Introduction: We all know that God is good, right? In fact, in my old
church we added the phrase “all the time, and all the time, God is
good.” So, what is there to study this week? You may know that God is
good, but a lot of people are uncertain, at best. The worst part of
that problem is that you may be the basis on which they form their
opinion about God. Let’s explore what the Bible says about this issue
and what we should do about it!

  1. The Cosmic Problem

    1. Read Job 1:1-3. What do we learn about Job’s character?
      (He was “blameless and upright.” He was a great guy.)

      1. What do we learn about his finances? (He was rich.)

      2. What do we learn about his reputation? (He was “the

      3. What do we learn about the size of his family? (It
        was large!)

    2. Read Job 1:4-5. What was Job’s attitude toward the
      spiritual lives of his children? (He was actively
      involved. He would burn offerings for them and apparently
      confess their sins.)

      1. Can parents confess sins for their children? (Read 1
        John 5:16-17. Job’s practice and this text have long
        interested me. I don’t think I fully understand what
        is going on – but it appears that some sins are
        susceptible to forgiveness through the prayers of

    3. Read Job 1:6-7. Why is Satan part of this committee

      1. What does God’s question mean? Is God in doubt about
        where Satan is living? Is God challenging Satan’s

    4. Read Ezekiel 28:13-14. Where is this glorious being
      living? (In heaven. “On the holy mount of God.”)

    5. Read Ezekiel 28:15-16. What happened to this glorious
      being? (Because of wickedness, he was expelled from

    6. Read Ezekiel 28:17. What was the source of the wickedness
      of this being? (Pride arising from beauty. It corrupted
      this person’s thinking.)

    7. Read Revelation 12:7-9. What does this suggest is the real
      identity of the glorious being? (Satan.)

    8. Let’s re-read Job 1:6-7 and factor in what we have learned
      about his background from Ezekiel and Revelation. Why is
      Satan on earth? (He was expelled from heaven to earth.)

      1. Did God know this? (Of course! There was a big battle
        between God and Satan.)

        1. What, then, do you think God was really asking?
          (I don’t think God is asking anything. The
          meeting appears to be in heaven. God is
          insulting Satan by reminding him that he is no
          longer a resident of the most desirable place
          in heaven, but rather is an earth-dweller.)

    9. Re-read Satan’s answer in the last part of Job 1:7. Satan
      doesn’t exactly answer. “Earth” would have been the
      appropriate answer. What does the nature of the way Satan
      answered suggest? (Satan is boasting that even though he
      was banished to earth, He is now the ruler of the earth.)

    10. Read Job 1:8. Does God want to know if Satan has met Job?
      (No. God is challenging Satan’s claim to be the ruler of
      the earth. God reminds Satan that the greatest man in the
      East is a follower of God, not Satan. Indeed, Job respects
      God, but “shuns” Satan.)

    11. Read Job 1:9-11. Satan could have answered, “I’m working
      on that problem.” Why did he answer as he did? (Satan
      insults God. He says that Job is like a prostitute – he
      serves God for money, not because of affection for God or
      because of a love of doing what is right.)

      1. Why did Satan say this? Is his goal simply to insult
        God, or do you think Satan believes this?

    12. Read Genesis 3:1-5. How did Satan win his position on
      earth? (He promised Eve something that he claimed God
      would not give her. He bribed her.)

    13. Skim over Deuteronomy 28 and read Malachi 3:10-11. Are
      Satan’s charges true? (Mixed truth is Satan’s method of
      operation. Yes, it is true that following God generally
      brings blessings. The question for Job and for each one of
      us is this: do you follow God because of His blessings?)

    14. Read Job 1:12. Who is being tested here? Is this a
      challenge to God’s character or is it a challenge to Job’s
      character? (It is at least a test of Job. Is he like a
      prostitute? Or, does he serve God out of affection and
      loyalty to God’s cause? On the other hand, God challenged
      Satan’s authority over the earth by pointing out Job.)

      1. Whose character is not at issue? (Satan’s! We know
        bad things are going to happen when Job is in Satan’s

    15. If you read the rest of the book of Job (or even the rest
      of the first chapter of the book), you will see that
      terrible things happen to Job. If you were Job, what would
      you say if you knew the real reason why terrible things
      were happening in your life?

      1. Is this a “chest bump” between God and Satan – and
        Job suffers?

      2. Or, is this the most fundamental challenge to God’s

      3. Do you think this is a “one time” thing? Or, do you
        think that Job’s situation keeps being replayed on

        1. Assume you answered, “Yes, I think it is being
          replayed countless times, and it may be
          happening in my life right now!” If the matter
          at issue is Job’s character (as opposed to
          God’s character), how is this consistent with
          grace? How is this consistent with
          righteousness by faith?

  2. The Cosmic Answer

    1. Read Matthew 20:17-19. What does this reveal about whether
      Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf was voluntary? (He
      predicted it. Jesus could have avoided going to

      1. Look at verse 19 and consider the three things that
        Jesus said the Gentiles would do to Him. How do you
        like it when people are laughing at you – not as the
        result of a joke, but because they think you are not
        worthy of respect?

        1. How do you like it when people inflict serious
          physical pain on you, and they do it just
          because they can?

        2. How would you like to be killed in a painful

    2. Read 1 John 4:10. Why did Jesus voluntarily go through
      ridicule, torture and death? (He loved us. He atoned for
      our sins.)

    3. Read Romans 3:21-25. Does our righteousness depend on
      obeying the law? (No! This is a “righteousness from God,
      apart from the law.”)

      1. On what does our righteousness depend? (We have all
        sinned, but Jesus died on our behalf. This is
        reflected in the sanctuary service that we have been
        studying this quarter.)

      2. What is required of us? (Faith in His blood. This
        would be as opposed to faith in our own good works.)

    4. Read Romans 3:26. How is Jesus’ death on our behalf
      justice? (Do you remember when we studied 2 Samuel 14:4-9?
      This story reflects the “rule of law.” If a king declared
      that the law would not be followed, then he was personally
      responsible for the breach. When Jesus, in love, decided
      to release us from the death penalty – what the law
      requires for sin – He took the penalty upon Himself. This
      is how Romans 3:26 can refer to what seems to be grossly
      unjust as “justice.”)

  3. Glory to God

    1. Let’s get back to Job. Remember we considered the two
      questions: “Whose character is at issue, God’s or Job’s?
      And, “If Job’s character is at issue, how is this
      consistent with righteousness by faith?” Read Matt 5:16.
      How would a focus on Job answer the question about God’s
      character? (Our actions reflect on God. Whether Job was
      faithful reflected on God.)

    2. Read 1 John 4:11-12. How could Job show that Satan’s
      prostitute argument was false? (Satan’s followers follow
      him for what they think they will get. God’s followers
      follow Him because of love.)

    3. Do our actions matter? Does our observance of God’s law
      matter? (They do nothing to earn our salvation. But, they
      are central to reflecting God’s glory. If we obey, if we
      show love to others, then we reveal the character of our
      Creator and Redeemer.)

    4. Friend, will you today ask the Holy Spirit to help you
      give glory to God by your actions? By your love?

  4. Next week: Exhortations From the Sanctuary.