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

LESSON 10 - I HOLD FAST (JOB 26-31)

INTRODUCTION:  EACH WEEK I TELL YOU THAT WE HAVE ANOTHER SPEECH BY
ONE OR MORE OF JOB AND HIS THREE FRIENDS.  WELL, WE ARE COMING TO
THE END OF THE SPEECHES.  CHPT 26 BEGINS JOB'S LAST SPEECH-AND IT
GOES THROUGH TO 31.  ONE COMMENTATOR SAID THAT CHPT 26 IS THE ONE
OF THE GRANDEST RECITALS OF THE ENTIRE BOOK OF JOB. SO LETS GET
INTO IT.


I. GOD'S POWER
      A. READ 26:1-4.  LETS ANSWER JOB'S QUESTION TO BILDAD AND THE
      OTHERS: WHO HELPED THEM UTTER THOSE WORDS OF HELP? 
      
            1. WHOSE SPIRIT SPOKE THROUGH THEIR MOUTH?

      B. IF YOU SAY THE DEVIL, WEREN'T THEY CORRECTLY STATING THE 
      BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES: THAT YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW?

      C. WASN'T IT JOB WHO INCORRECTLY SAID THAT GOD ATTACKS 
      THOSE WHO ARE GOOD?

      D. WASN'T IT JOB WHO INCORRECTLY SAID THAT GOD DOES NOT CARE
      ABOUT THE RIGHTEOUS?

      E.SO WHAT CAN WE CONCLUDE HERE? (THAT JUST STATING BIBLE 
      PRINCIPLES IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH, WE ALSO TO BE AWARE OF THE
      IMPACT ON THE PERSON WHO IS SUFFERING AND BEWARE OF THE
      PROBLEM OF PRIDE IN STATING THOSE PRINCIPLES.)


      F. READ 26:5-6 OUR LESSON HAS A REAL INSIGHTFUL COMMENT ABOUT
      THE THIS VERSE AND THE NEXT FEW, IT SAYS THAT THESE REVEAL THE
      MAJESTY OF GOD THROUGH CONTRASTS:
      
            SO LETS LOOK AT THIS.

      G. VERSE 5 SUGGESTS THAT THE BURIED DEAD CANNOT BE SEEN BY 
      HUMANS. THEY ARE DEEP, THEY ARE BENEATH THE WATERS.

            1. WHAT CONTRAST DO WE FIND IN VERSE 6? (THAT  GOD SEES
            IT ALL. HE SEES THE DEAD.)

            2. WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT THE POWER OF GOD? (THAT 
            ALTHOUGH WE MAY FORGET, GOD DOES NOT FORGET.  NOW THIS
            SEEMS TO BE IN DIRECT CONTRAST TO WHAT JOB HAS PREVIOUSLY
            SAID ABOUT GOD NOT CARING ABOUT THE RIGHTEOUS, AND IN
            PARTICULAR HIDING HIMSELF FROM JOB.)

      H. LETS READ 26:7-8. WHAT DOES HE SAY ABOUT GOD IN v7? (THAT
      HE SUSPENDS THE EARTH AND SKY WITH NOTHING. NOTHING APPEARS TO
      SUPPORT THE EARTH.)

            1. WHAT CONTRAST DO YOU SEE IN v. 8? (THE SKY DOES NOT
            FALL. THE WATER DOES NOT FALL OUT OF THE CLOUDS!)


      I. LETS READ v. 9-10. THE OTHER TRANSLATIONS THAT I LOOKED AT
      SAID GOD COVERED HIS "THRONE" INSTEAD OF THE "FACE OF THE FULL
      MOON" AS THE NIV SAYS.  I'M NOT QUITE SURE WHY THE NIV
      TRANSLATES IT THIS WAY, THE WORD TRANSLATED "THRONE" MEANS
      COVERING.  LETS GO WITH THRONE HERE.

            1. WHAT DOES JOB SAY ABOUT GOD IN v. 9? (THAT YOU CANNOT
            SEE HIS THRONE.)

            2. WHAT IS THE CONTRAST IN v. 10? (YOU CANNOT SEE GOD'S
            THRONE, BUT YOU CAN SEE THE HORIZON AND THE CONTRAST
            BETWEEN DAY AND NIGHT.)

      J. LETS READ 11-13. WHAT DOES JOB SAY ABOUT GOD IN 11-12? 
      (THAT HE HAS THE POWER TO STIR UP THE SEA.)

            1. WHAT IS THE CONTRAST IN v. 13. ( THAT GOD CAN ALSO 
            CALM THE SEA.) (THE REFERENCE TO RAHAB APPARENTLY REFERS
            TO SOME CREATION MYTH AND NOT THE WOMAN WHO AIDED THE
            SPIES WITH THE DESTRUCTION OF JERICHO?)

      K. LETS READ v.14. WHEN JOB SAYS THAT THESE ARE BUT THE OUTER
      FRINGE OF GOD'S WORKS (WAYS), THE FAINT WHISPER OF GOD, WHAT
      IS HE SUGGESTING? (THAT WE CANNOT KNOW GOD. THAT WE HAVE TOO
      LITTLE INFORMATION TO UNDERSTAND HOW HE WORKS.)

            1. WHAT IS THE CONTRAST IN THE LAST PART OF v. 14? (THAT
            ALTHOUGH WE KNOW ONLY A "FAINT WHISPER," WHAT WE DO KNOW
            THUNDERS IN OUR LIVES.)

