Episode 6 – Job – A Time Of Trouble

tale2tell original Bible Stories series – Old Testament

Based on the book of Job

A Time of Trouble – The Story of Job

     ‘Raiders!’ The sound of the man’s desperate voice made Job turn and look. ‘The Sabeans, they came and stole all your oxen and donkeys, and they’ve killed all your servants except me. (PAUSE) I’m the only one left alive!’

As he was speaking another man came running towards them. ‘Oh my master! The fire of God! The fire of God! As I watched, it fell from the sky and burned up all your sheep and the shepherds. I’m the only one left alive … ‘

‘The Chaldeans, the Chaldeans!’ The urgency in the voice made the three of them turn to see the man rushing towards them. ‘Oh my master. The Chaldeans have stolen all your camels and killed everyone. I’m the only one left!’ (PAUSE)

     It seemed that in a moment everything Job owned had gone with only Job and his family left. Silently, he thanked God that at least they were safe. (PAUSE) But even as he prayed he saw the small figure running towards him.

As he came closer, Job recognised him as a servant who worked for his eldest son. His face was pale, almost expressionless, but as he came and stood before Job, Job noticed the trembling in his hands that hung limply by his side.

‘ My master,’ he started. Then lowered his eyes to the ground. (SWALLOW) ‘They’re all dead my lord. There was nothing I could do. I left the house to fetch water, when a sudden violent and terrible wind rushed at the house. It struck the house on all sides at once. (PAUSE) They didn’t stand a chance…’ (P)

At the news of the death of his children Job fell to the floor, a roar of grief tearing at his throat. (PAUSE) While Satan, the enemy of God, smiled and listened to the man’s words. Surely now Job would curse God, and Satan would prove that no one really loved God, unless they had something to gain from it of course. 

You see, Satan had stood before God only a short time before and God had pointed out Job as a man who insisted on doing what God wanted. God had blessed Job with great riches, with children, animals and servants, and so Satan challenged God. ‘Take away Job’s riches and he’ll curse you.’

And now Satan listened, waiting to prove he was right with Job’s own words. (P)     

The roar of grief died on Job’s lips, and as he knelt in the dust he opened his mouth to speak. Satan listened carefully. (PAUSE) ‘When I came into this world, I came naked and with nothing, and when I leave it I won’t take anything with me. God, my Lord, has given me everything I have, and He has taken it away. But I will not stop telling how good my Lord is.’

‘NO!’ Satan screamed as he heard Job’s words, this wasn’t how it was supposed to be. And he ran away, working out how next time he’d make sure Job cursed God. (PAUSE)

Some time later Satan found himself, along with the Angels, once again standing in front of God. Last time he’d got it all wrong and looked such a fool. He’d been sure Job would curse God when he lost everything. But this time, if God mentioned Job, Satan thought he had a foolproof plan.

‘Satan,’ God was speaking to him. ‘Do you see Job? He still fears me even though you persuaded me to let you harm him without cause.’

‘Ha!’ Satan replied. ‘What do you expect, a man’ll do anything to save himself. He blesses you because you bless him. (PAUSE) And I can prove it, let me take away his health, and then he’ll curse you!’

God looked at Satan. Satan couldn’t look back. (PAUSE) ‘OK,’ said God. ‘Do with him as you please, but DO NOT kill him!’

Satan hated being in God’s presence. But he’d got what he wanted. Now he was going to make sure that Job cursed God. (PAUSE)

                 Satan planned his attack well, first he covered Job from head to foot with terrible and painful boils. All poor Job could do was sit on a heap of ashes, and scrape at the painful boils with a broken piece of pottery. Even his wife encouraged him to, ‘curse God and let him kill you! Put an end to all this trouble.’ But Job would not do it and continued to trust God.

That night, and every night, as darkness approached, Job longed to get relief from his troubles by sleeping, but Satan sent terrifying nightmares to rob him of his sleep and wear him down. But Job continued to obey God and didn’t do anything wrong. (PAUSE) Then one day his – ‘friends’ – arrived to … ‘console him’ in his suffering. (PAUSE)

For 7 days after they arrived the three friends said nothing to Job because they saw how terrible his suffering was. They sat with him on the ground, in silence. But inside they were working out what they were going to say. Or perhaps Satan was whispering to them what he wanted them to say to turn Job away from God! After the 7 days had passed, his ‘friends’ could hold back no longer.

‘Why don’t you admit it Job – you’re evil! Can’t you see it? God only punishes those who do wrong, so it’s obvious, you must have been very evil indeed! Say sorry and everything’ll be OK again.’

