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Job 9:2 says:

In truth I know that this is so; But how can a man be in the right before God?

Is this a rhetorical question, or he is sincerely wondering how to be justified before God? Depending on who you ask, Job may have been pre-Abraham or post-Abraham, and likely occurred in the area of what is now Jordan and southern Israel. What were his religious beliefs as they pertained to salvation?

In Job 1:8, Job is clearly portrayed as a God-fearer:

The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.”

Additionally, the heading to chapter 9 says Job Says There Is No Arbitrator between God and Man, yet I cannot find anything in the passage that clearly supports this. As I noted above, we clearly see God referencing how he felt about Job, but how did Job feel about how he could speak to God?

Summarizing, How did Job believe he could communicate with God, and how did he believe one could be right with God? (please note I am treating Job as a historical figure, not as a parable).

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I get tripped up a bit by the various ways you describe relationship with God. Would it be fair to say that you are asking if Job had a covenant relationship with God and if it was based on the same covenant as the one He established with Abraham? – Jon Ericson Apr 16 '13 at 16:49
@JonEricson - Yes, that would be a fair summary of the second part of my question. And if it was not based on the Abrahamic covenant, what was it based on – SSumner Apr 16 '13 at 18:16

1 Answer 1

If Job is pre-Abrahamic then what we have here is possibly one of the 1st truly written cases of a Natural Theology. A Natural Theology addresses what might be known about God through looking at the natural world.

Job is exciting in this sense because the text merely talks of a great 'man of the East' so he might not even be Semitic. God reveals Himself in the wonderful final chapters using multiple examples from the natural world. The language might be very early and all the more useful in this instance for that.

It seems to me that, as some contributors have said above, the substance of whom it was that Job felt he was in relationship with, is essential in our understanding of the limits of a knowledge of God without the supreme gift of the Holy Spirit. 'Natural Theology' has - as you might expect - several often-interrelated definitions and perspectives but essentially it marries the Apostle Paul's encounters in Areopagus with his views on pre-Christian routes to God as seen in Romans 1.18-21 for example.

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