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 Ten in our study books which is entitled “The Good Old Days.”
This week’s reading covers Chapters 29 – 31 in the Book of Job. These chapters comprise the summation of Job’s defense of himself which began back in Chapter 26. First Job recalls the blessings he once had before his present torment began. Next, Job describes his current suffering. Finally, Job asks God to redeem him in the future. After attempting to reason with his friends in previous chapters, in these chapters Job presents his closing argument to God alone.
In Chapter 29, Job remembers all of the blessings God once gave him. He looks back and recalls a time when he was surrounded by his family, his friends and by the presence of God. He states that he and his family once enjoyed “the friendship of God” (v. 4). He also enjoyed respect from others (v.11). He was able to share his blessings with others (v. 16) and offer them encouragement (v. 21). Life was good.
In Chapter 30, Job contrasts the blessings of his past with the bleak reality of his present. Life is no longer good. Job laments that he no longer has any of the blessings he once enjoyed. While he is upset, Job recognizes that the past must stay in the past. He accepts his current situation, even if he doesn’t like it very much. While he accepts the reality of the present, Job cries out to God for deliverance from his current plight. He asks God to give him back his hope for the future.
In Chapter 31, Job asks God for justice. He reviews his life and asks God to pass judgment on him. He uses sixteen “if I have…” statements to present his argument. Job asks God to send judgment if he is guilty of any of a long list of sins outlined in this chapter. Job exhibits a confidence that God knows the truth and will vindicate him. The chapter ends with everyone who has heard Job’s lament wondering what will happen next.
BIBLE STUDY TIP: Bible study, especially when reading an introspective book of the Bible such as Job, offers us a great opportunity for self- reflection. As we read the story of a biblical character, we cannot help but apply their situation to our own lives. As you read, ask yourself what you might do if you were in the same situation as the biblical character you are reading about. Jot down your observations in your journal
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 10 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 11 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 the COVENANT using 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 Monday of each week.
• Complete a “Store in Your Heart” form for Job 31:1. 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) In Chapter 29, Job counts his blessings. What blessings can you count? Are these blessings in your past, your present or your future? How do our past blessings bring us comfort when we are in the midst of a struggle?
2) In Chapter 30, Job lists all of the things he has lost. In his commentary on the Book of Job, Warren Wiersbe asks us what the difference is between losing possessions, losing people and losing our reputations and our ministry. Which do you think upset Job the most? Would you react the same way?
3) How does Job describe his relationship to God in Job 30?
4) In Chapter 31, Job describes three broad all-encompassing categories of sin: lust, deceit, and adultery. What sin(s) would you add or subtract from Job’s list?
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?