‘But I’m innocent!’ insisted Job. ‘Who have I cheated? Where’re the widows or orphans that I’ve abused? Which of my servants can accuse me of mistreating them? When my enemy was hurt, I wasn’t happy! I haven’t hurt anyone! I share my home and food with anyone who needs it. Tell me what I’ve done? I AM innocent!

‘You can’t be innocent!’ His friends replied. ‘Don’t you see it? No one’s innocent before God, everyone’s guilty. And that includes you! Anyway, it’s the way things are, God punishes the wicked and he blesses the good. But God isn’t blessing you, just look at all the bad that’ve happened to you, you must be very evil!’

The argument went on and on between Job and his friends, but no matter what Job said they wouldn’t believe he was innocent. And as he argued, Job found himself pleading with God to show him why he was suffering when he was innocent, and why God was silent when all these terrible things were happening?

‘God! It’s not fair!’


As Job questioned, suddenly thunder roared and a whirlwind appeared!

‘Who are you to question me Job?’ As God spoke from inside the violent whirlwind, Job’s friends cowered in fear and Job’s heart turned to jelly inside him. ‘Who are you, Job, to question my wisdom and what I do? If you think you’re so wise, then I will question you and you shall answer me!’

‘Where were you when I first put the world together? Tell me if you know so much. When I’d finished my work and the angels and the stars sang for joy, where were you?’

‘Who decided the boundaries of the sea and land? Do you know where the gates of death are? Have you seen them? But of course you have, you’re so wise you already understand it all!’

‘How about the lightening? Can you command the lightening and it will go where you say? Do you know the wild animals, where they sleep and have their young? Do you make the stars move in their seasons? And do you know the laws of the universe and how I rule the earth?’

‘Tell me Job, are you still so wise that you think you can question what I do and why I do it. Do you still want to question me? Tell me, do you have any answers?’ (PAUSE)

Job realised that all he’d said was foolishness. What right did he have to question God when things didn’t go the way he wanted? How can something that’s been made tell the One who made it, how it should be used?

Job apologised to God for his foolishness. And to show how sorry he was he sat in dust and ashes and in silence.

But God hadn’t finished. He spoke to Job’s so-called friends. God was angry with them for saying things about Him that weren’t true. God might let a good man, like Job, face terrible trouble. And, He might let a bad man have wealth and riches. What’s important is that God is in control, and whatever happens, in the end He will always be fair and good

Job’s friends apologised to God for what they’d said, and Job prayed for them. And after he’d prayed, God gave Job twice as much as he’d had before, and he lived 140 good years and saw four generations of his children and grandchildren.

Episode 2 – The fall – How it all went wrong

tale2tell original Bible Stories series – Old Testament

Based on Genesis chapter 3

How it all went wrong

God had finished His work of creation, He’d made the grass and trees, the birds and animals and the insects and fish. But most important of all, he’d made people, the first man Adam, and the first woman Eve.

Adam & Eve’s job was to look after the world that God had made. It was all so good and perfect, every day God Himself would come and walk and talk with Adam and Eve in a garden that He’d planted for them – the Garden of Eden. And when they heard Him in the garden they’d run to be with Him. And they loved to be with God and talk with Him about all that they were doing. Everything was perfect, everything was just how it was supposed to be (P) but it wasn’t going to last.

In the Garden of Eden, God had planted a tree, called ‘the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’. And He told Adam and Eve that if they ate the fruit from that tree they would – die!

It seemed strange to them, the ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ was fine to look at and its fruit was as good as any other, and yet they were forbidden to even try it?

And anyway, what was – death? Adam and his wife couldn’t really understand properly – because there was no death in the world. They just knew it wasn’t what God wanted and so – they left it alone. Anyway, there were plenty of other trees in the garden, apples and pears, bananas and oranges to name just a few – so it wasn’t hard to leave the tree alone. If God had said not to touch it, He must have a good reason (P) they may not understand but they knew they could trust God. (PAUSE)

God had put that tree in the garden because He wanted to know if the man and the woman really loved Him. (P) If they obeyed Him by not eating the forbidden fruit then He would know that they did love Him. But, if they disobeyed Him and ate the fruit, then He’d know that He wasn’t as important to them as He should be.

It was all so simple. Leave the fruit alone and all would be well. (P) But temptation often comes when you know something’s wrong!

