Jul 20, 2015

Job Sermon Series: Part 8 - 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. We are continuing on a multi-part series on Job.

Old Testament Reading:  Job 32, 33 (partial extracts below)
32 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God. He burned with anger also at Job's three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong.Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he. And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he burned with anger.
14 For God speaks in one way,
    and in two, though man does not perceive it.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night,
    when deep sleep falls on men,
    while they slumber on their beds,
16 then he opens the ears of men
    and terrifies them with warnings,
17 that he may turn man aside from his deed
    and conceal pride from a man;
18 he keeps back his soul from the pit,
    his life from perishing by the sword.

Devotion: “With age comes wisdom”
To complete Oscar Wilde’s quote: “With age comes wisdom but sometimes age comes alone.” Now the youngster Elihu, who has heard the three older men and Job “speechifying”, decides he’ll step in. He actually turns the tables, where Job’s three friends are saying suffering is punitive, Elihu says it is educational. In fact the great theologian Dr. Martin Luther would agree, he believed that God allowed Job’s suffering to test his faith. In our life’s journey we may experience severe suffering on or near the scale of Job’s. We can be comforted knowing that God is not punishing us because of our sin but is strengthening our faith through testing.

Pray: Lord, guide me with Your word. Amen

1.  Knowing yourself: Can you describe a time where you realized you were being tested? What are the signs? How should you respond once you realize your situation?
2.  Scripture: The text offers up contrasts between the views of the three friends versus Elihu’s assertions can you find and comment on these: 1-Friends: sin leads to suffering, Elihu: suffering leads to sin, 2-Friends: suffering is retributive, Elihu: suffering is protective, 3: Friends: Job should repent, Elihu: Job should learn, and 4-Friends: Job should initiate restoration, Elihu: God had initiated restoration.
3. Application:  Jesus suffered, bled, and died on the cross for us. Can you compare and contrast His suffering to Job’s?

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