Job Survey Part I: Getta Job
1:1 in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and eschewed evil
5 offer burnt offerings...them all; "It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts."
a. You can’t be blameless or upright without fearing God (Pr 3:7; 16:6)
b. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
1:9 "Does Job fear God for nothing...11...touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face." 12 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, all that he has is in your power; only do not stretch out your hand against him!" So Satan went out from the LORD.
a. God and Satan have tea at 4:00 every day; we’re just pawns in their cosmic chess game (Who is Worthy and Wise?)
b. God doesn’t have to bribe our allegiance; God should be sought/served for His person, not just for temporal pleasure
1:20...fell on the ground and worshipped. 21 He said, "Naked I came...LORD gave...blessed be the name of the LORD." 22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong-doing.
a. The correct response to disaster is praising God as infinitely: sovereign/powerful (in control), wise, just/good and loving
b. Stages of Grief: 1) Denial; 2) Anger (outward, then inward); 3) Bargaining/Depression; 4) Genuine grief; 5) Resolution/Acceptance
2:3...He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason." 5...touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face." 6 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, he is in your power; only spare his life."
9 Then his wife said to him, "Do you still persist in your integrity? Curse God, and die." 10 "You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
a. Embracing God’s will for our lives with trust and contentment and without grumbling is a major part of our integrity
b. Suffering is a vaccine against short-sightedness of the soul
(attention, discipline, strengthen, deepen, prepares: blessing/service, focus/priorities, attachment, pleasure, eternal perspective)
2:11 Job's three friends...go and console and comfort him. 13 They sat with him on the ground...no one spoke a word to him
3:1 After this Job cursed the day of his birth. 25 Truly the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me.
4:1 Eliphaz 2 "If one ventures a word with you, will you be offended? But who can keep from speaking? 6 Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope? 7 "Think now, who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off? 8 As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.
Ãž Love is not unconditional acceptance but action is another’s best interest (usually at the expense of ourselves)
5:7 human beings are born to trouble...8 I would seek God; to God I would commit my cause. 17 "How happy is the one whom God reproves; therefore don’t despise the discipline of the Almighty. 18 For he wounds, but he binds up; he strikes, but his hands heal
6:9 that it would please God to crush me, that he would let loose his hand and cut me off! 10 This would be my consolation; I would even exult in unrelenting pain; for I have not denied the words of the Holy One. 14 "Those who withhold kindness from a friend forsake the fear of the Almighty. 15 My companions are treacherous...24 "Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone wrong. 25 How forceful are honest words! But your reproof, what does it reprove?
7: 21 Why do you not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity?
Ãž Sin, discipline, reproof, confession, repentance, forgiveness, instruction, & training (with accountability) are steps to life
8:1 Bildad the Shuhite: 2 "How long will you say these things, and the words of your mouth be a great wind? 3 Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert the right? 5 If you will seek God and make supplication to the Almighty, 6 if you are pure and upright, surely then he will rouse himself for you and restore to you your rightful place. 11:1 Zophar 2 "Should a multitude of words go unanswered, and should one full of talk be vindicated? 4 For you say, 'My conduct is pure, and I am clean in God's sight.' 6...God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves. 18 there is hope 12:9 all know that the hand of the LORD has done this
Ãž Circumstances are not an accurate indicator of reality
9:1 Job 2...how can a mortal be just before God? 3 If one wished to contend with Him, one could not answer him...4 He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength who has resisted him, and succeeded? 15 Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him; I must appeal for mercy to my accuser. 33 There is no umpire between us, who might lay his hand on us both. 10:2 Do not condemn me; let me know why you contend against me. 14 If I sin, you watch do not acquit me of my iniquity. 15 If I am wicked, woe to me!
Ãž Your arms are too short to box with God or haul Him into court
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response
1. Why are we so quick to believe circumstances? If fear of God a Biblical motivator? What enabled Job to praise God?
2. Is it OK to question God? When does questioning become sin? When are we tempted to fight against God? Symptoms?
3. Should comforters “sit” or “speak”? Why? Does the accuracy or form of reproof matter to someone seeking a solution?
4. How does God use suffering in your life? What are some of the (potential) benefits of a difficulty you’ve recently faced?
