TITLE: Blessed Be His Name
By Jacob Gibson
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Song to use: “Blessed be your Name” by Tree63
Equipment: two pieces of paper or a slide projector (optional), blocks for God and the devil to stand on in the background
Actors: Up to 16 males (Job, 3 messengers, 3 friends, up to 7 sons, God and Satan) and 4 females (up to 3 daughters, 1 wife)
Costumes: Jewish (optional), white clothes for God, black for Satan
There are two ways you could do this. The first way gives equal time to Job’s blessings and suffering and ends with his restoration, as a way to compare the Christian’s life of good and bad. The second way focuses more on Job’s suffering and the story. Each way has pros and cons, and I’ll share both ways. Actions are cued by the words of the songs.
Part 1 (first verse and chorus): Stage set up begins with Job and his family on stage talking amonst themselves. Meanwhile Job is offstage in the center aisle. (Or he starts on stage, says goodbye to his family, and walks to the center aisle) God and Satan are on a raised platform behind the family looking down and commentating the whole time, God is smiling and motioning towards Job, telling Satan how great Job is, and the devil gets irritated. “Blessed be your name in the land that is plentiful...” Right after Job’s children leave center stage and go in different directions for their own work, Job walks off stage to the center aisle. Job works in the field and later on builds an altar and prepares sacrifices for his children in case they sinned. (or he just goes on his knees and prays) He looks up, prays silently, and points back to his family. “Every blessing you pour out...” Job comes home soon after his children do, and greets his family with hugs and shoulder punches.
At the chorus all of the family spreads out, sings along with the words, and worships God with hands raised. (Maybe the wife could be busy doing something else instead)
Part 2 (second verse and chorus): “Blessed be your name when the sun’s shining down on me...” Job walks back to center aisle. Before the first chorus ends Satan points at Job, frustrated, and persuades God to let him test Job. God nods his head, and Satan gleefully jumps off the platform aside of the family. God follows him and keeps his hand on Satan’s shoulder (so he can’t do whatever he wants). On the phrase “sun’s shining down” Satan holds up a piece of paper with a picture of an ox/oxen, tears it in half, and throws aside the pieces. A messenger runs to Job and tells him the news of his dead oxen, and Job acts perplexed, asking him more questions. Right before or at the beginning of “Blessed be your name on the road marked with suffering” Satan tears up a picture of his servants (people in costume maybe not in the play) or a camel/camels, and throws the pieces. A second messenger comes to Job while the first is still speaking and tells him, making him even more concerned.
Right before “Every blessing you pour out” Satan walks over to the sons and daughters stomps his foot/throws up his arms/throws down his hands and all of his family (except the wife) fall over dead, crushed under a crumbling building. A third messenger runs up to Job and tells him what happened, and Job covers his mouth horrified and shakes his head in disbelief. He runs back on stage, falls on his knees before his loved ones, and sings with the chorus “Blessed be the name of the Lord...” with arms raised and tears in eyes. The family lies dead until later.
Part 3 (bridge and chorus): This part a bit crammed. “You give and take away.” Still not happy, Satan runs up to Job, pushes his head down, and touches his arms to give him boils. Job looks at them shocked and then scratches them. Immediately his wife tells him to curse God and die and Job shakes his head, then his three friends quickly run to him and argue with him. God is standing right behind them in the middle and all four point at him and argue about him. Job makes motions that say I'm innocent and points at God demanding he talk to him. “When the darkness closes in” on 2:42 God walks in the midst of them and all fall back terrified. He looks at Job and asks him questions, making gestures, but Job just shakes his head confused and ashamed.
God walks to his family and at 3:06 (“Blessed be the name”) He throws up his hands and the family immediately stands up alive (to represent Job’s new family if his old one wasn’t resurrected). Job is overjoyed and runs back to them. Again everyone (except the devil of course) sings the rest of the song praising God. The track could be taken back to 3:22 “You give and take away” after 3:36 “Lord blessed be your name” to make it longer. Too bad the song isn’t a little longer.
Nearly everything is the same as method one. Same costumes, same characters, and much of the same ideas. Part 1 begins with Job coming home to his family, but at the second half of the first verse, “Blessed be your name when I’m found in the desert place” the devil begins to send curses on him. On the second verse and chorus, Job’s friends see him, sit down with him silently, he stands up and yells and his friends soon get into a heated debate. Then God shows up again and restores everything again.
The obvious problem with this is that the actors have to lie dead for the rest of the play and can’t do much else. Also, there could be some dead time in the song waiting for a cue to signal when God steps in or something else changes.
Hope it works!
Extra ideas: Use a slide projector to show pictures of Job’s property and cattle before and after they’re destroyed. Dim the lights when things get worse. Use some kind of cream for Satan to spread on Job’s arms to give the appearance of boils (God will have to wipe it off somehow). Make the song longer by replaying some parts, like restart at 3:21 right after 3:36. Use more props (a table for a meal might work, but it could also get in the way). Have the family members frozen when the devil sends the first two curses.
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