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Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 4 - CONFUSED BY TRADITION (JOB 6-8)

INTRODUCTION: YOU RECALL THAT LAST WEEK, AFTER SEVEN DAYS AND
NIGHTS OF SITTING AROUND ON AN ASH HEAP TOGETHER, JOB DECIDED TO
SPEAK. THEN ELIPHAZ, ONE OF JOB'S FRIENDS, POLITELY ASKED JOB IF HE
COULD HAVE A WORD WITH HIM.  ELIPHAZ SAID A NUMBER OF THINGS THAT
WE DISCUSSED LAST WEEK, BUT THE ESSENCE OF WHAT HE SAID IS THAT YOU
SOW WHAT YOU REAP. IF THINGS DID NOT GET BETTER FAST FOR JOB, HE
SHOULD START LOOKING AT HIS LIFE.

THIS WEEK WE START OUT WITH JOB'S RESPONSE TO THIS HELPFUL ADVICE
FROM ELIPHAZ

I. JOB'S RESPONSE
     A. READ 6:1-3. DID YOU EVER THINK ABOUT WEIGHING YOUR MISERY?
     JUST HOW BAD DOES JOB SAY THAT HE FEELS? 
          1. WHAT DOES HE MEAN BY THIS TALK ABOUT THE SAND? (HE 
          SAYS THAT HIS ANGUISH AND MISERY OUTWEIGHT ALL THE SAND
          OF THE SEAS. THAT IS AN EXPRESSION IN THE OT THAT MEANS
          "I COULDN'T MEASURE IT." Gen 32:12 But you have said, `I
          will surely make you prosper and will make your
          descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be 
          counted.'" (NIV)

     B. READ v.4-5. WHY IS JOB SO UPSET AND WHY HAVE HIS WORDS BEEN
     SO WILD.   WHY IS HE SO UPSET? (HE IS TERRIFIED BECAUSE HE
     BELEIVES THAT THE LORD IS SET UP IN BATTLE FORMATION AGAINST
     HIM. THE PICTURE IS OF A CHARIOT RIDING ARCHER WHO IS SHOOTING
     POISON ARROWS INTO JOB.)       

     C. WHY DOES JOB BELIEVE THAT? BECAUSE ELIPHAZ TOLD HIM THAT?
     (THIS IS PART OF HIS ANQUISH: THAT HE BELEIVES THAT THE LORD
     IS BEHIND THIS.  THE LORD IS (AT LEAST IN PART) BEHIND THIS,
     BUT NOT FOR ANY OF THE REASONS SUSPECTED BY JOB AND HIS
     FRIENDS)  

     D. JOB SAYS THAT BEING THAT UPSET AFFECTS THE WAY HE IS 
     TALKING ABOUT THIS AND CAUSES HIS YELLING. 
          1. DO YOU FIND THAT TO BE TRUE IN GENERALLY WHEN SOMEONE
          IS REALLY CLOSE TO A PROBLEM? 
          2. IF SOMEONE IS SUFFERING, DO THEY SOMETIMES SAY 
          SOMETHING THAT THEY DO NOT MEAN? 
(I SEE THAT ALL THE TIME. IN OUR CLASS WE GENERALLY HAVE ANSWERS OR
DISCUSSIONS BASED ON AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE BIBLE, BUT
OCCASSIONALLY SOMEONE WILL BE SO AFFECTED BY THE TOPIC THAT THEY
EMOTIONALLLY SPEAK FROM THE HEART AND IT IS HARD TO MAKE THAT
PERSON LOOK AT THE TOPIC RATIONALLY.)

     E.  READ v.8-10. THIS SEEMS TO BE A PRAYER. JOB STILL WANTS TO
     DIE. HE WANTS GOD TO "LET LOOSE HIS HAND" AND KILL HIM. 
     
          1. IF GOD IS ATTACKING HIM, WHY DOES HE HAVE TO PRAY FOR
          THIS? (THE IDEA IS THAT HE FEELS GOD IS, FOR SOME REASON, 
          PUNISHING HIM. IT WOULD BE A RELEASE IF HE WERE TO DIE,
          BUT GOD IS NOT LETTING GO OF HIM SO HE CAN DIE.)
          