II. JOB'S VACILLATION

      A. READ 27:1-5. JOB SAYS THAT GOD HAS DENIED HIM JUSTICE.  HOW
      CAN HE POSSIBLY SAY THIS IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT HE JUST
      SAID THAT WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND GOD'S WAYS?  THAT WE KNOW ONLY
      ABOUT THE BOARDERS OF GOD? (TWO THINGS: FIRST, A MAN THAT IS
      IN DESPAIR WILL VACILLATE BETWEEN TWO OPINIONS. HE ARGUES WITH
      HIMSELF ABOUT WHAT IS CORRECT. SECOND, HE IS SAYING THAT AS
      FAR AS HE UNDERSTANDS JUSTICE HAS NOT BEEN DONE.)

      B. DO YOU FIND THAT WHEN YOU ARE IN TROUBLE, OR HAVING A 
      PROBLEM THAT YOU CANNOT SOLVE, THAT YOU SOMETIMES GO BACK AND
      FORTH ABOUT WHY IT HAPPENED AND WHAT YOU SHOULD DO TO GET OUT
      OF THE PROBLEM? 
      
(THIS IS TYPICAL OF A PERSON IN TROUBLE. PRESUMABLY IF THEY KNEW
EXACTLY WHAT THE PROBLEM WAS AND HOW TO GET OUT OF IT, THEY WOULD
NOT HAVE GOTTEN INTO THE PROBLEM IN THE FIRST PLACE.)


      C. LETS SKIP A HEAD AND READ 27:13-15. DO YOU REMEMBER THE 
      DEBATE WE CONSIDERED LAST WEEK BETWEEN JOB AND HIS FRIENDS? 
      THEY SAID YOU SOW WHAT YOU REAP, JOB SAID THAT IS NOT TRUE,
      HAVE YOU NEVER TRAVELLED? ie. ARE YOU SO NAIVE THAT YOU
      DO NOT KNOW THIS? (21:29) AND THEN HIS FRIENDS SAID, "WELL IF
      THE FATHERS DO NOT REAP WHAT THEY SOW, THE CHILDREN DO, IT IS
      JUST DELAYED.  TO WHICH JOB SAID IN 21:19 THAT GOD SHOULD
      REPAY THE MAN HIMSELF SO HE WILL KNOW WHAT HE DID.

            1. SO WHAT IS JOB SAYING NOW? (JUST THE OPPOSITE!) (HE
            NOW RIGHTLY ADMITS THE ULTIMATE PUNISHMENT AND
            DESTRUCTION OF THE WICKED.)


      D. LETS MOVE AHEAD. IN CHPT. 28:1-11 JOB HAS A VERY
      INTERESTING DISCUSSION ON HOW MAN KNOWS HOW TO MINE PRECIOUS
      METALS, AND TO SMELT ORE. IT GOES INTO DETAIL ON HOW MAN CAN
      FIND THESE ELEMENTS, BUT THE ANIMALS CANNOT. LET PICK IT UP BY
      READING 28:12-15.

            1. CAN WISDOM BE FOUND BY THE SAME INTELLIGENT, DILIGENT
            PROCESS THAT MAN USES TO MINE THESE PRECIOUS STONES AND
            ORES? (JOB SAYS NO. FOR THREE REASONS. FIRST, MAN DOES
            NOT UNDERSTAND THE WORTH OF WISDOM LIKE HE UNDERSTANDS
            THE WORTH OF GOLD. SECOND, IT CANNOT BE PHYSICALLY FOUND
            ON THE EARTH (THE GROUND AND THE SEA SAY, "ITS NOT
            HERE!") AND THIRD, IT CANNOT BE PURCHASED.)


            2. FROM v. 16-19 JOB WAXES ON ABOUT HOW VALUABLE WISDOM
            IS. 

            3. ANY IDEA IF MAN CAN GET WISDOM? AND IF SO, HOW? (AT 
            FIRST IT SEEMS THAT JOB IS GOING TO ARGUE THAT ONLY GOD
            HAS WISDOM.  BUT HE DOES NOT SAY THAT. HE SAYS THAT GOD
            IS THE WAY TO WISDOM (28:23).  BUT FINALLY IN v. 28 HE
            CONCLUDES THIS CHPT BY SAYING THAT WE GET WISDOM BY
            FEARING GOD AND SHUNNING EVIL.) (v.28)

      E. JOB'S DAYS GONE-BY.

            1. IN CHPT 29 JOB REMINISCES ABOUT HOW LIFE USED TO BE. 
            HOW HE WAS HONORED AND RESPECTED AND HOW, "I THOUGHT, 'I
            WILL DIE IN MY OWN HOUSE, MY DAYS AS NUMEROUS AS THE
            GRAINS OF SAND.'" 29:18.  AND IMPORTANTLY FOR THIS
            SETTING, HE SAID THAT AFTER HE SPOKE, THOSE AROUND HIM
            SPOKE NO MORE. (29:22)

            2. THEN IN CHPT 30 HE RECITES HOW ALL OF THAT HAS NOW 
            CHANGED.

            3. LETS READ TWO SMALL PARTS OF THESE CHPTS THAT SHOW 
            THIS DIFFERENCE: 29:2-5 AND 30:18-20.  

            4. HOW DOES GOD TREAT HIM THEN AND NOW?

            5. WAS SATAN RIGHT? DID JOB SERVE GOD BECAUSE OF HIS 
            PROTECTION?

III. NEXT WEEK: JOB 32-37.  ENTER ELIHU!