BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday October 13, 2013
WHAT AM I SUPPOSE TO LEARN?
(What can I learn about GOD through adversity?)
Job 38:1-4 & 42:1-12
In Job chapters 38-41, Job gets an unexpected visit and response from GOD, WHOM he had complained to earlier. However, GOD does not come to field questions from the suffering Job, but instead, HE comes armed with questions of HIS OWN, and then, HE challenges HIS bewildered follower to answer them.
In chapter 38 the LORD comes in the form of a mighty whirlwind and begins to query Job with a barrage of questions that continue on through the next four chapters.
· In the first series of questions (38:1-39:30), GOD gives Job an oral exam that challenged his knowledge of the physical universe, as compared to HIS OWN. Afterwards, Job feeling very humble, realized just how limited his knowledge really is (40:1-5).
· In Job 40:6-41:34, “GOD gives Job a lecture on HIS OWN invincibility” as HE challenges Job for questioning HIS command of the “moral universe” (40:6-14) and then, shows Job, quite clearly, how man’s limited control over “evil”, and over “nature”, can, in no way, compare to HIS OWN sovereign command (40:15-41:34).
As we read through these pages of Scripture, we can’t help but notice the irony of GOD’s questions to Job. However, we can also see that GOD still does not “rebuke” Job for questioning HIS “divine justice”, nor, does HE charge Job with any sin. In fact, this entire monologue by GOD only serves to show us that GOD is in control at all times, and that, HE is not bound by our understanding, nor, is HE bound by our “lack of understanding” . In the end, Job discovers that our GOD is a GOD of great power and majesty, and in fact, when we see how great HE is, we realize, quite vividly, how little we are.
The strength to face difficult times is not found in our “knowing why”, we must face them, but rather, it lies in “the confidence that we have” that our great GOD loves us completely, and that, HE is still in charge of everything that goes on in this world. And so, ultimately, Job also came to realize that we don’t need answers to life’s problems, as much as we need GOD HIMSELF.
In Job 42:1-6, we see Job’s repentant heart being manifested in his final recorded response to GOD. There he declares, “I know that YOU can do anything, and no one can stop YOU. YOU ask, “Who is this that questions MY wisdom with such ignorance?” It is I, and I was talking about things I did not understand, things far too wonderful for me. YOU said, “Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them”. I had heard about YOU before, but now I have seen YOU with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance” (NLT).
In Job 42:10, after Job had shown “a forgiving spirit” toward his friends who had questioned his integrity, GOD restores Job completely by releasing him from his suffering, and HE also restored Job back his fortune, twofold.
GOD saw Job’s need for minor improvements in his relationship with HIM, and Job showed that need to us by way of his statement in Job 3:25. It was a statement that displayed a deeply embedded “iota of mistrust” in GOD, despite all of the blessings that GOD had previously bestowed upon him. GOD allowed satan to squeeze Job until it was brought to his attention, and when Job realized his fault, he quickly repented, and he also took back all that he had said in his ignorance about the power and sovereignty of the Almighty GOD.
Back in Job 14:14, Job asked the question, “If mortals die, can they live again? He also goes on to say, that, “this thought would give me hope, and through my struggle, I would eagerly await for my release”. In the Gospel of Saint Mark, in chapter 16, John Mark gives us a vivid description of the events that occurred on that early Sunday morning, surrounding the resurrection of our LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST.
This particular morning went down in history as the greatest morning to ever dawn on the souls of mankind, and it brought with it, a realization of that “hope of release” that Job had so prophetically spoke about, all those years earlier. It was, quite literally, “the dawn of the Christian Hope”.
When JESUS came, bringing healing to men’s bodies, and salvation to men’s souls, HE, in effect, had begun “the work of creation” all over again. Remember, in the beginning, all things had been made good (Genesis 1:31), however, since that time, the sins of man had ruined it all. But on that glorious resurrection morning, and in fact, throughout JESUS’ three-year earthly ministry, we see HIM bringing back “the beauty of GOD” to a world, that had long ago, been rendered “ugly” by the sins of man.
The story of Job is the supreme example of suffering in the Old Testament times, however, “the passion of CHRIST”, is the supreme example of suffering, for all time. GOD released Job from his suffering, because of his faith, and because of his righteous obedience to HIM. And likewise, JESUS can and will, release us from our suffering, for precisely the same reason.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website