.           all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.             refer to

.           - written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        suffering, tests, faith
SCRIPTURE:    Job, Eph.4:26
Style:        fantasy/conversation:  BROOK and DARREN
.             time travel back into Bible times
.             to imagine what it must have been like
.             for Job to be tested and suffer
Set & Props:  Bible;  sackcloth to cover Job


NOTE:         ONE TIME INTRO:  when doing this skit
.             outside of the series, use this


(DARREN and BROOK enter.  DARREN carries a Bible.)

DARREN        Ready for imagination time travel?

BROOK         Definitely!

(DARREN holds the Bible up, while he and BROOK
both open the Bible together, eyes wide, excited
and looking around wondering what will happen.)


(JOB crawls in, but sits with back to congregation.
BROOK sees JOB, but quickly looks away.)

BROOK         Whoa!  Okay, I was not ready
.             to see something like that!
.             Wait, who is that -  and what
.             is wrong with him?

DARREN        (looking around)  I get the feeling
.             we are not in Egypt.

BROOK         So where are we?

DARREN        (checks Bible)  The land of Uz.
.             Oh, that man there – is Job.

BROOK         Did he do something wrong to             2
.             deserve some kind of punishment?

DARREN        Actually, he did not do anything wrong.

BROOK         Well, so he was perfect?

DARREN        Not perfect-perfect, but he was a man who
.             feared and worshiped God.  He got married,
.             and had 7 sons and 3 daughters.  And –
.             he had been very rich with many servants.

BROOK         So what happened then?

DARREN        God allowed Job to be tested.

BROOK         Why?

DARREN        Think about it – if you tell people that
.             God is always there for you, but you never
.             go through anything bad- how can you prove
.             that to people – or see it for yourself?

BROOK         So how was Job tested?

DARREN        First, many of his animals were stolen.
.             Then some of his other animals and servants
.             were killed in a fire.  On the same day,
.             all his sons and daughters were killed
.             in a great windstorm-

BROOK         Job must have been very angry.

DARREN        Actually, he fell to the ground and
.             worshiped God, understanding that God gives
.             and God takes away.  Job remained faithful.

BROOK         I have a feeling that’s not the end of it.

DARREN        Not at all.  Next, Job’s health began
.             to suffer.  Ah – his entire body was
.             covered with painful boils.

BROOK         Ew!

(WIFE comes in to look at JOB.)

WIFE          Ew!  Job!  Look what God has allowed.
.             Do you still say you did nothing wrong?
.             You should curse God and die!
.                                                      3
JOB           This kind of talk is foolish.
.             Should we only accept good from God
.             and not accept adversity?

WIFE          Unbelievable!  Well, maybe your friends
.             can talk some sense into you.
.             Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar and Elihu are here.
.             I’ll send them in, unless you object.

(WIFE shakes her head as she exits.  ELIPHAS, BILDAD,
ZOPHAR and ELIHU enter and balk when the see JOB.)

ELIPHAS       Job?

JOB           Yes.

ELLIPHAS      Ah, I could not recognize you.  Well, ah,
.             we have come to sympathize with you,
.             and bring you comfort.

JOB           Thank you.

(The FOUR MEN slowly sit down to face JOB
and begin to pray and sob into their hands.)

BROOK         What are they doing?

DARREN        They are weeping and praying for JOB-
.             without speaking one word to him.

BROOK         I suppose when someone is suffering
.             that much, what can you even say?

(DARREN turns a page in the BIBLE.)

DARREN        After 7 days and nights of sitting on
.             the ground with Job, Job finally speaks.

JOB           I wish I had never been born!

DARREN        Job breaks the silence with lots
.             of mournful talk about wishing he had
.             never been born- because then at least-
.             he would never have existed to feel
.             this sort of pain.  Although
.             a little angry, Job never curses God.

BROOK         Ah, like that one verse says,
.             “Be angry, but do not sin.”
.                                                      4
(DARREN turns a page in the Bible.)

DARREN        His complaining finally ends with
.             something like-

JOB           I am suffering so much even though
.             I have done nothing wrong.

ELIPHAS       Will you be patient if I say something?

