Saturday, June 30, 2012

Discussion: The First Book

If you know me or read the about me section of this blog, you probably know I’ve written a book with the intent of making it into a series. If all goes according to plan, there will be a sequel and a prequel. Why didn’t I start at the beginning? Because I want events and truths to unfold in such a way that the reader learns as my protagonist does.
Like me, any author of a series can tell you why they chose to begin where they did. It was not an accident. It was planned.
Many believe the first book of the Bible was Job. If this is true, have you ever wondered why God started here? Why didn’t he start at the beginning? What was written that was so important that He needed to begin here?
In reading Job—again—something jumped out at me. While God and Satan are chatting, God is the one who brings up Job…not Satan. Chapter 1 verse 7 shows God and Satan engaged in small talk. Satan tells God he’s pretty much just hanging out—walking around on the earth—boring stuff. Verse 8 says this, “Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
Satan basically tells God to take away the blessings He’s given Job. Surely without all his riches, Job will curse God, right?
But God doesn’t do that. Instead, in verse 12 he says to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”
Gulp. God is telling Satan to use the power God gave him to throw a serious hurting Job’s way. And it’s His idea.
Why do you think God did this? Why did He suggest Satan hurt Job? Why did He enable him to do it? And, of all the books in the Bible, why do you think God chose this one to share first—before the beginning?  
My thought: God wants us to know where all the power truly comes from. He wants us to know who is in control. He wants us to love him, to refrain from sinning, despite our circumstances. He wants to help us grow. He wants us to trust him.
What are your thoughts?
His servant,


  1. I was quite intrigued by your post, Jennifer. You make a fascinating and, I think, valid point that God wrote the Book of Job first because He wants us to know that He is in control. You also make an interesting point in relating this to the order in which novelists write series. I've written the first novel of a trilogy entitled The Italian Chronicles. Although my series will be in chronological order, I chose this option deliberately because it is the option that will best serve to illuminate the message of my trilogy as a whole. Other novelists choose to write the prequel last. Also a deliberate choice, as you say. So the order of a series is a conscious choice by the novelist for specific purpose that can be fulfilled only by that particular choice.

    Thanks again for a thought-provoking post. :)


    MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA

    1. Thank you MaryAnn. Of course, we can only speculate that Job was the first book and it doesn't impact my faith one way or the other, but it's interesting to consider - particularly as authors.

  2. Wow! What a thought provoking post. Mind blowing actually!

    1. Thanks Pilar! Nothing like your poetry. :)

  3. Wouldn't it be great to talk to the authors of the Bible about their writing process! I wonder if they even thought about what they wrote, but simply let it flow from their hearts. I'm sure there are times when I over think my writing! Great post.

    1. Yes! That would be fantastic! There is little I need to know, but much I want to know. And I'm definitely guilty of over-thinking. But can you imagine handwriting as they did - no word processors, no undo function? Yikes!