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Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 9: The Jobs: Living With Losses *
Introduction: My wife teaches the lower elementary school grades.
One year she had this little boy who was suffering a problem in his
life. He cried to my wife, "I don't know why this is happening to
me, I pay my tithe!" Have you said something like this in the past:
"God, I don't know why this is happening to me, I am faithful to
You?" Tragedy is upsetting. The reaction of your spouse is important
in your ability to handle tragedy. Will your spouse comfort you or
blame you? Will you be a comforting or accusing spouse? Let's jump
into our lesson and look at the story of Mr. and Mrs. Job!
- Job the Man
- Read Job 1:1-3. What important facts do we learn about
Job? Lets list all the things that we learn about him.
- He was "the greatest man among all the people of the
- He live in Uz (Edon, southwest of the dead sea).
- He was blameless. The Hebrew word literally means
- He was upright. The Hebrew means literally
- He feared God (revered God).
- He avoided evil. (Literally "turned off" evil.)
- How many of us can say that we "turn off" as
opposed to "turn on" evil?
- He was rich (7,000 sheep; 3,000 camels; 500 oxen; 500
- He was blessed by God to have seven sons and three
daughters. (A complete number. Notice the same for
his animals which also add up to multiples of 10.)
- Read Job 1:4-5. What kind of parent was Job? (He had a
real concern about the spiritual welfare of his family--a
man who believed in "family values.")
- Do you intervene with God for the spiritual welfare
of your children?
- Would you like to be like Job? Didn't he have a great
- Tragedy Strikes
- Read Job 1:13-15. What kind of disaster is described?
- How would you guess it would affect Job? (Half of his
livestock wealth just disappeared. Drop the oxen and
the donkeys from the inventory.)
- Are we given a hint about Job's children when it says
that they were having a celebration during a work
day? Should they have been out directing the work of
- Read Job 1:16. What is the significance of the fact that
the first reporter was still speaking when the second
arrives with his report? (Job had not had a chance to
recover from the first terrible news.)
- What kind of disaster is described here? How would it
affect Job? (Write off the sheep and the servants
from the inventory. Job has now probably lost more
than 3/4 of his wealth.)
- What is this fire from God? Is this a direct judgment
from God?(The servant is probably describing
lightning which ignited the grass.)
- Was this actually fire from God? (Let's peek
behind the curtain and read Job 1:6-12. This
shows that Satan, not God, caused this
- Consider the ability of Satan to control
lightning? How much ability does he have today
to create natural disasters?
- Notice also that the work of Satan is ascribed
to God. How much do you think that happens
- Read Job 1:17. Note that the second reporter is still
speaking. What kind of disaster is described here? (Now
scratch from the inventory the camels; the balance of
- Read Job 1:18-19. As you consider the list that we made
earlier about Job, and we considered what it would be like
to be him, what is gone? (Almost every one of his
blessings. His material goods and his children are gone.)
- Tell me what you believe to be the impact of the loss
of all of your children on a man whose regular custom
( Job 1:5) is to give sacrifices for each one of them?
(Job obviously cared a great deal for his children.
His love and daily concern continued even when they
had grown up. This is an unbelievable tragedy.)
- Once again, notice how they died -- a disturbance of
nature that is apparently controllable by Satan.
- Lets make this real personal: imagine that in the last
twenty minutes you have: lost your job; lost all the money
in your checking and savings account; lost all of your
other sources of income; and all of your children have
- How do you react?
- What do you say about God if a lot of the loss seems
to come from supernatural sources?
- Read Job 1:20-21. How did Job react? (What a trusting
- Job does not say, "What horrid luck we had today: bad
weather and unruly neighbors!" How close is Job to the
truth? What role did luck and God play here?
- Read Job 1:22 Why does the Bible make this comment?
- Would it be the most natural thing in the world to
- Is Job attributing the loss to God, but just
being a "good sport" about it? (He says "the
Lord has taken away.")
- What evidence would Job have, other than the
lightning and the wind, that these tragedies have a
supernatural source? (In those four disasters that
overtook Job, notice the precision of the work. Four
times only a single person survived: just exactly the
number needed to convey the tragedy to Job. In the
wind storm, all ten of Job's children were killed,
not one survived, not one just injured. This does not
seem like random work to me. Apparently, it struck
Job the same way.)
- Since we know this is the work of Satan, not God, I
suggest that if the precision of these disasters does
not scare the living daylights out of you, that you
need your head examined. We need to be very sure that
we are not voluntarily placing our life and our
welfare in the hands of Satan by doing his will.)
- Finally, was God ultimately responsible for these
tragedies since He "authorized" them?
- Would it have been sin for Job to blame God for
them? (The text suggests that it would be sin.)
- The Second Test
- Read Job 2:7-8. What is taken from Job this time? (His
- What is notable about this skin disease? (That it is
- Could you walk?
- Does Satan have the knowledge and ability to ruin our
- Why is Job scraping himself with a piece of broken
pottery? What kind of treatment is that? Where is his
wife? (Matthew Henry, a very old commentary, has an
interesting observation about Job's treatment. He says
that others should be covering Job's sores with salve.
But Job cannot afford a doctor; his children and servants
are dead, and his wife doesn't care. Job doesn't do a very
good job of taking care of himself.)
- The Wife
- What does Job have left? (His life, his wife, and his
- Lets talk about Satan's "precision bombing" for a minute.
Why does Job have his life? ( Job 2:6 - the Lord restrained
Satan from taking it.)
- Why does Job have his wife? Was Satan restrained from
taking her life?
- Read Job 2:9-10. How does Job's wife appear to view God?
- Do you blame her? (If she believed (as she likely
did) that their blessings came as a result of Job
following God, she would have to conclude that either
her husband let her down (thus costing her the
children)by failing to obey God, or God let them down
in letting these tragedies occur. She is blaming
either Job or God.)
- Is Job attacking the assumptions of his wife? (Yes.
He is saying that just because he serves God that
does not mean that everything good must come their
way. He says his wife is foolish in making a contrary
- What would be the point of cursing God? (Whoever is
at fault would get their due reward. Cursing God
would "get back" at God. Cursing God would also
probably cause Job to die - thus doing "justice" and
putting him out of his misery.)
- Should I ask you again why Satan left Job's wife
- Who, in the cosmic conflict, wanted Job to curse
God and die? (Satan! Read Job 2:4-5. This was
precisely what Satan had predicted that Job
would do. If Job followed his wife's advice, he
would be doing the explicit will of Satan.)
- How would you compare Job to Adam?
- What does that teach us about marriage and our
spouses today? (Your spouse may not always be
giving you Godly advice. Grief, bias, anger can
all skew a person's advice.)
- Read Job 42:13. What does this tell us about the future of
Job and his wife? (That they came through this okay.)
- Friend, part of marriage is putting God first, and testing
the advice of our spouse against the commands of God. Adam
failed that test. Job passed the test. How about you?
- Next week: David and Bathsheba: Adultery and After.
* Copr. 2007, 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.