DARREN        Job’s friend, Eliphas- (turns page)
.             goes on to say a lot of things,
.             but the main point to everything was-

ELIPHAS       In the past, you have helped those who
.             were weak, and told them to be strong,
.             but now you have been weakened, AND LOOK-
.             you are complaining.  Why not call on
.             God and see if He will answer you?
.             God can do anything, and God is just,
.             so God should help you. Yes?  And if you
.             HAVE done something wrong, then you should
.             be HAPPY that God is disciplining you.

BROOK         That advice doesn’t sound too bad.

JOB           Show me where I am wrong and I’ll stop
.             my complaining.  But can you blame me?
.             Look at ALL that I have been through!
.             Although, I am thankful that I still
.             have the words of God with me,
.             your words are not helping me.
.             YOU try going through this, and we’ll
.             see what YOU say.

BROOK         Okay, not the best advice, apparently.

DARREN        (turns page)  Oh, it’s Bildad’s turn next.

BILDAD        Traditionally, God rewards the good!
.             And God punishes the bad.
.             Obviously, you HAVE done something wrong,
.             otherwise, God would have restored
.             everything to you already.

BROOK         Ouch!  Now that was harsh.

DARREN        (turns page)  And long.  Then –
.             Job’s reaction to that was basically-
.                                                      5
JOB           Tradition is not our best source of
.             knowledge.  Although our elders have
.             wisdom, they are not perfect themselves.
.             God reveals Himself in nature – showing us
.             that we could never totally understand God
.             and all of His ways.  I am at God’s mercy!
.             Not yours!  You cannot judge my heart!

DARREN        True dat!  (turns page)  But let’s go on
.             to hear what Zophar has to say.

ZOPHAR        Your words cannot keep us quiet.
.             And you cannot speak for God.  Just as
.             you said - who fully knows God’s ways?
.             But let us just look at the facts – you
.             probably deserve to suffer even MORE than
.             you have been, because God is merciful.
.             You need to search your heart and confess.
.             I know that if you do confess, God will
.             reward you with riches.

BROOK         Ooo, now Zophar is speaking for God?

DARREN        (turns page)  And he’s kind of bribing him
.             with promises that he has no control over.
.             Job goes on to react to Zophar-

JOB           Am I a joke to you?  Just because you are
.             NOT suffering and I am – does not make you
.             wiser.  I have seen wicked men become rich.
.             So then why would righteous men not suffer?
.             Let me argue my case before God, and NOT
.             with such worthless friends.

BROOK         Ah, now Job is getting self-righteous.

DARREN        (turns page)  After Job’s long reaction,
.             Eliphaz speaks again with something like-

ELIPHAZ       This conversation is not going anywhere,
.             except that you’ve now made me very angry.
.             Who do you think you are?  I came here to
.             comfort you, and you argue and attack me.
.             And some of what you’ve said proves that
.             you have turned away from God – which shows
.             that you have sinned and DESERVE to suffer.
.             Listen to my wisdom:  the wicked definitely
.             suffer, and if they DO become rich,
.             their riches do not last.
.                                                      6
BROOK         Are you really understanding any of this?

DARREN        Sounds just like an argument to me.
.             A really LONG argument!

BROOK         Arguing never accomplishes anything.

DARREN        (turns page)  Wait, so after all of that,
.             Job is ready to talk again.

JOB           This is not the way to comfort me.  You are
.             the ones who are arguing and accusing me.
.             And not only that, God has worn me down,
.             and is JUST using me for target practice,
.             even though God KNOWS that I am innocent.

BROOK         (gasps)  I would not say that about God.

DARREN        You’re not suffering, like Job is.

BROOK         True-dat.  Okay, I would hope that I would
.             not say stuff like that about God.

DARREN        (turns page)  Bildad gets another turn.

BILDAD        We’ll talk more once you become reasonable.
.             It’s obvious, you MUST be cursed!
.             I doubt you even know God at all.

BROOK         Now that is just wrong – on so many levels.

DARREN        (turns page)  Job reacts again-

JOB           How long will you torment me?
.             Even if I HAVE done wrong, I certainly
.             do NOT deserve this.  I blame God.

(ALL gasp, including BROOK and DARREN.)

JOB           God has taken everything away from me.
.             But hear my words, - I know that
.             my Redeemer lives, and even if I die-
.             I will see God in heaven.

