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Lesson No. 17—Use Your Bible in Class. Get to Know It and Love it.

LESSON THEME:—JOB

Job 23:1-10.

  • KEY WORD—”SUFFERING.”

  • KEY VERSEJob 5:17.

  • KEY PHRASE—”TRUSTING GOD IN SPITE OF TRIALS

Home Readings.

Read this lesson and then the whole of Job. It is full of sublime teaching. For family altar, read:—

  • Sunday—Job and his accuser.—Job 1:1-12.

  • Monday—Job afflicted.—Job 1:13-28.

  • Tuesday—Bildad thinks Job a hypocrite.—Job 8:1-22.

  • Wednesday—Job answers his friends.—Job 12:1-25.

  • Thursday—Lord speaks to Job.—Job 38:1-18.

  • Friday—Job’s self-judgement.—Job 42:1-9.

  • Saturday—Job vindicated and honoured.—Job 42:10-17.

NAME—This book is named for the outstanding character of the book, Job, who lived in the land of Uz northeast of Palestine, probably just before the time of Abraham, about 2000 B. C. The book finds its place between the eleventh and twelfth chapters of Genesis, and is doubtless the oldest book of the Bible. Events cover one year of Job’s life.

AUTHOR—Probably Moses while in the desert of Midian, about 1520 B. C. It is possible that the teachings of the book were delivered to suffering Israel in Egypt, to comfort them under their burdens, and to encourage them in the hope, that as with Job, so God would also deliver and enrich them.

PURPOSE—To show the disciplinary nature of suffering, and to inspire patience with the misfortunes of life.

GREAT FACTS:—

  1. Afflictions.

  2. Discussions.

  3. Addresses.

  4. Prosperity.

Great Pact I. Afflictions.

The story opens with Job a. prosperous and upright man. Satan’s theory was that Job was good just because he was prosperous. God therefore gave Satan permission to afflict Job in order to test his righteousness. Job loses his children and property, for they were swept away in a single day. He next loses his health, for he is smitten with a form of leprosy, which quickly covers the body with boils. He suffers tortures and has little hope of recovery. He next loses his good name, for his best friends think he has committed some sin which has brought upon him his present troubles. Yet, in spite of these great trials, Job did not sin with his lips. He said, “What shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we receive evil? The Lord giveth and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord!

LESSON—We see that Satan is not only a tempter’ but an accuser of the saints, Revelation 12:10; and that he is permitted a certain power of sifting or testing among believers. However, they are sustained in their trials and kept in the faith by the prayers of Christ. Luke 22:31-32.

We learn,

  1. That if Satan can find his way into the very presence of God with his slanders, it is more than likely that he is very busy with his falsehoods in the churches of God on earth.

  2. That if so good a man as Job did not escape the accusations of Satan then it will not be surprising if ordinary Christians are accused.

  3. If God permitted Job and Peter to be cast into Satan’s sieve, then we must expect also to be tested and tried.

  4. That if God set a limit to Satan’s power, in his dealings with Job, how much more certain it is that he will limit Satan’s authority’ over us, who are less able to stand his attacks.

  5. That if God sustained Job when passing through the fiery ordeal and brought him out victor, how much more will He sustain us, and “give us twice as much as we had before?Job 24:10.

Great Fact II. Discussion as to Job’s Uprightness.

Job 4; Job 5; Job 6; Job 7; Job 8; Job 9; Job 10; Job 11; Job 12; Job 13; Job 14; Job 15;
Job 16; Job 17; Job 18; Job 19; Job 20; Job 21; Job 22; Job 23; Job 24; Job 25; Job 26; Job 27.

Job’s three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, arrive to comfort him, and there are three cycles of speeches, in which the problems of Jobs’ afflictions, and the revelation of evil to the righteousness of God, is thoroughly discussed. Job’s “comforters” argued that suffering is the penalty for sin, therefore his troubles were the result and the evidence of an ungodly life. Job, in spite of the reproaches of his friends, asserted his uprighteousness and urged, that even if the pure eye of God were to try him he would come forth as gold, 23-14. A young man, Elihu dissatisfied with the ideas of the older three, impetuously breaks in upon the discussion. His theory is that God-inflicted sufferings are chastisements that proceed from a loving purpose to purge out faults, to purify and to strengthen; and they should be borne in the right spirit, namely, in faith and humility.

LESSON

  1. Without doubt suffering does follow sin, as the cartwheel follows the horse. Man in his honest moments will admit that he brings a good many of life’s sufferings upon himself through his own sins. However, this does not explain the cause of all sufferings for thousands of little children who have not sinned, do themselves suffer. There are other causes.