          2. LETS STEP BACK FOR A MOMENT AND SEE IF WE CAN FIND A
          PRACTICAL APPLICATION FOR OUR LIVES.

          3. IS JOB DOING TOO MUCH THINKING HERE? COULD HE EVER, IN
          A MILLION YEARS, FIGURE OUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN HEAVEN?
          (NO)
          4. WE ARE GOING TO TALK A BIT LATER ABOUT TRYING TO 
          FIGURE OUR THE CAUSE OF OUR SUFFERING, BUT A BIG POINT
          HERE IS THAT JOB IS THINKING TOO MUCH AND BEATING HIMSELF
          UP TOO MUCH, WITH THE RESULT THAT HE EVEN HAS A SOLUTION
          TO HIS PROBLEM FOR GOD: DEATH!

     F. IN THIS DOES HE CURSE GOD? (NO. HE SAYS THAT HIS
     CONSOLATION IS THAT HE DID NOT DENY GOD.)(THIS MAY BE AN
     ANSWER TO JOB'S BELIEF THAT ELIPHAZ IS SUGGESTING A FAILURE IN
     JOB'S RELATIONSHIP TO GOD.)  

     G. IN VERSES 11-13 JOB SAYS THAT HE HAS NO HOPE, AND JUST IS
     UNABLE TO TAKE THIS ANY LONGER.  HOWEVER, HE SAYS THAT HE
     SHOULD BE ABLE TO DEPEND ON HIS FRIENDS IN SUCH A SITUATION,
     SO LETS READ WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT THEM IN v. 14-21.      

     H. WHAT DOES JOB CALL HIS FRIENDS? (HE SAYS THAT THEY ARE LIKE
     A STREAMBED THAT FLOWS WITH WATER IN THE RAINY SEASON, BUT IS
     DRY IN THE SUMMER. PEOPLE LOOK DOWN THEM THINKING THAT THEY
     MIGHT FIND WATER, BUT THERE IS NONE.) 
          1. DOESN'T THIS SEEM TO BE A BIT HARSH ON THE KINDLY 
          ELIPHAZ?

          2. DIDN'T ELIPHAZ DO HIS BEST?

          3. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT JOB RESPONDED SO STRONGLY?     

          4. CONSIDER THE PARALLEL TO THE WAGON TRAINS LOOKING FOR
          WATER DOWN THIS DRY HOLE.  DO YOU  THINK THIS IS WHAT
          MADE JOB MAD AT HIS FRIENDS? (YES. JOB IS LOOKING FOR AN
          EXPLANATION, I BET HE WAS HOPEFUL WHEN HE SAW HIS
          FRIENDS.  BUT ELIPHAZ SIMPLY MADE IT WORSE BY SUGGESTING
          THAT JOB SHOULD CLEAN UP THE SIN IN HIS LIFE.)       

          5. JOB SAID SOMETHING VERY INTERESTING IN v. 21. HE SAID
          THAT THEY "SAW SOMETHING AND WERE AFRAID." THERE IS A LOT
          OF DEBATE ON THIS BY THE COMMENTATORS. CAN YOU SEE ANY
          WAY IN WHICH JOB'S FRIENDS ARE "AFRAID?"
               a. CAN WE BE "AFRAID" IN HELPING OTHERS WHO FACE 
                    GRIEF? (1)IN BOSTON WITH GT, "AFRAID" TO SAY
                    WRONG THING TO HIM. ESPECIALLY THINK THIS
                    MIGHT BE GOD'S WAY TO CONVERT HIM. BUT
                    "CONVERTING HIM" WOULD BE AN ACT OF HOSTILITY,
                    NOT THE ACT OF A FRIEND. (2) HAVING RULES IS A
                    GREAT COMFORT TO THOSE WHO PLAY BY THEM. IF
                    GOOD DO WELL, IF BAD SUFFER. SINCE THE FRIENDS
                    WERE DOING WELL, THEY MIGHT VERY WELL HAVE
                    BEEN AFRAID TO CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY THAT
                    EVEN GOOD PEOPLE GET WACKED.  THIS WOULD OPEN
                    THEM UP TO SOMETHING BAD.)