BROOK         Okay, I was not expecting that.

DARREN        At least Job has not lost hope in God.
.             (turns page)  Yet obviously, Zophar still
.             does not believe what Job is saying-
.                                                      7
ZOPHAR        Well, I may not know what it is exactly,
.             but I do know that you have done
.             something wrong to deserve all of this.

DARREN        More self-righteous accusations-
.             (turns page)  Job responds-

JOB           Listen carefully, there are times when
.             wicked men die peacefully.  I’m sure if you
.             asked around, you’d find someone like that.
.             But their punishment will come afterwards.
.             I am suffering because it is God’s will.

DARREN        And then- (turns page) -there is more-
.             (turns page) –and more- (turns page) and...
.             (turns two more pages)

BROOK         Do they ever say anything new?

DARREN        Naw.  I guess people really like to argue,
.             say hurtful things, (turns page) and hear
.             themselves talk.

BROOK         And try to figure out God.  So do they
.             ever end the argument?  Do they ever
.             apologize or reconcile?

DARREN        Well, eventually, (turns two pages)
.             after they are all talked out –

(ELIPHAS, BILDAD and ZOPHAR clamp their mouths shut,
showing stubbornness.  ELIHU now gets up and paces,
pretending to talk as DARREN and BROOK talk about him.)

BROOK         Who’s that?  He hasn’t spoken yet.

DARREN        His name is Elihu, youngest one there.
.             Now he feels it’s finally his turn.

BROOK         I see.  Does he add anything new?

DARREN        Well- (turns page) he is angry at Job for
.             thinking he is totally innocent, and for
.             blaming God.  (turns page)  He’s angry at
.             the 3 friends who accused Job of sinning.
.             (turns page)  He feels that wisdom comes
.             from God, and- (turns page) not necessarily
.             from older men.

BROOK         So, more of the same?                    8

DARREN        Yeah– (turns page) -except for one part –

ELIHU         God can use suffering to make us listen!

BROOK         Okay, we hadn’t heard that one yet.

DARREN        Elihu was wise in not speaking at first,
.             but then he made up for lost time,
.             and (turns page) went on and on and on.

BROOK         Until?

DARREN        Until FINALLY – it’s God’s turn.

BROOK         Oh-oh.

DARREN        (turns 3 pages)  Six pages of God talking,
.             and basically saying:

(ALL MEN bow their heads in shame as God speaks.)

GOD’S VOICE   How can a creature analyze the Creator
.             of the entire universe?  Even though
.             you are my servant, who are you
.             to question what I do or what I allow?

JOB           I know that You can do all things,
.             and that no purpose of Yours can be
.             thwarted, or should be questioned.
.             I do not need to understand why I suffer.
.             I just need to remember that You
.             are in control, and that You do love us.
.             It is a great comfort to know that the God
.             who created the universe - wants to be
.             our Heavenly Father, to have fellowship
.             and a close relationship with us.

DARREN        Then, God speaks to Job’s friends.

GOD’S VOICE   My wrath is kindled against you because you
.             have not spoken of Me what is right
.             as My servant Job has.  Job will pray
.             for you as you confess and make sacrifices.

(The FOUR FRIENDS exits humbly, as JOB bows in prayer.)

BROOK         Is that how it ends?

DARREN        (turns page)  God restores all of         9
.             Job’s fortunes.  Everything that he had
.             before, he was given twice as much.
.             And Job’s health is restored.

(JOB stands and turns around as he throws off
the sackcloth.  WIFE enters and hugs JOB, relieved.)

DARREN        Job and his wife even had 7 more sons
.             and 3 more daughters.

BROOK         Wait, if God doubled everything,
.             shouldn’t there have been 14 sons
.             and 6 daughters?

DARREN        Ah, the others went to heaven-
.             so as riches can be lost or taken away,
.             people do not just cease to exit.

BROOK         Makes sense.

DARREN        And God blessed Job with a long,
.             happy life.

WIFE          (to JOB)  Come, let us celebrate!

(WIFE and JOB exit.)

(INCLUDE ENDING:  unless going right into the
next skit.)

(DARREN closes the Bible.)

BROOK         I am so glad God is always there for us
.             no matter what we’re going through.