The book of Job is an interesting one; it can be a book that people run to and love reading, or a book that people sigh about and really struggle with. Job has been one of my favourite books of the Bible for years. I’m preparing to preach through Job over the summer so I really enjoyed diving into Ash’s new book ‘Trusting God in the Darkness’. Ash has written a more in-depth study of Job, which in my opinion, is probably one of the best non-academic commentaries out there on Job.
This book was originally a set of sermon given at the church where Ash used to serve as the minister. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t really like books that were originally written for the pulpit. The context is different. The writing style is different and so on. However, this one trend out well. The book is short, coming in at just 160 pages, but it covers a lot of ground.
One of the things that I love about Job, and the rest of the Bible, is that no glib answers are given in the midst of suffering. The modern temptation might be to give such answers or advice, but Ash does a great job at staying faithful to the text whilst exhorting his readers to look to God in the midst of suffering.
This book is first and foremost pastoral. You can tell that Ash is writing as a pastor who is caring for his flock and the reader gets to sit in on that. The book is a brief study of Job, but it also recognises the pain of suffering today. Ash puts Job in its biblical context and gives helpful explanations to the setting, the genre of the text and the nature of Hebrew poetry and why it’s important to see that Job is mostly poetry.
If you’re wanting a brief introduction to the book of Job, this is a good place to go. A step before this would probably be ‘How Does God Treat His Friends?‘. I could have filled this post with a long list of quotes and insights from the book, but you would be reading for a while. The best thing is, if you’re interested in Job and Old Testament wisdom literature, to just go and buy the book. It will definitely be a help to you. If you’re a preacher check it out, but also look at Ash’s more in-depth book written for preachers.
Christopher Ash is a pastor, author and writer in residence at Tyndale House, Cambridge. He was Director of the Proclamation Trust’s Cornhill Training Course from 2004–2015. He is married to Carolyn and they have four children and three grandchildren.
*** I received this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. This does not change the way I rate the book, my views are my own. ***