Sunday, November 1, 2015

God's Servant Job: A Poem with a Promise, by Douglas Bond

Poor Job.
The story of Job is not one of my favorite books of the Bible.  It raises questions about Satan's role in our lives and God's complicity with which I am not completely comfortable.  The overall message is awesome, but the set up is troubling.  Nevertheless, it's there, in the Bible, and I acknowledge God's sovereignty in including it in the canon of scripture.  Thus I, and my children, need to read it and seek what God has to say for us in it.

Douglas Bond has taken the book of Job and retold it in a poem, with illustrations by Todd Shaffer.  God's Servant Job: A Poem with a Promise faithfully retells the story of Job in kid-friendly verse and cartoonish illustrations.  (I hope that doesn't sound critical.  Shaffer is an animator, and the illustrations look like they're from a cartoon to me.  So I mean that in a good, observational way.)  The pictures reflect biblical-era dress and lifestyle, but in an interesting twist, Satan is more of a modern, steam-punk type character.

Bond's emphasis, and the emphasis that we should take from reading the book of Job itself, is that Job was faithful in the midst of his awful circumstances ("I'll bless you Lord, though, come what may.") and that God is sovereign ("If I guide all without your aid,/ And by My power all things have made,/ Why then my will do you degrade/ And whine that you are underpaid?")

There are spots at which the meter and rhyme are a bit too forced, but this is not uncommon in poems for children such as this.  The sum total is successful, though, in faithfully presenting the story of Job for young ears and eyes.  I need to get over my reluctance to embrace Job.  Bond and Shaffer present the troubling book in the best manner possible.  Perhaps their readers will not share my ambivalence!

Steam-punk Satan

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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