Jul 6, 2015

Job Part 6 - Devotion and Sermon Questions

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin.

Old Testament Reading:  Job 20:1-7, 21:1-16
(English Standard Version)

Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said: 2“Therefore my thoughts answer me, because of my haste within me. 3I hear censure that insults me, and out of my understanding a spirit answers me. 4 Do you not know this from of old, since man was placed on earth, 5that the exulting of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless but for a moment? 6Though his height mount up to the heavens, and his head reach to the clouds, 7he will perish forever like his own dung; those who have seen him will say ‘Where is he?’ Then Job answered and said: 2“Keep listening to my words, and let this be your comfort. 3Bear with me, and I will speak, and after I have spoken, mock on. 4As for me, is my complaint against man? Why should I not be impatient? 5Look at me and be appalled, and lay your hand over your mouth. 6When I remember, I am dismayed, and shuddering seizes my flesh. 7 Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power?


Devotion: “The Long View”
I don’t know how you might feel about recent world events but the news on several fronts is very disturbing to some of us. Without being specific, there are stories of global unrest and wicked persecution of Christians. Close to home, there are legal decisions allowing lifestyle situations in America that appear to go against the grain of believers. As a friend of mine says though:  “Why should we expect the world to behave like Christians want people to behave.” In a similar light, in the readings we have Zophar telling Job that the wicked folks’ joy will be short. Then Job counters by saying that is not true I see prosperous wicked people all the time.  He amplifies this argument through the rest of Chapter 21. Today, as in the times of the OT, we have to take the long view. We are not of this world but are honored citizens of God’s kingdom. We have to be less judgmental of worldly people and events and pray for guidance and be thankful for our redemption. We have to expect that the world is imperfect and do our best to spread the good news to others. If you must watch the news [OK some of us are recovering news junkies] please take the long view and think what the 24/7 news channel would be showing about God’s Kingdom [God’s Kingdom Network, GKN!!!]. That channel would be fabulous viewing, wouldn’t it?

Pray: Lord, thank you for making me a part of Your kingdom. Amen

Blessings,
Joe

1.  Knowing yourself: Do you take the position of Zophar or are you more like Job? Somewhere in the middle? Can you explain why?
2.  Scripture: Can you cite Job’s examples of the wicked people being prosperous in verses 8-34. Summarize what Job’s observations and arguments are to the case that the wicked always get their “just desserts”. What does the long view tell us?
3. Application:  Remembering the earlier lessons in Job that falsely imply that righteous people are somehow exempt from worldly miseries, what mistakes can we make when we become judgmental about other peoples righteousness? In the 20th century there are four examples of world leaders who I believe would be considered to be wicked: Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin, and Stalin. Two had their “careers” truncated early and two lived be old men.  How does this fit in with the lessons in Job?