     I. READ v.28-30. DOES THIS CAST MORE LIGHT ON THE REASON THAT
     JOB IS SO UPSET WITH HIS FRIENDS? (HE TOLD THEM THAT HE HAD
     NOT SINNED. BY THEM INSISTING THAT HE MUST HAVE DONE
     SOMETHING, THEY MAKE HIM OUT TO BE A LIAR: EVEN BETWEEN THEM.)
     
     J.  IN 7:1-6. JOB TELLS US THAT HE SPENDS HIS NIGHTS IN
MISERY, TOSSING AND TURNING. AND IT APPEARS THAT THIS HAS BEEN
GOING ON FOR MONTHS. MY BET IS HE IS AWAKE AT NIGHT, NOT SIMPLY
BECAUSE HIS BODY IS COVERED BY WORMS AND SCABS, BUT MAINLY BECAUSE
HE IS TRYING TO WORK OUT JUST WHY THIS ALL HAPPENED.

     K. READ 7:8-10 WHAT IS THE EYE THAT SEES JOB NOW? (GOD)  

          1. WHAT IS HIS POINT ABOUT THE EYE LOOKING FOR HIM IN 
          VAIN IN THE NEAR FUTURE? 
          2. WHY SHOULD GOD BE LOOKING FOR HIM? 
          
(JOB WANTS TO SEE GOD. HE WANTS TO DISCUSS WITH HIM WHAT HAS
HAPPENED. WE WILL SEE THIS LATER IN THE BOOK AT 19:27. AND JOB SAYS
THAT IF GOD DOES NOT HURRY AND COME THAT HE WILL HAVE DIED.)  

     L. READ 7:11-16. SO LETS PUT THIS TOGETHER. JOB HAS SAID THAT
     HE IS IN TERRIBLE MISERY, AND THAT IF GOD IS GOING TO SEE HIM,
     HE NEEDS TO ACT FAST.  SO WHAT DOES JOB DO TO BE ABLE TO TALK
     TO GOD?

 (SINCE JOB VERY BADLY WANTS TO TALK TO GOD ABOUT THIS, HE SAYS
THAT HE WILL NOT SHUT UP (v.10), HE WILL SPEAK OUT IN BITTERNESS
AND ANGUISH THAT GOD IS NEEDLESSLY ATTACKING HIM.)       

     M. IS THAT OK? IS THAT SIN? (I DON'T THINK SO. I THINK THE 
     WORST THING THAT GOD FEARS IS THAT WE IGNORE HIM. (REV
     3:15-16. I WISH THAT YOU WERE EITHER HOT OR COLD) HANNAH
     PRAYED WITH THE INCOHERENCE OF A DRUNKEN WOMAN (1SAM 1:13),
     JESUS OFFERRED UP PRAYERS AND SUPPLICATIONS WITH LOUD CRIES
     AND TEARS ...AND HE WAS HEARD. (HEB 5:7))  

          1. IF JOB WERE NOT BITTERLY COMPLAINING, WE MIGHT HAVE A
          HARD TIME IDENTIFYING WITH HIM?

     N.LETS FINISH UP JOB'S REBUTTAL BY READING THE LAST TWO VERSES
     OF CHPT 7 (v. 20-21.)      
          1. WHAT DOES JOB WANT? (HE WANTS TO KNOW "WHY!")  

     O. THAT SETS THE STAGE FOR HIS FRIEND BILDAD TO TELL HIM WHY. 
LETS GO THERE NEXT.      


II. BILDAD'S RESPONSE:
     A. READ 8:1-4. SCORE TWO POINTS FOR BILDAD. 
     
     B. WHAT TWO POINTS DOES HE MAKE WITH JOB? (1. THAT JOB IS A
     WINDBAG. 2. THAT JOB'S CHILDREN DESERVED TO DIE.)       

     C. HOW IS THAT FOR ENCOURAGING YOUR FRIEND?  

     D. LETS LOOK AT THIS MORE SERIOUSLY. BILDAD SAYS IN v.3, "WILL
     GOD PERVERT JUSTICE? DOES THE ALMIGHTY PERVERT WHAT IS RIGHT?"
     
