Monday, October 20, 2014

“Hope Satisfies” Adult Sunday School Lesson

International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday October 26, 2014

Purpose: To foster trust in God’s purpose to help us find meaning in what we do not understand and good in what is painful and discouraging

Bible Lesson: Background: Job 42; Psalm 86

Job 42:1-10 (CEB)
(1) Job answered the Lord: (2) I know you can do anything; no plan of yours can be opposed successfully. (3) You said, "Who is this darkening counsel without knowledge?" I have indeed spoken about things I didn’t understand, wonders beyond my comprehension. (4) You said, "Listen and I will speak; I will question you and you will inform me." (5) My ears had heard about you, but now my eyes have seen you. (6) Therefore, I relent and find comfort on dust and ashes.

(7) After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, he said to Eliphaz from Teman, "I’m angry at you and your two friends because you haven’t spoken about me correctly as did my servant Job. (8) So now, take seven bulls and seven rams, go to my servant Job, and prepare an entirely burned offering for yourselves. Job my servant will pray for you, and I will act favorably by not making fools of you because you didn’t speak correctly, as did my servant Job." (9) Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuah, and Zophar from Naamah did what the Lord told them; and the Lord acted favorably toward Job.(10) Then the Lord changed Job’s fortune when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord doubled all Job’s earlier possessions.

My Thoughts by Burgess Walter

In the first two lessons from this book, we have seen Job in a state of despair. He was suffering more than most of us could bear. He had lost everything, his family, his possessions and had even lost the respect of his friends.

Job’s friends were convinced that what Job was going through was punishment from God for sins that Job had committed. Job was convinced that he had not done anything wrong and there was no need for any kind of repentance.

After listening to his friends and complaining to God, Job finally gets a break when God is brought into the discussion. Starting in chapter 38, God appears on the scene. God does not just show up, He makes a spectacular entrance in the form of a “whirlwind” (1 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:)

God challenges Job and implies that Job’s view of things was unenlightened, his knowledge faulty and his attitude arrogant.

God goes through a cross examination of Job. God basically tells Job, “You weren’t around when I created the universe. So what gives you the right to question the way I have set things up.”
God continues to describe His majestic creation, and it does not take Job long to realize that God cannot be compared with his creation. There is very little about Job that compare with a creator and a righteous judge.

Job finally realizes that his vision of God was far from the reality just presented by God. It is one thing to hear about God, it is another things to come face to face with God. Suddenly Job is humbled and finds comfort in all that he has gone through.

Next, God turns to Job’s three friends. His comment to them is that they were not accurate in the way they portrayed God. I like that God restores this relationship between Job and his friends. The three are ordered to make a sacrifice to Job as a form of apology and Job accepts it and prays for them as a way of forgiveness.

After God and Job’s relationship is restored, Job and his three friends are also restored. After those relationships have been set right, God then doubles Job’s wealth and family.

I think we can learn from Job’s experience, when God is brought into the conversation and He becomes our council, not our friends, then a solution is provided. Sometimes life’s lessons are hard and painful, but we never have the right to ask, “why me.” Sometimes we need to be thankful and ask, “why not me?”

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