizzes – although perhaps I should make it one!

But in reading assignments from a course that I teach, I was struck by the contrast between Abraham and Job.

Abraham and Job are both tested. Abraham obeys unquestioningly. Job questions daringly.

How is it that people can point to Abraham as an ideal example of faith, and not mention that Job is also an example of faithfulness through testing – but whose response was very different?

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  • joriss

    “How is it that people can point to Abraham as an ideal example of faith, and not mention that Job is also an example of faithfulness through testing – but whose response was very different?”
    Well, I think that both are mentioned in the bible as examples of faithfulness.
    Abraham in Gen. 15:6; the entire chapter 22; John 8; Romans 4; Galatians 3; Hebrews 6 and 7
    Job in Job; Ezekiel 14:14; James 5:11

    Both are mentioned as mem of great faith and perseverance. But God gave the promise to Abraham and not to Job, who is not part of Abraham’s genealogy. So Abraham is the father of all Israel and of many peoples, even of us, faith starts with him.
    But there are many great examples of faithfulness, Eliah, the three friends of Daniel, Daniel himself; all the people, mentioned in Hebrews 11.

    The responses were very different indeed, but I don’t think they were tested in the same way. Abraham’s test was tough, to offer his only son, but he trusted God was able to bring his son back from death. It lasted a few days. I don’t say that to make it seem less heavy, less painful.

    Job lost seven children within a few hours and reacted as faithful as Abraham did: “the Lord gave, the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord”. So his reaction was obedient and accepting.
    But after that: the ongoing torture of the sore boils; the unbearable itching day and night, the loss of his social contacts; the despiction of his environment. And yet he did not sin with his lips. But it was going on and on and on. Who of us would not have longed to die? So eventually he began to put his case before God and ask Him to take his responsibility for him.

    I think the difference between Job and Abraham was not in the beginning of the test, but in the second and most severe part of the test with Job. Abraham might as well have reacted in the same way as Job did.

  • gzthompson

    I would suggest most people unknowingly identify with Job’s comforters rather than either of those models.