We’re now on week four of “Laughing in the Dark: a Bible Study on the Book of Job” by Chonda Pierce and Dale McCleskey. The small group discussions were very insightful last week as we went deeper into our understanding of the Bible. If you were on holiday and missed the week, it’s really easy to get back on track. This is a chapter book study and easy to read!
I saw Chonda’s humor in some of the reading lessons this week. Did you laugh too? A few times I felt like I was sitting in a coffee shop with her, because her writing style is friendly and conversational.
There are some great verses in our study this week. One that I’d recommend you tuck inside your heart is Ecclesiastes 5:2 -take a look at how it’s translated by different Bible scholars:
Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few. New Living Translation (modern language)
Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. English Standard Version (close to original language)
Don’t shoot off your mouth, or speak before you think.
Don’t be too quick to tell God what you think he wants to hear.
God’s in charge, not you—the less you speak, the better. Message Version (paraphrased)
Isn’t it fascinating to examine the same verse through various lenses? Use the BibleGateway app on your smartphone, tablet or computer and explore the language of Scripture. This week I used the audio version to pronounce the names of Job’s friends from Job 2:11-13
We had an interesting lesson on DOUBT this week and I was reminded of Thomas from the New Testament. It was his doubt that revealed his lack of faith, just like Job’s friends. Today “Doubting Thomas” is an expression for someone who refuses to believe without direct personal experience. It would be fascinating to compare Job and Thomas on this topic!
In my times of doubt I tend to first discern the voice in my heart, is it friend or foe? Then I filter the thoughts through the Holy Spirit. If I closer to God then I’m convicted. If I draw further from God, then I’m condemned. Doubt cannot be ignored.
We have two final chapters of this study and then we’re on to study Hosea. Keep making progress!
ASSIGNMENT FOR THIS WEEK
- Select a small group day and time that fits your schedule http://www.facebook.com/groups/WBCSmallGroups/
- Read WEEK FIVE in the Laughing in the Dark Study Book
- Deeper study: Read through the entire Book of Job, a chapter each day or a few chapters on the weekend.
- Share some of your favorite book quotes with your social media friends and hashtag #BibleCafe so we can find them too!
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK
(You will have the opportunity to share your answers to these questions during your small group time. You may also post them here. Consider also recording your answers in your spiritual journal)
- Job’s friends met together, went to Job, tried to comfort him, observed him, wept with him, and silently sat with him for seven days. Which actions do you think are most important? Why? (page 60-61)
- Job’s identifies a self-fulfilling prophecy: “What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true” (Job 3:25 NLT). He prepared burnt offerings for his children (Job 1:5) as protection for their future. Yet they were killed in spite of the father’s protection. Chonda summarizes that Job lived life in fear. How do we draw the line between intercessory prayers and self-fulfilling prophecy based on fear? (page 67)
- This week Chonda demonstrates healthy doubt, when God uses doubt to get our attention. What have you learned when seeking God in times of doubt? (page 68)
- On page 69 Chonda writes, “We need to develop the skills to minister to each other without cutting people to pieces.” What skills help you be a really good friend? What skills might make you a really bad friend?
- We learned about “modeling the role”, or being vulnerable when helping a friend, by admitting our own mistakes. Why do you think it’s important to be vulnerable rather than giving advice? (page 64)
Praying for you,
ANNOUNCEMENT: Summer Bible Study- Registration now OPEN!
Be sure to register for our summer study and ORDER your Hosea (by Jennifer Rothschild) books early! The book is not available at Amazon and Lifeway shipping takes longer to arrive! There is a Lifeway eReader version and also an iTunes iBook for the next study but not a Kindle version. We begin our Summer study on July 11th and our Fall study will begin mid-September. Register when you click here>> http://www.womensbiblecafe.com/2016/06/hosea-register/