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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 8: Innocent Blood *
Introduction: We see a pattern in the accusations of Job's friends
and Job's response to them. The friends say that Job is suffering
because of his sins. Job denies that he is guilty, and he challenges
God to justify what is happening to him. This makes Job's friends
angry, because they see this as an attack on God. Is this an attack
on God? Is the human response to suffering misguided because it
expects God to justify suffering? Is the human response to suffering
too focused on us, rather than on God? Let's dig into our study of
Job and see what we can learn!
- Job's Complaint
- Read Job 10:1. Job says that he hates his life. Why would
that attitude release him to complain about God? (Job
thinks, "What is the worst thing that God can do to me,
kill me?" Since Job would like to be dead, he feels no
restraint in complaining about God.)
- Is Job being reasonable? Do you agree with his logic?
(If the world revolved around Job, then this would
make sense. But, if the world revolves around God,
then doing harm to the reputation of God makes no
- Read Job 10:2-3. Job is saying one thing in verse two, and
another in verse three. How would you put these two things
Job is saying in your own words? (Job first says that he
wants to know the charges against him so that he can
defend himself. But, in verse three, Job says something
much different. He is not expecting justice from God
because God seeks to harm him while at the same time
blessing those who do evil.)
- Do you think that Job really believes that God wants
to harm him and at the same time reward evil people?
(I find this hard to believe. I think that Job says
outrageous things like this to try to goad God into
responding to him.)
- What error can you find in Job's thinking? (Job
assumes this is about him. That is what makes this
unfair. Job is good, evil people are bad, and
therefore God has failed to be just. We know,
however, that Job's situation has nothing to do with
justice for Job. Instead, it has everything to do
with the grand conflict between good and evil.)
- Would God justify what is happening to Job? (Read Job
2:3. God agrees that what has happened to Job is
unfair to Job.)
- Consider this for a moment. When we see unfair things
happen in the world, God may very well agree that it
is unfair! Is it then appropriate to blame God for
- Read Job 10:4-7. What do you think is the answer to Job's
questions? (The answer is "no." God is not like a human,
and God is not tracking down every sin of Job in order to
- What is wrong with this picture of God? (Last week we
studied about Korah and his fellow rebels (Numbers
16). Clearly, God can (and has)directed punishment
for sin. But, I think God gives us the law to protect
us from sin. God does not want us to suffer, so he
lays out His law so that we can avoid suffering. This
is a much different picture than that suggested by
- Read Job 10:12-14. Is Job misrepresenting the character of
God? (Yes! We know the facts are nothing like Job suggests
- Are you sometimes guilty of thinking like Job? That
is, do you believe that God is a loving God, but
lurking in His character is a desire to harm you if
you disobey Him?
- Read Job 10:15. Is Job "innocent?" (Job is not free from
sin, but we know that he is not being punished for being
sinful. Far from it! He is suffering because he is so good
( Job 1:8-12). Once again, Job is off track because he
thinks the world revolves around him. He does not consider
that his suffering has something to do with the glory of
- Eliphaz's Response
- Read Job 15:4. Job's friend, Eliphaz, has a new charge to
bring against Job. He says that Job undermines piety and
hinders devotion to God. What do you think about the truth
of this charge? (I think Eliphaz is right from a human
point of view. When Job charges that God is unjust, that
undermines confidence in God. In the heavenly picture,
just the opposite is true.)
- Read Job 15:7-9. Eliphaz charges Job with failing to
understand the ways of God. Who does Eliphaz think
understands God? (Eliphaz thinks he does.)
- Is Eliphaz right that Job misunderstands God? (Yes.
Job does not understand what God is doing. If Job
could have been a part of the council in which Satan
challenged God, Job would understand what is going
- Does Eliphaz understand God? (No. This is the great
irony here. Eliphaz is right that Job does not
understand what God is doing with him. But, neither
does Eliphaz. They are both ignorant of what is
actually going on in God's mind.)
- What is at the bottom of the mutual mistake that Job
and Eliphaz make? (They both think this is "about
Job." Eliphaz thinks Job is suffering because Job
sinned. Job charges God with injustice because he
knows he does not deserve this. Both wrongly think
the point of comparison is Job.)
- Assume you had terrible things happen to you, just as
Job did. What would you say if I told you (as I have
been suggesting here) that your suffering is not
about you? (I suspect you would be just like Job. Of
course your suffering is about you, it is personal!)
- The Challenge of Faith
- Read Proverbs 3:5-6. How would you rate Job and his
friends in light of this instruction? (They were all
terrible regarding the "lean not on your own
understanding!" They either said things that were
theologically true, logically true, or true according to
their experience and understanding of the world. They all
agreed that those who obeyed God prospered and those that
disobeyed God suffered. Job, believing (correctly) that he
did not deserve this, charged God with injustice. This all
made perfect sense.)
- Except for one thing. What does this text say that we
should do with our (correct) understanding of how the
world works? (We should elevate trust in God above
even a correct understanding of theology, logic and
- Right now in this world there are some things that
greatly encourage me, and a lot of things that make
me very unhappy. Biblically illiterate people,
people who are either intentionally foolish or were
born that way, are shaping my world. What should my
reaction be to that? (First, to trust God even when
the world does not make any sense. Second, when we do
not know what to do, we should first "acknowledge"
God, and He will direct us.)
- How do you think asking God to direct us works
as a practical matter? (This is where the
direction of the Holy Spirit is so important.
We need to ask for the Joel 2:28-29 experience,
where the power of God speaks through all of us
- regardless of wealth, gender, age or
- Read Proverbs 3:7-8. If we fear God and shun evil, will
everything work out right for us? (This puts us right back
into Job's situation. Read Job 1:8. This is precisely the
way God describes Job! We can trust the Bible, but when
nothing makes sense to us as humans, then we just have to
- Read Matthew 27:45-46. Has Jesus experienced this - that
things no longer made sense to Him? (That seems to be
precisely what Jesus is thinking.)
- Friend, will you commit today to trusting God, even when
your mind tells you that everything has gone wrong? Even
when you think that God has forsaken you?
- Next week: Intimations of Hope.
* 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.