The Peculiar Character of Seventh-day Adventists

I agree with Linda’s sentiments and would like to contribute (perhaps as a kind of summary) one man’s view of the most important lesson we are to learn from the story of Job.
The following is excerpted from a book about Job written by an English clergyman/author of the 19th century named E. W. Bullinger. As always, when reading something written in another time, allowance should be made for changes in the meaning of words. For example the word patience may better be understood in our day as endurance and pitiful as compassionate.

The Oldest Lesson in the World
or The Lesson of the Book of Job
As Seen in ‘The End of the Lord’

‘Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.’ (James 5:11)

We have all heard of the patience of Job. But the great and important question is this, have we ‘seen the end’ which the Lord had in view in all His dealings with Job? The end which He brought about in His own perfect way?
The object and purpose of the book are one. Whatever is said or done; whoever speaks or acts; all has reference to one person; and all is designed to bring about one end. It is a long book. It consists of forty-two chapters, relating to various events, and different agencies all brought to bear upon one person, and all directed to one end - the ‘end of the Lord’.
Ancient it is beyond all dispute. This, therefore is the oldest lesson in the world. It is the first great lesson which stands in the fore-front of revelation; the lesson of the book of Job answers the solemn question,
'How should man be just with God?'
This is not only the oldest lesson, but it is the most important lesson that is possible for us to learn. If we know not this lesson it matters not what else we may know. If we know this lesson, it little matters what else we do not know.
Job was perfect. The Hebrew word (tam) means upright, sincere and without guile. He did possess that wisdom which fears the Lord and departs from evil; but the only true wisdom, which always justifies God and condemns one’s self, he did not know. True wisdom is to know what is ‘a contrite heart’ and ‘a broken spirit’. These are the sacrifices with which God is well pleased; and apart from these all other ‘wisdom’ and all other sacrifices are worthless.
Until man knows this he cannot know either God or himself.
To teach Job this important lesson is the ‘end’ of all that we read in this book. All that is done and all that is said is intended to do for Job:
What the ‘mighty famine’ did for the lost son (Luke ch 15)
What another famine did for Joseph’s brethren (Gen 44:16)
What Nathan’s parable did for David (2Sam 12:1-13)
What a glorious vision did for Isaiah (ch 6:1-5) and for Daniel (ch 10:1-8)
What a wondrous miracle did for Peter (Luke 5:1-8).
The same work must be done for Job; and the same result must be produced in his case as in theirs.
As the lost son confessed, ‘I have sinned’.
As Joseph’s brethren acknowledged, ‘We are verily guilty’.
As David said, ‘I have sinned against the Lord’.
As Isaiah confessed, ‘Woe is me! …I am a man of unclean lips’.
And as Daniel declared, ‘My comeliness has turned into corruption’.
So Job must be taught to say, ‘I am vile’ (ch 40:4), ‘I abhor myself’, ‘I repent in dust and ashes’ (ch 42:6).
This is the ‘end of the Lord’ for the Lord Himself must teach this Divine lesson.
Man may be used by God to bring this about; but God alone must be the bringer near of His own salvation, and the bestower of His own righteousness.
All this is quite apart from mere ‘religion’ as such. Job was religious. Religion is the attempt by man to become righteous by morality and ordinances; but the moment God produces a broken heart and a contrite spirit, the sinner is lifted out of the region of religion, and becomes the possessor of ‘the righteousness of God’ Himself.
The book of Job…is an object lesson which exhibits before our eyes the Divine answer to man’s great question - the question of this book:
'How shall mortal man be just with God?'
Unless we recognize this as the ‘end’ and design of the book, we shall never understand it, or learn its lesson for ourselves. Jehovah dwells only ‘with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit’ (Is 57:15); to this man only He says, ‘will I look’ (Is 66:2). But neither one nor the other is seen in the case of Job until we come to the end of the book, and have ‘seen the end of the Lord’.
True, we have ‘heard of the patience of Job’; and if that had been all there was to hear it would have been only an additional ground for self-confidence; and a ground for our own depression and disappointment; for we fail to produce such patience as his.
But there is something for us to see as well as to hear; and that is, ‘the end of the Lord’; ‘even that the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy’. But this is seen only by those who have themselves been made broken in heart, and contrite in spirit, under His mighty hand.
The One who ends this mighty work is the One who begins it. He began it here with his question to the Adversary in the first chapter; and He ends it with His double blessing in the last chapter.

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i think this is so true…and contrition is a lesson that isn’t readily learned…generally, extraordinary circumstances are needed to bring it about…but the new awareness that sets in the moment true contrition takes hold is a very precious thing…it ends up being the guide that leads to a whole new way of understanding and recognizing spiritual things…and as we yield to and cultivate this awareness, we do become very different inside…we realize to the fullest extent the objective truth in christ’s words and parables that we read in the gospels…it’s a most wonderful state of being…nothing compares with it…we can tell we are still ourselves, yet we can distinguish the additional presence of an intelligence that isn’t ourself…i think it’s this connection with and sense of god that is missing in fallen humans, but that is recovered in the process of conversion, all of which hinges on contrition, which i think itself is a gift…that is, i don’t think it’s possible to just decide to be contrite, and then achieve it…

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