Welcome back to our online Inductive Bible Study on the Book of Job, “Trusting God in Times of Adversity” by Kay Arthur. This week we began Part Two of the study and completed Week Seven in our study books which is entitled “Adding Insult to Injury.” This is such a fitting title for this section of the book of Job! Up to this point we have met Job, who while certainly not sinless, seems to be a pretty decent guy. He is wealthy and prosperous but also a family man who fears for his children’s well-being. He knows the Lord and is faithful to Him. Then along comes Satan, who is given permission by God to wreak havoc in Job’s life. Short of taking Job’s life, Satan is allowed to inflict a great deal of anguish on Job, both emotionally and physically. Job’s friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, visit him in his time of need. While they intend to help, their accusations against Job prove anything but helpful. They add “insult to injury” through their incorrect assumption that it is Job’s unconfessed secret sin that is causing his troubles. Rather than helping him, they end up condemning him instead, and accuse him of causing his own suffering.
Job calls his friends “sorry comforters” (16:2 NASB). It would seem he was being kind! We can almost hear Job thinking “Some friends you are!” And who can blame him? Who needs enemies when we have friends like these who just don’t seem to understand us at all in our time of greatest need. It seems that this was part of Satan’s plan, and thus God’s as well. Instead of helping him, Job’s friends become part of the pain that is inflicted on him. Yet we see that while Job’s faith in his friends is shattered, his faith in God remains strong.
In this week’s reading we pick up the story in Chapter 18 of the Book of Job. We once again hear from Job’s friend Bildad. Bildad is quite sure that he knows what is causing Job’s troubles and does not hesitate to provide him with a lengthy list of what befalls the wicked. Job responds to him in Chapter 19, by asking Bildad “How long will you torment me and crush me with words?” As we see in verse 19:25, our “Store in Your Heart” verse for the week, Job continues to profess his faith in God as his Redeemer. Our word study this week focuses on the word “Redeemer” and gives us the opportunity to explore what that word means to Job and to us.
In Chapter 20 Job hears once again from his friend Zophar who accuses him of falling away from rightly living. In Zophar’s eyes, Job’s troubles are proof that Job has fallen into wickedness. According to Zophar, Job must have been okay in God’s eye at one time or Job would never have been allowed to prosper. In Zophar’s view, Job’s troubles are God’s way of handing out his judgment of Job here on earth.
In Chapter 21, Job responds that that judgment may not come during our time on earth. We may see wicked people prosper and good people face calamity. But ultimately God will right those wrongs when the final judgment comes. God will set the record straight.
As Kay Arthur discusses in our “Thought for the Week”, Job appears to tie the Hebrew concept of a kinsman-redeemer to our ultimate redemption through Jesus Christ. Isn’t it amazing that this faithful man, who lived in Old Testament times, was pointing the way to the Messiah? Definitely something to think about…
BIBLE STUDY TIP: How did the first week of Part II of Job go for you? Have you settled into a routine of study? Or were you hit or miss? Did you complete your homework or did you start out already behind? Look at how things went this week and consider where you may need to make adjustments. If you are behind, do not get discouraged, and DO NOT QUIT. That temptation to abandon what you cannot do perfectly is not from God, it’s from that other dude…don’t fall for it, okay?
ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:
- Join a small group and join other women for a time of study and fellowship. This week we will be discussing Week 7 of the study. Small groups meet at http://www.facebook.com/groups/WBCInductiveStudies/ A schedule of meeting times is pinned to the top of that page.
- Complete Week 8 in your study book before your next small group meeting. This lesson is broken down into seven daily lessons so ideally, you will complete one daily lesson each day.
- Pray before you begin your study time each day. Invite the Holy Spirit to be your guide and teach you as you study.
- Do an online word study on “Redeem/Redeemer” (Job 19:25) at www.blueletter.org Instructions for doing a word study are located in the “Files” at the top of the page in the Inductive Studies Chat Room. You will also find a form for doing the coming week’s Word Study posted there on Friday of each week.
- Complete a “Store in Your Heart” form for Job 19:25. The store in your heart forms are also located in “Files” at the top of the page in the Inductive Studies Chat Room.
- Fill out the “Job at a Glance “chart on the top of page 97 in your study book. As you complete your study each week, decide what you think the main theme of each chapter is and record the theme on this page. There is no right or wrong answer, so don’t worry about that! Use whatever theme will help you to remember this study when you look back at it later. This is your study and this assignment is designed to help you, not anyone else.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK’S SMALL GROUP DISCUSSIONS:
- How did this first week of study go for you? Are you caught up with your studies or are you behind? Or ahead? What can you do differently in week 2? What words of wisdom do you have for your groupmates about how to tackle this study?
- Look at the conversation between Bildad and Job in Chapters 18 and 19 of Job. What is Bildad’s main point? What is the flaw in his argument?
- What does Zophar add to the argument in Chapter 20? How does it related to Job’s stated desire to die?
- How does Job respond to Bildad and Zophar? Why does Job talk about his Redeemer?
- Have you ever acted like Bildad or Zophar? How did your friends respond? What insights can you gain from this experience about how we can slip into personal attacks rather than addressing the real issue?