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

LESSON 5 - JOB ASKS FOR A MEDIATOR (JOB 9-11)

INTRODUCTION: THIS WEEK WE CONTINUE OUR STUDY OF JOB. WE WILL BE
LOOKING AT CHPTS 9-11.  

YOU REMEMBER THAT LAST WEEK WE ENDED UP HEARING FROM JOB'S FRIEND
BILDAD.  BILDAD TOLD JOB THAT HE WAS A WINDBAG AND THAT JOB'S
CHILDREN DIED BECAUSE THEY SINNED AGAINST GOD. BILDAD'S POSITION,
WHICH HE SAYS, COMES FROM THE KNOWLEDGE OF PAST GENERATIONS, IS
PRETTY WELL SUMMARIZED IN 8:20, "SURELY GOD DOES NOT REJECT A
BLAMELESS MAN OR STRENGTHEN THE HANDS OF EVILDOERS."  AS PART OF
HIS VIEWS, BILDAD HOLDS OUT HOPE THAT EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE FOR
JOB AGAIN IN THE FUTURE. THIS WEEK WE GET TO READ WHAT JOB HAS TO
SAY ABOUT THAT!

WE ARE GOING TO JUMP ABOUT A LITTLE BIT THIS WEEK BECAUSE OF THE
SHEER BULK OF THE MATERIAL THAT WE HAVE TO COVER. 

I. JOB'S REPLY TO BILDAD.

     A. READ JOB 9: 32-33. WHAT DOES JOB SAY THAT HE WANTS TO DO?
     (HE WANTS TO SUE GOD! NOW THERE'S AN IDEA! HE WANTS TO HAVE A
     HEARING WITH SOMEONE TO JUDGE BETWEEN HIM AND GOD.)

          1. READ JOB 9:3. THE WORD TRANSLATED "CONTEND" IN THE KJV
          AND "DISPUTE" IN THE NIV IS A TERM USED TO PLEAD A CASE.
          SO THIS IS MORE EVIDENCE THAT HE WANTS TO BE IN COURT
          WITH GOD.

     B. IF JOB COULD SUE GOD, WHAT DOES HE WANT TO PROVE?

          1. WHY DOES HE SAY IN 9:3, "I COULD NOT ANSWER HIM [GOD]
          ONE TIME OUT OF ONE THOUSAND?" (IT APPEARS HERE THAT JOB
          MAY WANT GOD TO SUE HIM. BECAUSE JOB IS ANSWERING THE
          QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF GOD.)

          2. IF YOU CAN'T WIN, WHAT IS THE POINT OF SUING GOD? OR
          HAVING A HEARING WITH GOD?

     C. LET ME GIVE YOU A VERY SHORT LAW LESSON: IN ORDER TO WIN IN
     COURT YOU HAVE TO PROVE: 1) THAT ON IMPORTANT DETAILS YOUR
     STATEMENT OF THE FACTS IS CORRECT; AND, 2) THAT YOUR STATEMENT
     OF THE LAW IS CORRECT. 

     D. WHAT FACTS DOES JOB WANT TO PROVE? (THAT HE IS NOT GUILTY
     OF SOME SIN THAT WOULD DESERVE WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM.)

     E. WHAT LAW WOULD HE ARGUE? (THIS GOES BACK TO JOB'S THEME,
     WHICH IS THE SAME AS HIS FRIENDS,  THAT YOU GET WHAT YOU
     DESERVE.)

     F. SO ARE JOB'S FACTS WRONG? HOW ABOUT HIS LAW? (HIS LAW IS
     SCREWED UP IN HIS SITUATION.)

     G. LETS BACK UP A BIT AND GO OVER WHAT JOB IS SAYING IN MORE
     DETAIL. READ 9:2A WHAT IS TRUE? (8:20: THAT YOU GET WHAT YOU
     DESERVE.)
     
     H. READ 9:2B-11. DOES JOB THINK THAT HE COULD GET A FAIR
TRIAL? 
          1.   DOES HE ATTACK GOD? (NO HE CANNOT GET A FAIR TRIAL
               BECAUSE THE OPPOSITION IS SO MIGHTY. HE SAYS THAT
               GOD HAS ALL THE POWER. YOU CANNOT STAND UP TO GOD.
               AND WORSE, (IN v.11) JOB CANNOT EVEN SEE GOD,
               CANNOT EVEN PERCIEVE WHEN HE PASSES BY!)
     
