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 continued with Part Two of the study and completed Week Eight in our study books which is entitled “The Almighty Will Be Our God.”
This week’s reading covers Chapters 22-24 in the Book of Job. This section of the book begins the third cycle of the speeches we hear from Job’s three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar. This week focuses on Eliphaz who once again implores Job to confess some hidden sin so that he can be restored to his former position of wealth and prosperity. We then hear from Job as he responds to Eliphaz once again.
In Chapter 22 focuses on Eliphaz as he once again begs Job to confess his sin. Again Eliphaz insists that Job must be a sinner because all of these bad things are. As we read, we can’t help but think “Didn’t he say this already?” Yes, he did! But this time he is more emphatic, more specific, and more condemning. Eliphaz first accuses Job of pride and thinking he is important to God. Then Eliphaz accuses Job of coveting and of greed, saying he was not satisfied with what he had and sinned in order to acquire even more. Finally, Eliphaz accuses Job of being merciless and lacking compassion, saying he was unwilling to share his wealth with others and allowed them to suffer as a result. We can imagine how Eliphaz must have sounded as he tried to convince Job. Most likely he got louder and his tone harsher as he became more accusatory. If it seems to us that we have heard all this before, what must Job be thinking?
In Chapters 23 and 24 we read Job’s response to Eliphaz. We see that Job is tired. He is scared. He wants to know why this is happening to him. Job longs to see God face to face so that he can find out some answers. At times, Job almost seems to be agreeing with his friends. Job is frightened because he doesn’t know what will happen next. He has to be wondering “How much worse can things get before they turn around?” In his weaker moments, he must wonder if this torment will ever end. Who can blame him?
Job is genuinely confused by God’s actions toward him and toward others. Why is God allowing all of this to happen to Job? And why doesn’t God seem to be punishing other far more sinful people? When is this going to stop? When is enough, enough?
Ultimately Job’s faith shines through. Job understands that God is not absent, just distant. He knows that God refines and purifies his people through trials. As we see in our “Store in Your Heart” verse for the week, Job 23:10, Job understands that he is being tested, he will pass the test and will “come forth as gold.” Kay Arthur discusses the concept further in our “Thought for the Week” on pages 67-68 in your study book. Job knew that when a believer is afflicted, God can use the experience to cleanse and to teach. Those who keep a godly perspective will emerge purer and stronger than before. To learn more, do our optional Word Study this week on the word “refined”.
BIBLE STUDY TIP: How did this week of the Job study go for you? Are you settling into a study routine yet? Do you have a set time and place for our Bible study time? It is helpful to schedule an appointment between yourself and God. Put it on your calendar. Set an alarm on your phone. Do the same for your small group discussion time. Make those priority appointments that you can’t skip and don’t allow anything to interfere with your time with God. Even if you have an irregular schedule, you can still get into the important habit of scheduling your Bible study appointments. Try it and let us know how it goes!
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 8 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 9 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 “Refine/Refiner” 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 23:10. 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 them 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
1) Look at Chapter 22 and what Eliphaz has to say to Job this time. What are his main points? What does he add to his argument this time that he hasn’t said before?
2) Eliphaz accuses Job of trusting in things other than God, namely his wealth and possessions. What are some of the things we trust in other than God?
3) Despite Eliphaz’ accusations, in Chapters 23 and 24 Job continues to profess his innocence of these charges. Yet Job also knows he is not sinless. What does this tell us?
4) Eliphaz first accuses Job of having sin he is not aware he has. Then Eliphaz accuses Job of hiding his sin. How do we confess each of these kinds of sin?
5) How did this week of study go for you? Are you caught up with your studies or are you behind? Or ahead? What was the biggest challenge you had to getting your study done? What was your biggest take away from this week’s lesson?