Introduction: We come to our last study in the book of Job. I trust
you have enjoyed exploring what God has to teach us through Job’s
story. This story contains some critically important principles. In
this last lesson, let’s stand back and contemplate some of the big
picture issues presented by God. Some of the more important issues
deal with our place in this world and our relationship to God. Let’s
dig into our study of the Bible!
- How Important Are You?
- Read Job 1:8. Have you ever wondered whether God pays
attention to you? Does He know you? It is a very big
universe! (Read Job 42:7. God not only knows Job, but He
follows the debate between Job and his four friends. God
pays attention to us. See also Matthew 10:29-31.)
- Read Job 1:9-12. Let’s assume that God sought your advice
before He gave His answer to Satan. Assume also that you
understand that Job will ultimately suffer if you
recommend allowing Satan to attack him. What
recommendation would you make to God?
- Assume that you counsel God to let Satan attack Job.
Will this convince Satan that he is wrong about God
or Job? Will it cause Satan to repent?
- Will your recommendation be in Job’s best
- If your recommendation is based on what is best for
Job, would you allow the attack? (Of course not.)
- What we have just discussed creates a conflict regarding
the individual importance of you and me. On the one hand,
God pays close, personal attention to the welfare of each
of us. On the other hand, God is not always making
decisions based on what is in our best personal interest.
If you agree, how do you explain this apparent conflict?
(Assume you are a foot soldier in a war. Would it be
logical to think that every decision was to benefit your
personal best interest?)
- Read 1 John 2:1-2. When this text says that Jesus “is the
atoning sacrifice for our sins,” who is being benefitted
by Jesus’ sacrifice? (We are.)
- Is the plan of salvation about the best personal
interest of Jesus? When God decided to die a horrible
death on our behalf, was He considering only Himself?
- What is the “big picture” lesson for us? (Job argued
that it was unjust for him to be suffering because he
did not do anything to deserve it. However, God
Himself suffered undeservedly for our sins. Both Job
and Jesus suffered to advance the greater good in the
battle between good and evil. Thus, we should
conclude that our suffering to advance the cause of
God is not an “injustice” according to God’s system
of justice, and does not diminish our importance or
show that God is unconcerned about us personally.)
- Our Choice
- Re-read Job 1:9-11 and Job 1:18-19. Whose idea was it to
kill Job’s children? (It was Satan’s idea.)
- For what reasons did Satan attack Job? (To prove a
point about flaws in Job’s character. To prove a
point about Job’s view of God. To prove a point about
- Read Luke 8:32-33. Why did these demons drown these pigs?
(Apparently for the fun of it.)
- Read Job 2:3 and Job 42:12-13. What was God’s desire for
Job? (That he prosper. God was annoyed that Satan asked
permission to harm Job.)
- Stand back and compare Satan’s attitude and God’s attitude
towards humans (and animals). Who will you choose to
follow? Why would anyone choose to follow Satan and be
subject to his will?
- Read 2 Corinthians 4:18. If you responded to the last
question by saying, “I choose to follow God.” How does
this text in Corinthians focus our choice? How does it
apply as a daily, practical matter? (It means we need to
fit our decisions into the bigger context of the
controversy between good and evil. We need to consider the
“unseen” conflict between God and Satan.)
- So many Christians look at obedience to God as a
matter of obeying the rules, rather than fighting the
unseen battle between good and evil. How important is
it to “fix our eyes … on what is unseen?” How
important is keeping the battle, and our part in it,
foremost in our thinking?
- Grace in Judgment
- Will the choice always be clear? Will there be only one
right choice in fighting the battle against evil?
- Read John 8:1-7. Wait a minute! Should only sinless people
be able to make judgments about sin?
- Read Leviticus 24:15-18 and Deuteronomy 22:23-24. Do
these texts say anything about the person casting the
stone being free from sin?
- How would government operate if murder could
only be punished by sinless people?
- Think again about what we have discussed many times
in our study of Job. Were both Job and his friends
making correct arguments? (Yes. The friends were
right about the normal relationship between behavior
and suffering (Deuteronomy 28), and Job was right
about the fact that he had been obedient to God.)
- What does Job’s situation teach us about
judging others? What does Jesus’ reaction to
the woman caught in adultery teach us? (Job’s
friends did not show him grace – especially
since they did not correctly understand the
situation. Jesus’ reaction reinforces the idea
of showing grace to those who are in trouble.)
- What if, in choosing between what promotes good and what
promotes evil, the choice is debatable? Do we have an
obligation of “grace” in discussing it with fellow church
members? What if the discussion involves political
issues? (This week I watched a documentary on being a
minimalist. One fellow said he owned a total of 53 things,
and he laid them out on a bed. A woman lived in a micro-home that might have been 150 square feet. They said
living a minimalist’s life made them happier, and it was
good for the environment. Imagine the loss of jobs if
everyone were a minimalist. Thus, one good thing, helping
the environment, clashes with another good thing,
providing jobs for those seeking to feed their families.
Sometimes the “right thing” is debated among reasonable
Christians and we need to show each other grace.)
- Hope of the Eternal Rest
- Read Hebrews 4:8-11. Is this a reference to the weekly
Sabbath rest? (Read Hebrews 4:1-3. This shows us that
Hebrews is using the failure of Israel to enter the
promised land the first time to illustrate the need for
Christians to trust God and enter the “rest” of heaven.)
- When we were previously discussing God’s system of justice
which accepts that we might suffer to benefit others, some
of you might have had doubts. Why should being subject to
different, and worse treatment, be considered justice?
Read Hebrews 4:14-16. What is the result of Jesus’
suffering for us? (Because of God’s mercy and because of
what Jesus did on our behalf, we can enter the joy of
- What does this add to our evaluation of the justice
of God’s system? (Our suffering is not forever. Any
“injustice” is more than adequately compensated by
our eternal life in heaven and the earth made new.)
- Read Job 42:12-13 and Job 42:16-17. How is God’s plan of
justice foreshadowed in Job’s story? (God makes things
more than right. He blesses the second half of Job’s life
more than the first half. God has in mind a greater
blessing for you!)
- Friend, I’ve written it before, but I’ll write it one last
time in this series: will you trust God? Will you trust
that, even if you suffer for the benefit of others, that
God will overcompensate you with future blessings? Choose
the One who wants to bless and prosper you, not the one
who desires evil for you.
- Next week: we begin a new series of studies entitled “The Holy
Spirit and Spirituality.”