Now, into the Garden of Eden, where the man and the women were living and working, there came an enemy of God. And disguising himself as a snake, he hid by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, whose fruit Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat. The enemy of God hated God and wanted to destroy all the good works God had done. He wanted to spoil God’s perfect creation, and had planned just how to do it! (PAUSE)

God knew what the enemy wanted to do, but He didn’t stop him being near the tree. He didn’t even stop the enemy from talking to the man and woman, because He wanted the man and woman to love Him by choosing to obey His simple command and not eat the fruit – no matter what anybody said to them! (P) All heaven waited to see what the man and woman would do. (PAUSE)

One day, as they worked in the garden, Adam and Eve came near to the place where the enemy, disguised as a snake, was waiting. As the woman was nearest to it, the snake started talking to her.

‘Hello,’ he said.

‘Hello,’ she replied.

‘This is a very beautiful garden you live in,’ continued the snake.

‘Thank you,’ replied the woman, ‘God planted it for us and asked us to look after it.’

 Then the crafty snake asked a question that started to twist what God had said. ‘Tell me, did God really say that you aren’t allowed to eat any of the fruit in the garden?’

‘Of course we can eat it,’ replied the woman. Then she pointed to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. ‘It’s only the fruit from that tree that we aren’t allowed to eat. God said that we shouldn’t eat it, or even touch it, or else we will – die!’

‘You won’t die,’ lied the snake. ‘God said you weren’t allowed to eat that fruit because He knows that when you do you’ll be able to understand everything and become as wise and as powerful as He is.’

‘Ooh’, said the woman. And as she looked up at the glistening fruit hanging temptingly on the tree, she saw how ripe it looked and thought how good it must be to eat. And as she stared at it, a longing came up inside her, and she could see herself, wise like God, powerful and majestic. Almost without noticing she was touching the fruit – and then she decided. She wanted to be like God. She wanted wisdom and power. And she was going to have it. The fruit pulled easily from the branch, she lifted it to her mouth and deliberately bit deeply into the ripe flesh. And then, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, a cold triumphant look on her face, she walked over to where her husband, Adam, had been watching.

Why hadn’t he stopped her? Why hadn’t he just taken her by the hand and led her away, or reminded her once again of what God had told them?

But now it was too late for the woman, there she stood before him, with an expression on her face that he’d never seen before. In her hand she held the fruit, and her lips were stained from the juices. Adam watched wide-eyed as she raised her hand to him, offering him the remainder of the stolen fruit.

If only he’d said no! If only he’d been stronger. If only he’d remembered what God had said and – and – just run away. But like a fool, he took the ripe fruit and without hesitation bit deeply into it, dreaming of how he too might become wise and powerful, majestic and mighty like God Himself. (P)

At that very moment their minds and their hearts were changed. Up until then everything had been simple, but now, things were somehow different. The enemy disguised as a snake was laughing at them. How easy it had been to trick them, and now they would no longer be God’s friends, but his slaves!

And now, everything seemed complicated! They were naked! Why hadn’t that bothered them before? How could they possibly face God naked! How embarrassing! In a hurry they found some leaves and tried to make something to cover themselves up with, but before they’d managed to make it work properly, and to their horror, they heard God walking in the garden. What were they going to do? How could they face God now?

In their fear and confusion Adam and Eve hid themselves amongst the trees of the garden, unwilling to go near the one they’d always previously longed to be with. Instead of running to greet Him at the sound of His voice, they ran away in their shame – and hid! Oh how things had changed! (PAUSE)

So God called out to the man and woman, ‘Where are you?’

The man called back, ‘I heard you in the garden, and … and … well … I’m naked! I can’t come to you like this, it’s so embarrassing and you might be angry with me!’

‘Who told you that you were naked?’ asked God. ‘Have you eaten the fruit from the tree I told you not to eat from?’

‘Yes,’ admitted the man as they slowly came out from their hiding places. ‘But it wasn’t really my fault,’ he lied. ‘It was her fault,’ He pointed at the woman. ‘She gave it to me.’

God looked at the woman. ‘How could you do such a thing after I told you not to?’

‘It’s not really my fault,’ she lied. ‘The snake tricked me into eating it.’ (PAUSE)

Adam and Eve regretted that day for the rest of their lives, wishing that they’d listened to God and never disobeyed Him. But it was too late now, death had come into the world and it couldn’t be undone by anyone!

So what was the point in continuing? Why didn’t God end it all then? His own creation had chosen to reject Him. (P) But even before He’d made the world, He’d known that Adam and Eve would disobey Him. But He still loved them – that’s why He called out to them instead of destroying them. And, He was already working on His own plan, a plan made before the world had begun, that one day He would destroy the power of the enemy – death itself – so we could not only be His friends again, but His children.