5. Job – Faith under Fire

Job enjoys close fellowship with God. Caught between a crossfire between God and Satan, he stands firm defying Satan before his proud father God and getting to see God in a new light.

Snapshot

  • Objectives
  • Job – Chronologically in the Bible
  • Authorship of Job
  • Job’s Disposition in Abundance
    • Presence of God
    • Purity and Integrity
    • Providence of God
  • Job’s Disposition in Emptiness
    • Prayers of Faith
    • Protests
    • Big Picture of God – Dragons and Dinosaurs
  • Discussion
  • References

Note: Additional reference material is available in the Notes section of  the attached presentation

In this Journey...

We:

  • Understand Job’s secret in overcoming the most hazardous temptations
  • Learn how he handles adversity and prosperity
  • Gain a bigger perspective of God

Authorship of Job

The language and use of Yahweh in the prologue, divine discourses and epilogue (not conversations) indicate part authorship with Job. The translation was probably not Job or his friends but an Israelite much later on. Job’s tenure was pre-Israel formation and the use of “Yahweh” came later once Israelites came into being. [1]

Introduction

Job lived so righteous before God, he was immensely blessed. God proudly shows Satan the righteousness of Job. Satan retorts that if Job’s wealth and family are destroyed he would certainly turn against God. God allowed Satan to destroy all his wealth and kill all his children in one stroke. Job continues to bless God though even his wife tells him to curse God. He continues to hold on to his faith and integrity.

Job Chronologically in the Bible

When was the book of Job written?

History of the Bible writing:

  •  Earliest Scriptures were handed down orally.
  • B.C. 2000 – Creation
  • B.C. 2000-1500 – Job- perhaps the earliest.
  • B.C. 1500-1400 – Ten Commandments given to Moses at Mount Sinai and later stored in the Ark of the Covenant.
  • B.C. 1400–400 – 39 Old Testament books are completed. kept in the tabernacle and later in the Temple beside the Ark of the covenant [1]

Decline of ages in Death

We see after Noah’s generation there is a sharp decline in ages. From Peleg onwards it drops below 250 years. Job’s age is estimated to be around 210 so appears to be earlier born than Abraham.

Job’s Disposition

In abundance and prosperity, Job has:
  • Presence of God
  • Purity and integrity
  • Providence of God
In emptiness when all is taken away, we see
  • Prayers of Faith
  • Protests before God
  • Big Picture of God

Presence of God

Job’s Final Defense

 Job 29:“How I long for the months gone by, for the days when God watched over me,when his lamp shone on my head and by his light I walked through darkness! Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house, when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me,when my path was drenched with cream and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil.

Purity and Integrity

Job is so confident of his integrity, he is ready to challenge it before God. Do we have that confidence on our integrity before God?

Job 6:29 Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yea, return again, my righteousness is in it.

30 Is there iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse things?

Purity and Integrity

Job 13:23 How many wrongs and sins have I committed? Show me my offense and my sin

Job 27:As long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not say anything wicked, and my tongue will not utter lies. 5 I will never admit you are in the righttill I die, I will not deny my integrity.

Purity and Integrity

Job 31:1 “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman. 2 For what is our lot from God above, our heritage from the Almighty on high

let God weigh me in honest scales and he will know that I am blameless—7 if my steps have turned from the path, if my heart has been led by my eyes, or if my hands have been defiled, 8 then may others eat what I have sown, and may my crops be uprooted.

How do we control our thoughts? What are the consequences of controlling our thoughts?

Activity

On paper write what are negative thoughts you have. Fold and put it in box (passed around by leader)

Leader opens and discusses.

Leader asks members to tear negative papers and throw in garbage bag

Now write positive thoughts and share.

List the strongholds to be pulled down in your life.

Providence of God

 Job 29:7 “When I went to the gate of the city and took my seat in the public square,8 the young men saw me and stepped aside and the old men rose to their feet; 9 the chief men refrained from speaking and covered their mouths with their hands;10 the voices of the nobles were hushed, and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths. 11 Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me,12 because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist them.

Providence of God

Job 29:18 “I thought, ‘I will die in my own house, my days as numerous as the grains of sand. 19 My roots will reach to the water, and the dew will lie all night on my branches.
20 My glory will not fade; the bow will be ever new in my hand.’ 21 “People listened to me expectantly, waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;

Prayers of Faith

Job’s first response when stripped of his property and loved ones demonstrates his faith.

Job 1:20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

Prayers of Faith

His responses, while in pain, to his friends continue to fall like gems of faith.

Job 28:1

There is a mine for silver and a place where gold is refined.

Job 23:10

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.

 Job 28:28

The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.”

Job 13:15,16

Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;
I will surely defend my ways to his face.
Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance,
for no godless person would dare come before him

Job 19:25-27

I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

Job Protests

He is puzzled, and questions God.

Job 9:32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him, that we should come to trial together.

33 There is no umpire between us, who might lay his hand upon us both.

34 Let him take his rod away from me, and let not dread of him terrify me.

35 Then I would speak without fear of him, for I am not so in myself. (RSV)

God Answers

God’s powerful answer leaves him speechless with a new perspective of God.

Job 38:1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: 2 “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. 4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.

Big Picture of God - Behemoth

Job 40:15 “Look at Behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox.

16 What strength it has in its loins, what power in the muscles of its belly!

17 Its tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.

18 Its bones are tubes of bronze, its limbs like rods of iron.

Big Picture of God - Behemoth

Job 40:19 It ranks first among the works of God, yet its Maker can approach it with his sword…

22 The lotuses conceal it in their shadow; the poplars by the stream surround it.

23 A raging river does not alarm it; it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth.

24 Can anyone capture it by the eyes, or trap it and pierce its nose? (Gen 40)

Big Picture of God - Leviathan

Job 41:1 Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook  or tie down its tongue with a rope? 2 Can you put a cord through its nose or pierce its jaw with a hook? …5 Can you make a pet of it like a bird or put it on a leash for the young women in your house?…

10 No one is fierce enough to rouse it.  Who then is able to stand against me?

Job 41:18 Its snorting throws out flashes of light; its eyes are like the rays of dawn. 19 Flames stream from its mouth; sparks of fire shoot out. 20 Smoke pours from its nostrils as from a boiling pot over burning reeds. 21 Its breath sets coals ablaze,  and flames dart from its mouth.

Big Picture of God - Leviathan

Job 41:26 The sword that reaches it has no effect, nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin. 27 Iron, it treats like straw, and bronze like rotten wood.  28 Arrows do not make it flee; slingstones are like chaff to it. 29 A club seems to it but a piece of straw; it laughs at the rattling of the lance. 33 Nothing on earth is its equal— a creature without fear. 34 It looks down on all that are haughty; it is king over all that are proud.”

Job’s Reply

Job has finally “seen” how big God really is and realized how small he is.

Job 42:5,6“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
But now my eye sees You.
Therefore I abhor myself,
And repent in dust and ashes.”

Deep suffering gives us a broader vision of God that makes our problems look smaller as God stands taller.

Video clip – Duty of a Christian

Discussion

1.Job did not sin but he erred. Where was his error? What caused it?

2.What was the sin of his friends?

3.How do we risk facing these issues today?

Job’s error was confining God to his mortal frame of thought. An error we all make. Once he began to comprehend how indescribably big God really was, he stops and repents.

Just beginning to understand God’s greatness can take us through any crisis.

References

1.Christianity.about.com

2.Zondervan

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