International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday October 12, 2014
Purpose: To discern the truth in criticism, admit our shortcomings, change our ways as needed, yet stand for the right as God empowers us to do so
Bible Lesson: Background: Job 19; Psalm 57
Job 19:1-7 (CEB)
(1) Then Job responded: (2) How long will you harass me and crush me with words? (3) These ten times you’ve humiliated me; shamelessly you insult me. (4) Have I really gone astray? If so, my error remains hidden inside me. (5) If you look down on me and use my disgrace to criticize me, (6) know then that God has wronged me and enclosed his net over me (7) If I cry "Violence!" I’m not answered; I shout—but there is no justice……..
Job 19: 23-29 (CEB)
(23) Oh, that my words were written down, inscribed on a scroll (24) with an iron instrument and lead, forever engraved on stone. (25) But I know that my redeemer is alive and afterward he’ll rise upon the dust. (26) After my skin has been torn apart this way—then from my flesh I’ll see God, (27) whom I’ll see myself—my eyes see, and not a stranger’s. I am utterly dejected. (28) You say, "How will we pursue him so that the root of the matter can be found in him?" (29) You ought to fear the sword yourselves, for wrath brings punishment by the sword. You should know that there is judgment.
My Thoughts by Burgess Walter
This is the first of three lesson we will have on the Book of Job. Job may have been an actual person who lived at the time of the patriarchs around the time of Abraham. Scholars think that because of the length of his life, according to Job 42:16”After this, Job lived 140 years and saw four generations of his children". Also Job’s wealth was valued according to his herds, as was the custom of that time. Like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Job was the priest of his family. The book contains no mention of the nation of Israel, or Moses, so most believe the story precedes that portion of history.
As for the time of the book’s writing we only know that Ezekiel referred to it in Ezekiel 14:14 “ If these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, lived there, their lives alone would be saved because they were righteous. This is what the Lord God says.” Most likely it was written down during the time of Solomon, when the oral campfire story was transferred to a written form.
The question raised by the book is an age old question: Why do the righteous suffer, if God is a God of mercy and love?
Our text for this lesson comes at a time when Job has lost everything and a so called friend of Job, Bildad, tries to convince Job that he needs to repent because he is guilty of some sin against God. In the preceding chapter (18) Bildad ask Job “How long will you maintain your innocence?” Our text begins with Job’s reply, “How long” will you continue to pester me with false accusations?
The key passage in the Book of Job comes in the 25th verse of our text. “But I know that my redeemer is alive and afterward he’ll rise upon the dust.” It is from this verse that Handel incorporates the great theme in his “Messiah.” And it causes all of us to ask, how did Job know about a Messiah? A living Messiah was not part of the early theology, however Job believed in a living God that would redeem his life at some point in history. Job is anticipating seeing with his own eyes, the one that will redeem him.
When I read the story of Job, I am reminded that God does use events in our life to teach us about His sovereignty. There is a gospel hymn written by Ira Standphill that helps me to understand the Book of Job, it is “HE WASHED MY EYES WITH TEARS”
He washed my eyes with tears that I might see,
The broken heart I had was good for me;
He tore it all apart and looked inside,
He found it full of fear and foolish pride.
He swept away the things that made me blind
And then I saw the clouds were silver lined;
And now I understand 'twas best for me
He washed my eyes with tears that I might see.
He washed my eyes with tears that I might see
The glory of Himself revealed to me;
I did not know that He had wounded hands
I saw the blood He spilt upon the sands.
I saw the marks of shame and wept and cried;
He was my substitute for me He died;
And now I'm glad He came so tenderly;
And washed my eyes with tears that I might see.
And washed my eyes with tears ... that I might see....