5. How do you account for Job’s integrity? Could you defend your integrity like Job? Why/Why not?
Job Survey Part II: Job Done
13:3 I desire to argue my case with God. 15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways
Ãž Trust in God regardless of the consequences requires knowing He is infinitely good and powerful
13:18 I have indeed prepared my case; I know that I shall be vindicated. 23 How many are my iniquities and my sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin. 5 Far be it from me to say that you are right; until I die I will not put away my integrity from me. 6 I hold fast my righteousness, and will not let it go; my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.
Ãž A clear conscience requires reflection and request for reproof
14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. 14 If mortals die, will they live again?...release...
Ãž Life is short: 1) This world is not all there is; 2) There is a better world coming in which God rewards righteousness; 3) God gives us everything we need to seek first righteousness (pass our tests) and reap our reward
19:1 Job: 2 "How long will you torment me, and break me in pieces with words? 3 These ten times...wronged me 4...if it is true that I have erred, my error remains with me. 17 My breath is repulsive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own family. 19 All my intimate friends abhor me, and those whom I loved have turned against me. 25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; 26 and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God
23:1 Job 2 "Today also my complaint is bitter; his hand is heavy despite my groaning. 3 Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his dwelling! 4 I would lay my case before him, and fill my mouth with arguments. 5 I would learn what he would answer me, and understand what he would say to me. 10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold. 11 My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside. 12 I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured in my bosom the words of his mouth.
Ãž Supreme confidence in the future results from knowledge of the Supreme being and ourselves
22:1 Eliphaz: 2 "Can a mortal be of use to God? 3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are righteous, or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless? 21 "Agree with God, and be at peace; in this way good will come to you. 22 Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart 23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored, if you remove unrighteousness from your tents, 24 if you treat gold like dust...25 and if the Almighty is your gold and your precious silver, 26 then you will delight yourself in the Almighty, and lift up your face to God 27...pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will pay your vows.
Ãž Sin, discipline, reproof, confession, repentance, forgiveness, instruction, & training (with accountability) are steps to life
28:12 "But where shall wisdom be found? understanding? 13 Mortals do not know the way to it; it is not found in the land of the living. 28 And he said to humankind, 'Truly, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.'"
Ãž Wisdom is choosing the right objectives and the right means of attaining those objectives.
Ãž Fear of the Lord: awareness that the God who judges and rewards is watching and remembering everything I think do and say
29:1 Job 2 "Oh...as in the days when God watched over me; 4 when I was in my prime, when the friendship of God was upon my tent; 12 because I delivered the poor who cried, and the orphan who had no helper. 13 I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. 14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe 15 I was eyes to the blind, feet to the lame. 16 I was a father to the needy, and I championed the cause of the stranger. 17 I broke the fangs of the unrighteous, and made them drop their prey from their teeth. 31:1 "I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I look upon a virgin? 3 Does not calamity befall the unrighteous, and disaster the workers of iniquity? 4 Does he not see my ways, and number all my steps? 5 "If I have walked with falsehood, and my foot has hurried to deceit-- 6 let me be weighed in a just balance, and let God know my integrity!-- 7 if my step has turned aside from the way, and my heart has followed my eyes, and if any spot has clung to my hands; 8 then let me sow, and another eat...9 "If my heart has been enticed by a woman...16 "If I have withheld anything that the poor desired, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail, 17 or have eaten my morsel alone, and the orphan has not eaten from it 19 if I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, or a poor person without covering...23 For I was in terror of calamity from God, and I could not have faced his majesty. 24 "If I have made gold my trust, fine gold my confidence; 25 if I have rejoiced because my wealth was great, or because my hand had gotten much; 28 this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for I should have been false to God above. 29 "If I have rejoiced at the ruin of those who hated me, or exulted when evil overtook them-- 30 I have not let my mouth sin by asking for their lives with a curse 32 the stranger has not lodged in the street; I have opened my doors to the traveler-- 33 if I have concealed my transgressions as others do, by hiding my iniquity in my bosom, 34 because I stood in great fear of the multitude, and the contempt of families terrified me 38 "If my land has cried out against me, and its furrows have wept together; 39 if I have eaten its yield without payment, and caused the death of its owners; 40 let thorns grow instead of wheat, and foul weeds instead of barley." The words of Job are ended.