          1. WHAT IS THE ANSWER? 
          2. AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT BILDAD MEANS BY THIS?

(BILDAD HAS A VERY SIMPLE VIEW OF THINGS.  THAT THE GOOD PROSPER
AND THE EVIL ARE DESTROYED. YOU MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO TELL WHO IS
EVIL AND WHO IS GOOD FROM THE OUTSIDE, BUT WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM
TELLS THE TRUTH. SO SINCE BAD THINGS ARE HAPPENING TO JOB, SOMEONE
DID EVIL.)  

     E. DOES JOB DISAGREE WITH THIS IDEA THAT THE GOOD PROSPER AND
     THE EVIL DO NOT? (JOB AGREES. HIS PROBLEM IS THAT HE CANNOT
     SEE THE JUSTICE IN HIS SITUATION SINCE HE CANNOT SEE WHAT IT
     WAS HE DID TO DESERVE THIS.  SINCE JOB CANNOT EXPLAIN WHAT IS
     GOING ON,  BILDAD SEES THE IMPLICATIONS THAT SOMEBODY IS
     RESPONSIBILE FOR THIS: AND IT MUST BE JOB'S CHILDREN.)  

     F.  DO YOU THINK THAT JOB HAD CONSIDERED THE POSSIBILITY THAT
     HIS CHILDREN HAD SINNED AND CAUSED THIS? (BET SO. IF YOU LOOK
     AT 1:5, YOU WILL REMEMBER THAT JOB WAS CONCERNED ABOUT HIS
     CHILDREN'S UNKNOWN SINS AND WAS SACRIFICING FOR THEM. SO SINCE
     HE WAS WORRIED ABOUT THIS BEFORE, YOU CAN BET HE IS WORRIED
     NOW THAT THERE IS REAL REASON TO THINK THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE
     SINNED.)  

     G. READ v.5-6. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS? (IF YOU LOOK
     TO GOD, IF YOU PLEAD WITH HIM, IF YOU ARE PURE AND UPRIGHT
     (UNLIKE YOUR CHILDREN), YOU WILL RETURN TO YOUR RIGHTFUL
     PLACE.)  

     H. READ v.8-10. WHAT AUTHORITY DOES BILDAD CLAIM TO BASE HIS
     OPINION? WHY SHOULD JOB BELIEVE HIM? (HE SAYS THAT THE OLD
     PEOPLE KNOW THIS, AND THAT JOB SHOULD THEREFORE BELIEVE IT.)

     I. IS THIS A GOOD ARGUMENT? (COULD BE. BUT SOMETIMES JUST 
     BECAUSE IT IS OLD, DOESN'T MAKE IT RIGHT. MY DAD USED TO HAVE
     A SAYING THAT, BOILED DOWN TO ITS ESSENCE, SAID "DOPES GROW
     OLD TOO."

     J. READ 8:13-15 AND 20-22. DO WE DOUBT WHAT BILDAD SAYS? (GREG
     WAS TELLING US THE OTHER DAY HOW WE SHOULD TAKE PERSONAL
     RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR SINS AND I TOLD HIM HE WAS BILDAD. 
     BILDAD SAYS THAT IF YOU BUILD A WEB AND LEAN ON IT, YOU ARE
     GOING TO FALL DOWN. ISN'T THIS TRUE?)

     K. READ MATT 27:43. ISN'T THIS LIKE BILDAD'S STATEMENT IN 8:20
THAT GOD WILL NOT REJECT A BLAMELESS MAN?  (GOD WILL NOT REJECT A
BLAMELESS MAN. BUT WE MUST NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF THAT TRUTH BASED
UPON THE REALITY OF WHAT IS HAPPENING IN OUR LIVES.)


III. NEXT WEEK: STUDY JOB 9-11.