     I. READ 9:14-16; 19-20. ASIDE FROM GOD'S GREAT POWER, WHAT 
     OTHER PROBLEM DOES JOB THINK HE FACES IN THE COURTROOM? (HE
     SAYS THAT EVEN IF HE WERE INNOCENT, HIS MOUTH WOULD NOT WORK
     RIGHT AND HE WOULD CONFESS GUILT.)

     J. DO YOU THINK THAT JOB IS JUST REVERENTLY PROCLAIMING THE
     POWER OF GOD? 
          1.OR DO YOU THINK THAT HE IS ATTACKING GOD, BEING MOST
          UNFAIR WITH GOD? 
(I DON'T KNOW. HE SEEMS THAT HE IS SAYING THAT GOD USES HIS MIGHT
AND POWER TO UNFAIR ADVANTAGE. AND THAT GOD IS UNJUST. ON THE OTHER
HAND, HE MAY JUST BE SAYING THAT MAN IS SO WEAK IN COMPARISION THAT
HE HAS NO CHANCE IN A DEBATE WITH GOD.)

     K. JOB'S SEEMING ATTACK ON GOD INCREASES, LETS READ 9:21-24.

          1.   WHAT DOES JOB SAY HERE? (THAT GOD: 
               a.) DESTROYS BOTH THE GOOD AND THE BAD; 
               b.) LAUGHS AT THE DESPAIR OF THE INNOCENT; AND, 
               c.) CAUSES THE JUDGES OF THE EARTH TO ACT
                    IMPROPERLY.) 
(ONE COMMENTATOR SAYS THAT JOB IS NOT ATTACKING GOD BECAUSE JOB IS
SIMPLY SAYING WHAT HE STARTED OUT SAYING, THAT WE GET BOTH GOOD AND
BAD FROM GOD. BUT I HAVE A LOT OF TROUBLE WITH THAT, BECAUSE IT
SEEMS TO ME THAT JOB ACCEPTS THE THEOLOGY OF HIS FRIENDS: YOU REAP
WHAT YOU SOW. AND HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN v.23-24?)

     L. DOES GOD HAVE THE RIGHT TO GET MAD HERE?  CONSIDER THAT ALL
     OF THIS NONESENSE FROM JOB ARISES FROM HIS SCREWED UP THEOLOGY
     (HIS ERROR OF LAW) THAT YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW.
          1. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WE NEED TO BE VERY CAREFUL 
          ABOUT: WE START SAYING BAD THINGS ABOUT GOD BECAUSE WE DO
          NOT UNDERSTAND THE RULES BY WHICH HE OPERATES.

     M. WE ARE GOING TO SKIP OVER MOST OF THE REST OF JOB'S 
     STATEMENT BECAUSE IT IS SIMILAR TO WHAT HE HAS ALREADY SAID.
     LETS PICK UP THE LAST FEW VERSES OF HIS STATEMENT. READ 10:19-
     22.
          1. IS HE LOOKING FORWARD TO HEAVEN? (ABSOLUTELY NOT. THIS
          IS TYPICAL OF THE OT. IT GIVES A VERY CONFUSED LOOK AT
          LIFE AFTER DEATH. ECCLESIASTES 9:5, WHICH IS ONE OF OUR
          MAJOR PROOF TEXTS FOR THE IDEA THAT THE DEAD KNOW
          NOTHING, IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF A CONFUSED AND NEGATIVE
          STATEMENT. THAT IS WHY I SUGGEST THAT IF YOU ARE TALKING
          WITH SOMEONE ABOUT THE STATE OF THE DEAD YOU AVOID THE OT
          AND USE SOME OF THE NT TEXTS, SUCH AS 1 COR 15). 