  2. Elihu suggests a second cause. God purifying and developing men and women through trials and sorrows so that they become more humble, more unselfish, more noble and useful than they ever were in the days of prosperity. This, however, does not explain all the causes of trial. There are thousands of cases of severe discipline, where it does not seem to be needed, and thousands of people seem to need it who do not get it.

  3. Henry Churchill King suggests a third reason for suffering. that without it true virtue would scarcely be possible. That if temporal happiness and temporal reward always followed good living or good deeds, then men would be good simply for what they could get out of it and unselfishness would die out. But because the same thing happens to the righteous as does to the wicked, therefore the righteous love God for what He is, and not for what they get out of Him.

  4. A fourth way of looking at sufferings, is to remember that God’s ways are higher than our ways, Isaiah 55:9; that His infinity and majesty are so wonderful, that we may well leave the riddle for Him to explain, “when we shall know, even as we are known,” 1 Corinthians 13:12. Coulson suggests that if an ant were to crawl into the brain of a man it could not see things and understand things as man sees them and understands them. Neither ran a man, who is nothing but an ant as compared with God, put himself in the place of God and understand divine mysteries. When Payson, in the midst of great suffering, was asked if he saw any reason for the visitation, replied. “No but I am well satisfied as if I saw ten thousand; God’s will Is the very perfection of all reasons.”

Great Fact III. Jehovah’s Addresses

Job 38; Job 39; Job 40; Job 41.

In answer to Job’s repeated demands that God would appear and solve the riddle of his life, the Lord answers Job out of a whirlwind. He does not refer to Job’s individual problem, but in a series of questions asks him, as he thinks himself capable of fathoming all things, to expound the mysteries of the origin and preservation of the world, the wonders of the atmosphere, and the instincts of the animals; and as he thinks that God is not conducting the world right, invites him to seize the reigns of governments himself to clothe himself with divine thunder and quell the rebellious forces of evil in the universe. Job is humbled and abashed, and lays his hand upon his mouth, and repents his hasty words in dust and ashes.

LESSON—It is an amazing act of presumption for a mere creature to find fault with God. The first sign of wisdom in a man is a realization of his own littleness and of God’s greatness. Only the mind that planned the world can understand its government, and just as every phase of the material world is stamped with wisdom, so is also the moral and spiritual world. The more we understand of God’s ways in redemption and providence, the more we admire them, and worship Him. Most men believe in the existence of God, but most men are seriously ignorant of His character. We should have a profound and an increasing faith in His wisdom and love. He is our divine ally, within us and about us, without Him we are helpless, with Him we are mighty!

Great Fact IV. Job’s Restored Prosperity.

Job 42.

Job’s false comforters are censured, are urged to offer sacrifice, and are pardoned on the intercession of Job. He was granted twice his former possessions, though before he was the greatest of all the men on the earth, Job 1:3; 42:12. The Lord also gave him exactly the same number of children he had lost. He lived 140 years after his trial.

LESSON—Although the honour of even a good man may be temporarily overshadowed by misfortune, yet God will cause the night of sorrow to be followed by the morning of joy. He will never forsake those who are faithful to Him. The story of Job also pictures to us that a peaceful old age in the bosom of a Christian family is one of the choicest blessings a saint can enjoy this side of heaven. Thus the beautiful and practical lessons of Job appear like so many flowers in a well-watered garden, proving a blessing to thousands, who have “heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord how that the Lord is full of pity, and merciful.”

Questions on the Lesson.

  1. After whom was the book named?

  2. When did Job live and where?

  3. Where in Genesis do you place thin book?

  4. Give authorship and date.

  5. What the purpose?

  6. Name the great facts.

  7. How much of Job have you read!

  8. Tell the story of Job’s afflictions

  9. Name some of the lessons we learn from them.

  10. What did the friends of Job discuss, and what was their theory?

  11. What was Elihu’s theory?

  12. Does suffering follow sin?

  13. Are men purified through suffering!

  14. Does suffering help us to love God unselfishly?

  15. Can we understand divine mysteries?

  16. What was the Lord’s answer to Job’

  17. Ought we find ‘fault with God?

  18. Who is the only One who under stands the meaning of the events of life’

  19. How may we increase our faith in God’s wisdom and love?

  20. Does God love to prosper His people’

  21. How does the story of Job picture old age?

  22. Of what was Job an example?

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