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Sabbath School Lessons on Job
About the Author
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 4: God and Human Suffering *
Introduction: This week we take a break from progressing
through the Job story. Instead, we will spend time studying
the issue of God and human suffering. When we suffer, or those
we love suffer, are we tempted to think there is no God - or
at least no loving God? That would be natural. If there is a
loving God, why would He allow suffering? What evidence do we
have for God? Let's dig into our study of the Bible and learn
- Proof of God
- Read Romans 1:18-19. What does this say about the
reason some suffer? (Humans who try to hide the
truth about God suffer God's wrath.)
- How do these ungodly people suppress the truth?
(By their wickedness. The righteous give glory
to God when they live a righteous life. The
wicked suppress the truth of God by living an
- Are these wicked people just confused? Are they
deceived by Satan? (No! Evidence of God is
"plain to them, because God has made it plain to
- Read Romans 1:20. How is evidence of God plain to
humans? (Plain evidence of God ("His eternal power
and divine nature")exists in what He has made.)
- I often hear Christians say, "God is a matter of
faith." Indeed, they argue against evolutionists
by saying "what you teach as science is a matter
of faith, thus both theories of origins are
matters of faith." How does the "faith" argument
line up with what the Bible says? (Not well.
Romans says this is not a matter of faith at
all. It says the existence of God (and His
"eternal power and divine nature")is "plain"
when we consider what He has made. We have
- Let's examine this a bit more. What do you find
in the creation that makes the power and
divinity of God plain? (I start with the human
hand. Humans today, with all of their knowledge
and computer assistance, cannot perfectly
replicate a hand. If humans still cannot
perfectly reproduce a hand, consider the
arrogance of thinking that a hand came about by
chance and natural selection.)
- I recently watched a documentary about a new
theory on the speed of light. It mentioned the
fact that the universe is expanding at exactly
the right speed. The two scientists arguing the
new theory said something like, "Either we are
right about this (variable speed to adjust the
expansion), or you have to believe in the God
thing." What does this say about the "God
thing?" (The "God thing" is obvious. Certainly
more obvious than light adjusting its own
- How does the expanding nature of the
universe, which was only recently
discovered by humans, show God's "eternal
power and divine nature?" (If the universe
expanded too fast, it would blow apart. If
it did not expand fast enough, it would
collapse. The power to regulate this is
beyond our comprehension. The mind to know
such a thing is that of a god - our God.)
- Read Job 12:7-9. Job writes specifically about
birds. Have humans replicated the way birds fly? (We
fly, but not the way birds fly. This is another
proof the birds did not come about by chance and
- Let's continue the "proof of God" argument in
Romans. Read Romans 1:21-25. What happens when a
person rejects the obvious truth about God? (They
become more foolish! The next step toward ignorant
arrogance is to worship something you made! If you
had the power to make it, why would you worship or
- Read Romans 1:26-27. Why is homosexuality a logical
extension of rejecting the logic of a Creator God
and adopting the worship of idols? (One of the
professors with whom I work said he wants to write a
book about "The obvious." Isn't it obvious that you
should not worship something you made? Isn't it
obvious that sex between two men or two women is
contrary to their natural design? Sex allows humans
to reproduce, and homosexual sex is completely
illogical for that purpose. Isn't this completely
"plain," completely obvious?)
- Read Romans 1:28. If we knowingly reject what is
plain and obvious about God and His creation, what
happens as a result? (If you reject God's knowledge,
your mind becomes depraved and you do what is
- Read Romans 1:29-32. What is particularly troubling
about these people who have depraved minds? (They
approve of those who practice these things. They
are advocates of sin.)
- Do you see this today like never before during
- Now let me ask you the most sobering question.
Do you find some of your sins described in
Romans 1:29-32? The way Romans lays out the
argument makes these sins seem worse than
homosexuality. Are your sins also obviously
- The Creation Attack
- Think back to our first lesson in this series about
Job. On what basis did God say to Job, "I'm God and
you are not, sit down and shut up?" (God asked Job a
series of questions that showed that God not only
created the world, and understands how it operates,
but God is still in charge.)
- Read Revelation 4:11. On what basis does God claim
the right to receive glory and honor and power? (He
is the Creator! This is a consistent theme of the
Bible. Not only did God say this to Job, but it is
repeated over a hundred times (I once counted) in
- Read Colossians 1:15-20. Who created "all things?"
(Jesus. When the text says "He is the image of the
invisible God," and that He "reconcile[d] to Himself
all things," this describes Jesus.)
- If you were Satan, and you were in a conflict with
God, what would be your strategy to separate God
from the allegiance of humans? (Destroy belief in
- How does the evolutionary theory fit into this?
- How does the Sabbath fit into this? (Read Exodus
- How does the attack on traditional marriage fit
into this? (Read Genesis 2:21-24. God's original
plan was that a man and woman become "one flesh"
through reproduction. If that never happened, if
this is just a myth, and we evolved from
nothing, then it takes God out of the argument
and we are left only with "the obvious.")
- Read Job 6:1-3. When you are suffering, do you say
things that you do not really mean? (Job says that
he is in such anguish, that his words are
- Read Job 6:4. Who does Job say is responsible for
his suffering? (God - "the Almighty.")
- Is Job right? (What we have studied in this
series shows that God permitted Job's suffering.
It was not God's idea. Could God reasonably
predict that Satan would attack Job when God
held Job up as an example of a righteous and
- Read Job 6:8-10. What does Job want? (To die!)
- Why? (He would have the joy of knowing that in
the middle of all of his pain, he had not denied
- Let's think about this a minute. Job believes that
God is causing his unjust suffering, yet he hopes
for death so that he will not deny God. How does
that make any sense from Job's point of view? (Job's
comments reflect God's ultimate argument to him,
that God is God and Job is not. Job wants to trust
God and God wants Job to trust Him.)
- Re-read Job 6:4. When I wrote that God permitted Job
to suffer, and Job's suffering at the hands of Satan
was predictable, would you agree that God was the
cause of Job's suffering? (Go back to the beginning
of the entry of sin in our world. Isn't Satan
attending the heavenly staff meeting because of Adam
and Eve? However you look at this, we are
responsible for our own suffering. Either we suffer
because we broke a law of nature and we suffer the
natural results (see Deuteronomy 28), or we suffer
because we let evil into our world. The introduction
of evil has all sorts of illogical consequences
because evil is illogical.)
- Read Job 10:12-17. Is this true? (Not in the least.
We know God regretted what happened to Job (Job
- Friend, you and I are not "blameless" ( Job 2:3) like
Job. Whether suffering comes to us because we have
violated a law of nature, or whether it comes
because of the introduction of evil into our world,
or whether it comes because we are a warrior for
God, our best reaction to suffering is simply to
trust God. Will you commit, right now, to trusting
- Next week: Curse the Day.
* 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.