II. ZOPHAR: LETS SEE WHAT JOB'S FRIEND ZOPHAR HAS TO ADD TO THIS
DISCUSSION.

     A. READ 11:1-4. HOW WOULD THESE WORDS MAKE YOU FEEL IF YOU 
     WERE JOB? COMPARE HOW BILDAD STARTED OUT (8:1-4) AND ELIPHAZ
     STARTED OUT (4:1-5)
     
          1. WHO HAS THE BEST APPROACH? (ELIPHAZ. INTERESTINGLY,
          ELIPHAZ PROBABLY TAKES MORE ABUSE FROM JOB THAN THE OTHER
          TWO.)

     B. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT THESE GUYS ARE JOB'S FRIENDS AND THAT
     THEY TRAVELLED A LONG WAY TO MAKE HIM FEEL BETTER? 
     
          1. CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT THEY SAY? (THEY APPARENTLY 
          THINK THAT JOB IS ATTACKING GOD AND THAT GOD NEEDS TO BE
          DEFENDED AND JOB STRAIGHTENED OUT!)

     C. READ 11:4-6. ZOPHAR SAYS SEVERAL THINGS, LETS LOOK AT THEM
     AND SEE IF THEY ARE TRUE.  
     
          1. LETS READ v. 4 AGAIN. WHAT DOES ZOPHAR SAY? (THAT JOB
          IS ARROGANT.)
          
          2. DOES JOB WANT GOD TO SPEAK? IS ZOPHAR AS ARROGANT AS
          JOB WHEN HE PREDICTS THAT GOD WOULD "OPEN HIS LIPS
          AGAINST [JOB]?"
          
               a. WHAT MAKES ZOPHAR THINK THAT HE HAS BEEN LET IN
               ON THE SECRET KNOWLEDGE THAT JOB IS A SINNER?     

                    (1) IS ZOPHAR RIGHT THAT GOD WOULD SPEAK 
                    AGAINST JOB? (NO. WHEN GOD DOES COME HE SPEAKS
                    AGAINST ZOPHAR: 42:7)         
                    
          3. IF WE ARE TRYING TO COMFORT, SHOULD WE BE MORE 
          CONCERNED ABOUT SPEAKING THE TRUTH THAN WITH COMFORTING?
          
          4. DO YOU THINK THAT ZOPHAR IS RIGHT IN SAYING THAT 
          WISDOM HAS TWO SIDES? DOES IT? (IN THIS CASE IT CERTAINLY
          DOES. JOB AND HIS THREE FRIENDS HAVE STATED GENERAL
          PRINCIPLES OF LIVING. WE COULD CALL IT THE DOWN SIDE (MAN
          SIDE) OF WISDOM. BUT WE SEE THAT THERE IS AN UP SIDE
          (GOD'S SIDE) TO WISDOM IN THIS CASE.)

     D. WHAT DOES ZOPHAR MEAN WHEN HE SAYS THAT GOD HAS FORGOTTEN
     SOME OF JOB'S SIN? (THAT IF THE TRUTH WERE KNOWN, JOB PROBABLY
     DESERVES MORE THAN HE IS GETTING RIGHT KNOW.)

     E. READ 11:7-9. IS THIS TRUE? IS THIS THE RIGHT ATTITUDE TO
     TAKE? 
(I THINK THAT ZOPHAR INTENDED TO SAY THAT JOB CANNOT FATHOM GOD AND
THEREFORE HE SHOULD JUST TAKE HIS PUNISHMENT. BUT THE REAL TRUTH IS
THAT WE CANNOT FATHOM OR KNOW THE MYSTERIES OF GOD. I THINK WE NEED
TO BE READY TO SAY THIS. THE IDEA THAT WE HAVE AN EXPLANATION FOR
EVERYTHING IS PURE ARROGANCE.)


     F. EXCEPT FOR A LITTLE PERSONAL ATTACK (MAYBE A LOT OF 
     PERSONAL ATTACK) IN v.10-12, THE BALANCE OF THE CHAPTER IS
     DEVOTED TO ZOPHAR CALLING JOB TO REPENTANCE AND TELLING HIM
     THAT IF HE DOES REPENT, THAT EVERYTHING WILL TURN AROUND FOR
     HIM.

III. NEXT WEEK: JOB 12-15. SOME WORDS IN RESPONSE BY JOB: AS TO HOW
HIS FRIENDS ARE LETTING HIM DOWN.