A Little on Job

Job 3:1-14:22 – Binary Thinking

June 08, 2013

Combined Sunday School, Lamar Baptist Church

Passage Outline:

  1. Introduction:
    1. God says Job is blameless, upright, fears God
    2. Satan says Job only behaves because God protects his wealth and his health
    3. Lesson purpose:

i.      To know how to read Job

ii.      Demolish the false “health and wealth doctrine” leaching into good doctrine

iii.      Help us understand the disposition we should have toward God when we suffer.

  1. Structural overview:

i.      Chapter 3 is Job’s complaint

ii.      Chapter 4-5 – Eliphaz charges Job with wrongdoing

iii.      Chapter 6-7 – Job rebuts Eliphaz and prays directly to God

iv.      Chapter 8 – Bildad charges Job to seek God’s mercy

v.      Chapter 9-10 – Job rebuts Bildad and prays directly to God

vi.      Chapter 11 – Zophar charges Job with causing God’s silence by sin

vii.      Chapter 12-14 – Job rebukes his friends for refusing to know God

  1. Chapter 3: Job denounces his birth because he cannot understand why God would create him just to abandon him to suffering and obscurity
    1. 3:23 – Why does God seem to make his purposeful and worshipful life unimportant
    2. Does not directly pray to God in this passage
  2. Chapter 4-5: Eliphaz argues against Job’s claim of innocence: that his circumstances prove his sinfulness
    1. Lie #1 – suffering and pain of God’s people is due directly to their sin.  Satan argued that Job only worshipped because of his health and wealth.  Now Job’s friends argue the same thing: in order to have health and wealth, Job must stop sinning

i.      4:7 – The innocent never perished and the upright where never destroyed

ii.      5:6 – God is the source of trouble and affliction because of human sin

iii.      5:16f – God disciplines the wayward

  1. False Solution #1 – Stop sinning and God will return your health and wealth
  2. Chapter 6-7: Job responds to Eliphaz that his suffering is not for unrighteousness but for mysterious purposes only God knows.
    1. 6:9 – Job would accept judgment for sin, but this is not judgment for sin.
    2. 6:14 – Job’s friends’ doctrine espouses Satan’s faulty plan
    3. 7:11 – Job addresses God

i.      God’s interest in Job’s faith and fortitude brought this upon Job

ii.      The price of knowing God is being tested by God

  1. Answer to Lie #1 – The suffering and pain of God’s people is due to God’s sovereign interest in the righteous
  2. Chapter 8: Bildad argues God shows justice by rewarding the mercy seeker with good fortune.
    1. Lie #2 – 8: 20 is key – a blameless man would not experience such circumstances

i.      8:4 – God killed your kids because they were sinners according to the curses of God’s covenant

ii.      8:6 – God destroyed your possessions because you were a sinner according to the curses of God’s covenant.

iii.      8:15 – God destroys the legacy of the sinner according to the curses of God’s covenant.

  1. False Solution #2 – Seek God’s mercy in hard times in order to receive back what you lost.
  2. Chapter 9-10: Job responds to Bildad that his binary thinking about God is too simple to address the circumstances God brought upon Job.
    1. 9:2  Job concedes that God destroys the wicked and that they need to seek mercy.
    2. 9:13  God also argues against the blameless (9:15; 9:20) which does not make God wrong but does make Job’s opportunity for restoration seem unattainable.

i.      Job sets up the hypothetical in order to crush his friends argument: If Job could seek mercy, it would be from his accuser and executioner and justice all wrapped up into the person of God.

ii.      If Job submitted true testimony to God, yet would God be able to justify his judgment and accusation.

  1. Answer to Lie #2: Knowing God and his purpose for this suffering is more important than getting his lifestyle back.

i.      10:2 – Job wants God to tell him his purposes

ii.      10:12 – Job wants an expression of God’s love and affection for him in a way that “preserved my spirit”.

iii.      10:20 – Job wants God’s affection and attention more than he wants his lifestyle back.  God’s silence is worse than Job’s losses.

  1. Chapter 11: Zophar argues God’s silence is caused by Job’s clinging to sin.
    1. Lie #3 – God doesn’t talk to sinners, so confess and know wisdom again.

i.      11:4 – God’s silence and Job’s lack of wisdom prove Job’s sinfulness

ii.      11:12 – Your demands on God show your stupidity and he will not reveal himself to you.

iii.      11:20 – There is no hope of hearing from God if you fail to repent.

  1. False Solution #3 – Prepare your inner self by digging for sin: then you will hear from God again.
  2. Chapter 12-14: Job responds to Zophar that their good circumstances make it easy for them to develop such a false doctrine.
    1. Zophar and his friends have a darkened view of God that is part of job’s testing.  Job does not and will not share this darkened view of God.  Job gives God the freedom to define wisdom and speak freely in his heart.

i.      12:4 – Job cannot hear God right now but worse still is that his friends have believed a false doctrine

ii.      12:20 – God removed his wisdom from his friends

  1. 13:10 – Job rebukes his friends for trying to show God partiality rather than trying to know God and the fullness of his person.

i.      13:21 Job wants the strength to deal directly with God and not be in dread as he does

ii.      13:22 Job want an audience with God by which he can speak his peace or be answered and hear God explain.

  1. 14:15 – Job longs for God to restore his relationship but sees no opportunity for it.
  2. Conclusion:
    1. Don’t boil your theology down to binary thinking : if God, then I…
    2. True loss is the absence of God not the presence of suffering – elio, elio lama sabacthani
    3. In suffering, deal honestly and openly and directly with God.

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