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Lesson 1: The End *

Introduction: The End? Why would you start a new study of the book of Job and call the first lesson, "The End?" Ask my wife. When she reads a book, she reads the end first. I've never done that, but my wife wants to know how things will come out because that gives her comfort as she reads the book. Following in the tradition of my wife, let's dive into the study of Job by looking at the end!

  1. Job's View of Himself and Justice


    1. Since we are starting at the end, let me give you a brief overview of the Book of Job. Job is a great man who is blessed by God. However, in series of terrible events, he loses everything, including his health. The great question in the book is "Why?"


    2. Read Job 31:1. This is Job speaking. What does he say about his sexual purity? (That he deliberately refuses to look lustfully at women.)


    3. Read Job 31:2-3. What should be the result of this purity? (God is supposed to give ruin to the wicked, not to the good. How can bad things be happening to me, Job asks, if God is paying attention?)


      1. When Job speaks of "man's lot from God above" and "his heritage," what is he saying about God's obligation? (The gift from God to humans is that those who do wrong suffer.)


        1. How is that a gift, a heritage? (If you avoid wrong, bad things will not happen to you - now that is a gift.)


    4. Read Job 31:5-6. What other merit does Job claim? (He is honest.)


    5. Read Job 31:9-11. What does Job say about his conduct in addition to not coveting other women? (He has also not been sleeping with them.)


    6. Read Job 31:13-15. What does Job say is his attitude towards those in his employ? (He gives them justice because he knows that he and his employees must both answer to God.)


    7. Read Job 31:16-18. How does Job treat the poor and the powerless? (He treats them as if they were his children.)


    8. Read Job 31:24-28. Job was a very wealthy man. What was his attitude towards money?


      1. What was his attitude towards the sun and moon? (Job asserts that he neither trusted in wealth nor trusted in the heavens. His trust was in God.)


    9. Read Job 31:29-30. What is Job's attitude toward his enemies? (He does not rejoice when they fail, and he does not curse them.)


    10. Assume Job is telling us the truth, what does this say about him? (When it comes to purity, honesty, compassion, and trust in God, he is faithful.)


  2. Job's Demand for Justice


    1. Read Job 31:35-37. "Defense," "answer," "indictment" - these are all legal terms. What is Job saying? (He wants someone to be a judge between him and God. Job says, "I am willing to accept responsibility for my actions." I want someone greater than God to judge whether I have been faithful or not.")


      1. Why does Job want to sue God? (Re-read Job 31:2-3. Bad people are supposed to suffer, not good people. Job says "I understand the rules of the system, I've done what is right. God has done me an injustice, God is not playing by His rules. I am willing to prove that I have been obedient.")


      2. Read Deuteronomy 28:1-2 and Deuteronomy 28:15. Is Job wrong about God's system? (No. Job understands the way God's system is supposed to operate.)


    2. Read Job 32:1. Have we mistaken what Job is arguing? (No. The three men with him understand Job is arguing that he is righteous and what is happening to him is unfair.)


  3. God's Response to Job


    1. Read Job 38:1. What mental picture should we have when we read that God answers "out of the storm?" (God comes from a place of power and danger.)


    2. Read Job 38:2-3. Is God giving Job his trial? (Yes, sort of. God says that He will question Job and Job will have to answer.)


      1. What does God mean when He refers to "darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?" (He means that Job does not know all the relevant information. Job thinks that his own behavior and God's general rules are the only matters that are relevant, but God says Job is missing some important information.)


    3. Read Job 38:4-7. What is God's point with this set of questions to Job? (God created the world and Job did not.)


    4. Read Job 38:16-18. What is God's point with this set of questions? (That Job does not know very much about his own world. God knows the world inside and out.)


    5. Read Job 38:19-21. What is God's point with this set of questions? (Job does not know about the sun or the moon or the movements of the galaxies. His knowledge is limited because his life span is so short.)


    6. Read Job 39:26-28. What is God's point with this set of questions? (Job does not know how to fly, must less how to design birds to fly.)


    7. Read Job 40:1-2. Is God giving Job his hearing? (Yes! God demands an answer from Job - if he is brave enough to give one.)


  4. Job's Courtroom Response


    1. Read Job 40:3-4. What kind of answer is this? (Job admits that he is unworthy to haul God into court and demand that God explain Himself.)


    2. Read Job 40:5. Has Job conceded his "law suit" against God? (He says he will "say no more." The answer is "yes," he admits he was wrong.)


  5. God's Courtroom Rebuttal


    1. Read Job 40:6-8. This is a very different question. What is God's concern with Job's complaint and request for a hearing? (That he is discrediting God's justice.)


      1. Notice this question, "Would you condemn me to justify yourself?" How many people blame God when it is obvious (even to you) that they are responsible for their own problems?


      2. Wait a minute! If Job is righteous (and he is), how is God's response appropriate? What about Deuteronomy 28 which says behavior has consequences?


    2. Read Job 40:15-19. What animal is described here? (It seems like a description of the dinosaur.)


      1. What does God say about the dinosaur? (He created it and He can kill it.)


        1. Is the inference that since God created Job, He can kill him too?


    3. We are going to skip the rest of this chapter and the next, because they are a series of similar statements by which show God's absolute power over the creation.


  6. Job's Surrender


    1. Read Job 42:1-3. What does Job admit about the extent of his knowledge of God and His creation? (He is ignorant. He does not understand.)


    2. Read Job 42:4-6. Job listed all of his righteous actions. For what is he repenting? Why does he despise himself? (Job did not trust God when Job had imperfect knowledge.)


      1. Is that what should most concern us, whether we trust God?


    3. When we study the Book of Job, we will find that there is a very clear explanation about why Job suffered so much. God never gives Job that explanation. Instead, God simply says what we just reviewed. Why? Why not tell Job what was going on? (What shouts out at us is that God told Job, "I'm God and you are not. Sit down, shut up and trust Me. I have absolute knowledge, understanding and power. Your job is to trust Me.)


      1. Is that a satisfactory answer for you when troubles come?


    4. Read Job 42:10-16. How does Job's life end? (He is rich, blessed, has a great new family, and he got to see his great, great grandchildren. He died of old age.)


    5. As we will see next week, God pulls back the curtain for us to show us exactly why Job suffered. Why does God tell us, but not explain it to Job? (God wants us, like Job, to simply trust Him when trouble comes. But, God is willing to show us that His decisions make sense.)


    6. Friend, will you trust God?


  7. Next week: The Great Controversy.
* Copr. 2016, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2016 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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