Sunday, September 24, 2006

Book of Job

“Tomorrow, if all literature was to be destroyed and it was left to me to retain one work only, I should save Job.” (Victor Hugo)
I copied this section from the Internet….
While Job’s questions and complaints often come close to charging God with wrong, he never crosses the line and humbly submits to God when told that the answers to his questions are beyond his ability to understand. Thus the book shows us how the righteous should bear up under suffering (“You have heard of the perseverance of Job” - Ja 5:11).

Man is unable to subject the painful experiences of human existence to a
meaningful analysis - God’s workings are beyond man’s ability to fathom. Man simply cannot tie all the “loose ends” of the Lord’s purposes together. We must learn to trust in God, no matter the circumstances.

Suffering may be allowed as a compliment to one’s spirituality - God allowed Job to suffer to prove to Satan what kind of man he really was. What confidence God had in Job!

Why did I choose this Book?
1. We will learn more about God’s omnipotence and artistry so we can offer an awed and grateful response
2. We can examine the relationship between God and Job as insight into our own relationship with God.
3. We can understand our need for humility when considering how we fit into Gods’ Big Picture

Relationship Issues Job was a sound and honest man who revered God and shunned evil. He had 7 sons and 3 daughters. When his kids had parties Job would get them up at dawn the next day and pray for their purification and then offer up a sacrifice.

God really believed Job would never turn on Him and that Job would continue to lead a good life no matter how he was tempted. God bragged about Job. He felt so strongly about it that God allowed Satan to test Job.
Would God have as much confidence in your faithfulness? Would you like God to brag about you? What would you like Him to say? What can He truthfully say now?

In Job 42:7 God gets really angry with Job because He thought Job knew better. God saw Job’s potential and believed in him.
What could your potential produce?

In the beginning of the story (2:10) Job says: “If we accept happiness from God’s hand must we not take sorrow too? Job uttered no sinful word.” Then by Chapter 3 vs 1, Job curses the day of his birth.
Job is 42 chapters long and much of that is filled with complaints and arguments from Job. What percentage of your life have complaints been?
Job had a choice and responded by moaning with his friends and answering God back saying things like: “Not for nothing, but…” and “ With all due respect…”
Job thought he could speak as honestly as he wanted with God… and did. Job’s complaining was described as “long-winded blustering” in 8:2. Would you want God to describe your conversations with Him that way? Have you ever been this honest in your conversations with God? What’s your normal choice about how to deal with extreme frustration or suffering?

(Ch 7 vs 20) Job moans to God: “What have I done to you, you tireless watcher of humanity? Can’t you overlook my fault?” and in Ch 10 vs 1 Job goes on, “I will let my embittered soul speak out and say to God ‘Is it right for You to injure me? You know very well that I am innocent.’ “
When did you ever doubt God’s actions and question Him about it?
The people of the times thought that suffering was punishment for guilt.
(Ch 13:15) “I have no other hope but to justify my conduct in God’s eyes.”
Do you perform this practice? Does it work for you? (It didn’t seem to do so well for poor ole Job.)
Job pushes on in 16: 12 “I was at peace until God shattered me. He took me by the neck and tore me to pieces. He made me a target for His archery and shot arrows at me from every direction.”
Are you thinking:
That’s right Job! Speak on the issue! Right is right!
Ooooohhhh you’re gonna be in soooo much trouble! You’d better shuttup Job and take it like a man!

True friends aren’t necessarily people who moan with you (as Job discovered). Give an example from your own life.

God’s Creative Artistry as Described in Book of Job
1. He shakes the earth and moves mountains (Job 9:6)
2. The sun rises at His command. (9:7)
3. He set the stars and stretched out the skies (9:8)
4. God keeps the raindrops back from spilling over in floods onto humankind. (36:27)
5. The nations are filled with food. (36:31)
6. His thunder gives warning of the lightening in His hands. (36:33)
7. He says to the snow, “Fall on the earth.” (37:6)
8. God breathes and ice is there. (37:10)
9. He Himself directs the seasonal changes. (37:12)
10. God says “Who decided the dimensions of the earth?” (38:5)
11. What pillars support the earth? (38:6)
12. Who keeps the sea pent up behind closed doors? (37:8)
13. Have you ever given orders to the morning? (37:12)
14. Have you an inkling of the extent of the world? (37:18)
15. From which direction does lightening fork when it scatters sparks over the earth? (37:24)
16. Have you seen where snow is kept or hail is stored up? (37:22)
17. Can you guide the morning star season by season and show the Bear and its cubs which way to go? (37:32)
18. Is the wild ox willing to serve you or spend a night beside your manger? (39:9)
19. Are you the one who made the horse so brave and covered his back with flowing hair? (39:19)
20. Does the eagle soar at your command? (39:27)
21. Has your arm the strength of God’s? Can your voice thunder? (40:4)

6. Are you committing cosmic plagiarism, i.e., taking responsibility and accepting thanks for work God did through you during the day? How can you rectify that? (or do you want a repeat of Job Ch 38 that starts out with God saying “Who is this obscuring my designs with his empty headed words?”)

7. Spend some reflection time appreciating God’s artistry. List your favorites from among all of God’s creative marvels.

8. What things has God done in your life or the lives of your immediate family that show his omnipotence?

9. A grateful heart is a heart that is humble and can say WOW. It can be awed at the wonders beyond itself. From all that you know about the person of God, what gives you awe?

10. What did Job teach you?

For more info on the Book Of Job~ (very easy reading)

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