Monday, October 13, 2014

“Hope Complains” Adult Sunday School Lesson

International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday October 19, 2014

Purpose: To affirm that the perplexing moral contradictions of life need not defeat us

Bible Lesson: Background: Job 5; 24; Psalm 55: 12-13

Job 24:1 (CEB)
(1) Why doesn’t the Almighty establish times for punishment?
Why can’t those who know him see his days?

Job 24:9-12 (CEB)
(9) The orphan is stolen from the breast; the infant of the poor is taken as collateral. (10) The poor go around naked, without clothes, carry bundles of grain while hungry, (11) crush olives between millstones, tread winepresses, but remain thirsty. (12) From the city, the dying cry out; the throat of the mortally wounded screams, but God assigns no blame….

Job 24:19-25 (CEB)
(19) Drought and heat steal melted snow, just as the underworld steals sinners. (20) The womb forgets them; the worm consumes them; they aren’t remembered, and so wickedness is shattered like a tree. (21) They prey on the barren, the childless, do nothing good for the widow. (22) They drag away the strong by force; they may get up but without guarantee of survival. (23) They make themselves secure; they are at ease. His eyes are on their ways. (24) They are exalted for a short time, but no longer. They are humbled then gathered in like everyone else; cut off like heads of grain. (25) If this isn’t so, who can prove me a liar and make my words disappear?

My Thoughts by Burgess Walter

The Book of Job offers several challenges. The first challenge is to know who is speaking.
In today’s text, we need to go back to Job 23:1 which begins with these words, “Job answered:” Job’s answer continues till chapter 25.

All of today’s text is part of Job’s answer to accusations made by Eliphaz. Eliphaz along with two other so called friends Bildad and Zophar are convinced that Job’s difficulties are a result of Job’s sin, and of course Job is convinced that he has no sin to confess. Unfortunately both sides are wrong.

Today it is common in some circles to complain that America has too much, and that most people on this earth have so little by comparison. Therefore God is not just or fair, and some are convinced that until America is destroyed and brought low by whatever means, there will be no real justice in this world.

My response would be; who but America is willing to help the poor of this world? Who else is willing to spend billions on Ebola? Or who else is willing to help save thousands that were about to be destroyed in Iraq? I am not sure God has other nations that are willing to help with the injustice that goes on around the world. I am convinced that God is using America to assist in correcting injustices all over the globe. I think the tragedy would be if we did not recognize our nations calling.

Job was going through a testing, approved by God, and God had a great trust that Job would not weaken or curse God during this awful process. Job’s friends were right in implying that Job was not perfect, but they were wrong in thinking it was Job’s sin that was causing the problem. Job in the end realizes his knowledge does not compare to God’s and Job has a better understanding of God’s power and wisdom and sovereignty.

There are many injustices in this world, the righteous do suffer, and the wealthy seem to prosper more and more and have fewer struggles.

In verse 24 of our text, Job says, “They are exalted for a short time, but no longer.
They are humbled then gathered in like everyone else; cut off like heads of grain.”

And from last week’s lesson we know that Job, although it is not a common theme in the Old Testament, knew there would be a time when all wrongs will be made right. He knows that, because he knows, that his “redeemer lives.”

We must always remember that Jesus called those that build up treasures on this earth fools. Matthew 6:19 “Stop collecting treasures for your own benefit on earth, where moth and rust eat them and where thieves break in and steal them. (2)0 Instead, collect treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust don’t eat them and where thieves don’t break in and steal them. (21) Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also". and Luke 12:20 “But God said to him, ‘Fool, tonight you will die. Now who will get the things you have prepared for yourself?”

A Jim Elliott quote states 'He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.’

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