Ãž There is an appropriate time to ponder & reason and an appropriate time to hang on for the ride
32:1 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 2 Then Elihu...became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God; 3 he was angry also at Job's three friends because they had found no answer, though they had declared Job to be in the wrong. 12...but there was in fact no one that confuted Job, no one among you that answered his words. 33:9 You say, 'I am clean, without transgression; I am pure, and there is no iniquity in me. 2 "But in this you are not right. I will answer you: God is greater than any mortal. 13 Why do you contend against him, saying, 'He will answer none of my words'? 22 Their souls draw near the Pit...26 Then he prays to God, and is accepted by him, he comes into his presence with joy, and God repays him for his righteousness. 27 That person sings to others and says, 'I sinned, and perverted what was right, and it was not paid back to me. 28 He has redeemed my soul from going down to the Pit, and my life shall see the light.'
Ãž God doesn’t need to answer our every insecurity, because He already has answered everything in His revealed character
34:1 Then Elihu 5 For Job has said, 'I am innocent, and God has taken away my right; 6 in spite of being right I am counted a liar; my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.' 9 For he has said, 'It profits one nothing to take delight in God.' 10...far be it from God that he should do wickedness, and from the Almighty that he should do wrong. 11 For according to their deeds he will repay them, and according to their ways he will make it befall them. 12 Of a truth, God will not do wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice. 21 "For his eyes are upon the ways of mortals, and he sees all their steps. 22 There is no gloom or deep darkness where evildoers may hide themselves. 35 'Job speaks without knowledge, his words are without insight.' 36 Would that Job were tried to the limit, because his answers are those of the wicked. 37 For he adds rebellion to his sin; he claps his hands among us, and multiplies his words against God."
Ãž Doubting God’s revelation of Himself and His will is equivalent to rebellion
35:1 Elihu 2 "Do you think this to be just? You say, 'I am in the right before God.' 3 If you ask, 'What advantage have I? How am I better off than if I had sinned?' 6 If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him? And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him? 7 If you are righteous, what do you give to him; or what does he receive from your hand? 8 Your wickedness affects others like you, and your righteousness, other human beings. 13 Surely God does not hear an empty cry, nor does the Almighty regard it. 15 And now, because his anger does not punish, and he does not greatly heed transgression, 16 Job opens his mouth in empty talk, he multiplies words without knowledge."
Ãž If God doesn’t jump at our command, it doesn’t mean that He is incapable of jumping
36:7 He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous, but with kings on the throne he sets them forever, and they are exalted. 8 if they are bound in fetters and caught in the cords of affliction, 9 then he declares to them their work and their transgressions, that they are behaving arrogantly 10 He opens their ears to instruction, and commands that they return from iniquity. 11 If they listen, and serve him, they complete their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasantness. 12 But if they do not listen, they shall perish by the sword, and die without knowledge 13 the godless in heart cherish anger; they do not cry for help when he binds them 21 Beware! Do not turn to iniquity; because of that you have been tried by affliction. 23 Who has prescribed for him his way, or who can say, 'You have done wrong'? 26 Surely God is great, and we do not know him; the number of his years is unsearchable.
Ãž Anger against God results from an loss of perspective and results in a loss of blessing
37:5 God thunders; he does great things that we cannot comprehend. 14 "Hear this, O Job; stop and consider the wondrous works of God. 22...God is awesome majesty. 23 The Almighty--we cannot find him; he is great in power and justice, and abundant righteousness he will not violate. 24 Therefore mortals fear him; he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit."
Ãž A correct view of God results in a correct response to God, i.e., fear and humble acceptance of His dealings with us.
38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind: 2 "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me. 4. "Where were you when...33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth? 39:1 "Do you know...40:2 "Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Anyone who argues with God must respond."
40:3 Then Job answered the LORD: 4 "See, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth.
40:8 Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be justified? 12 (can you) look on all who are proud, and bring them low; tread down the wicked where they stand. 13 Hide them all in the dust together; bind their faces in the world below. 14 Then I will also acknowledge to you that your own right hand can give you victory.
42:1 Then Job answered the LORD: 2 "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3...I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; 6 therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes."
42:7...to Eliphaz..."My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. 8...offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has done." 10. And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before...12 The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. Why is it easier to trust God for our eternal destiny than for our immediate needs/desires?
2. Can a mortal affect the way the immortal feels or acts? (22:2) What does God gain from our righteousness?
3. How conscious was Job of His righteous? Is being righteous in you own eyes good or bad? What’s the alternative?
4. How does your view of God match Job? Do/should your actions match his as well? What would you have said to Job?
5. What questions about your life are you tempted to demand God answer? Past or present? Would the answer change the way you live?