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

LESSON 7 - OUR ADVOCATE ON HIGH (JOB 16-18)

     INTRODUCTION: JOB'S THREE FRIENDS SUSPECTED THAT HE HAD DONE
SOME EVIL WHEN THESE TERRIBLE THINGS BEFELL HIM.  WHEN THEY
LISTENED TO HIM. THEY WERE SURE OF IT. YOU REMEMBER THAT LAST WEEK
WE ENDED WITH ELIPHAZ SECOND SPEECH TO JOB.
 
     UNLIKE ELIPHAZ'S FIRST SPEECH, WHICH STARTED OUT SO POLITELY,
THIS WAS A GROUND SCOURCHER. LETS JUST LOOK AT ONE SHORT PASSAGE
FROM LAST WEEK (THAT WE DID NOT GET TO) 15:4-6:

Job 15:4 But you even undermine piety and hinder devotion to God. 
Job 15:5 Your sin prompts your mouth; you adopt the tongue of the
crafty.
Job 15:6 Your own mouth condemns you, not mine; your own lips
testify against you. 

     SO FRIEND AND COMFORTER ELIPHAZ SAYS, "JOB YOU SINNED" AND
SINCE YOU DO NOT ADMIT IT, "YOU'RE A HYPOCRITE TOO."

     LETS START NOW WITH JOB'S RESPONSE TO THIS.

I. JOB'S RESPONSE TO ELIPHAZ.

     A.  READ 16:1-6 EVERYONE IN THIS BOOK LIKES TO CALL THE OTHER
     A WINDBAG AND THIS IS YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE. 

     B.  HOWEVER, JOB HAS SOME VERY INTERESTING THINGS TO SAY HERE
     ABOUT HOW WE SHOULD COMFORT THOSE WHO ARE HAVING PROBLEMS. 
     JOB ASKS: "WHAT AILS YOU THAT YOU KEEP ON ARGUING?" WHAT IS
     THE ANSWER TO THAT? 
     
          1. WHY DO HIS FRIENDS ARGUE? 
          
          2. LETS ASSUME THAT IT WAS SIN ON JOB'S PART THAT CAUSED
          HIS PROBLEMS, WOULD YOU HAVE TOLD JOB THAT WHEN YOU HEARD
          HIM (AS WE WILL HEAR HIM TODAY) BLAME GOD FOR IT? (I TEND
          TO THINK THAT I MIGHT HAVE ARGUED WITH JOB.)

          3.  SO WHY WOULD WE ARGUE? (MORE IMPORTANT TO BE RIGHT,
          THEN TO COMFORT?)

          4. DO YOU HAVE TO START WITH THE TRUTH TO GET TO THE
          BOTTOM OF THINGS?

     C. JOB SAYS IN v.4 THAT IF THE ROLES WERE REVERSED, HE COULD
     MAKE THOSE SAME SPEECHES.  DO YOU THINK THAT HE WOULD? (I
     WOULD GUESS THAT HE WOULD BE TEMPTED TO BECAUSE (AT LEAST IN
     THE BEGINNING) HE AGREED WITH THE THEOLOGY OF HIS FRIENDS.)

     D. JOB SAYS IN v.5 THAT HE WOULD NOT. BUT, JUST AS HE SAYS IT
     IS EASY FOR HIS FRIENDS TO MAKE THESE SPEECHES, IT IS A LOT
     EASIER FOR HIM TO SEE WHY THOSE SPEECHES ARE NOT THE RIGHT
     APPROACH WHEN HE IS THE ONE WHO IS DOWN.

     E. IN v. 5&6, HE GIVES WHAT HE SEES TO BE THE GOAL OF A 
     COMFORTER--WHAT IS IT? (TO ENCOURAGE, COMFORT AND BRING
     RELIEF.)

     F. HOW DO YOU THINK THIS CAN BEST BE DONE? (JOB SAYS THAT 
     COMFORT CAN COME ONLY FROM HIS FRIENDS, HIS OWN TALKING--OR
     LACK OF TALKING--BRING   HIM NO COMFORT.)
          1. DO YOU AGREE THAT ARGUING WITH FRIENDS BRINGS NO 
          RELIEF. SO SHOULD WE MAKE IT A POINT TO AVOID ARGUING
          WITH THOSE THAT WE ARE TRYING TO COMFORT?

II. THE ATTACK

     A. NOT READ: IN VERSES 7-8 JOB SAYS THAT GOD HAS ATTACKED HIM.
     THIS IS LIKE HIS EARLIER STATEMENT THAT GOD IS ARRAYED LIKE A
     WARRIOR IN A CHARIOT AGAINST HIM. 

     B. THE NEXT FEW VERSES ARE VERY INTERESTING SO LETS READ THEM.
     READ v. 9-13. DOES THIS REMIND YOU OF ANY OTHER STORY IN THE
     BIBLE? (SOUNDS LIKE THE CRUCIFIXION. GO INTO WHAT JESUS MUST
     HAVE FELT AND THE WHOLE IDEA OF THIS BEING SUCH A GREAT
     TEMPTATION.
          1. STRIKE: JOB 16:10/John 18:23 "If I said something 
          wrong," Jesus replied, "testify as to what is wrong. But
          if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?" 
          Jn 19:3 and went up to him again and again, saying, 
          "Hail, king of the Jews!" And they struck him in the
          face. (NIV)
          Mk 15:19 Again and again they struck him on the head with
          a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they
          paid homage to him. (NIV)

          2. PIERCED:JOB 16:13/Jn 19:34 Instead, one of the 
          soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a
          sudden flow of blood and water. (NIV)

          3. JEER:JOB 16:10/Mk 15:29 Those who passed by hurled 
          insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, "So! You
          who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three
          days, (NIV)

          4. TURNED ME OVER TO WICKED MEN: JOB 16:11; Mk 15:34 And
          at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi,
          Eloi,lama sabachthani?"-- which means, "My God, my God,
          why have you forsaken me?" (NIV)

     C. JOB DIRECTLY SAYS THAT GOD IS DOING THIS AND THAT HE IS 
     BEING ATTACKED. DO YOU THINK THAT JESUS HAD MUCH THE SAME
     FEELINGS AS JOB?

          1. HOW SAME? (JOB BELIEVES THAT HE IS ATTACKED BY GOD AND
          HIS THREE FREINDS, WHO HE SAYS ARE NOT WORTHY TO ACCUSE
          HIM OF WRONGDOING.  JESUS WAS ATTACKED BY PEOPLE WHO HE
          CLEARLY KNEW WERE INFERIOR.)

          2. HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT? (I TRUST THAT JESUS HAD A 
          BETTER IDEA OF WHAT WAS GOING ON AND THAT GOD WAS NOT
          ATTACKING HIM BECAUSE OF HIS SIN, BUT RATHER THAT HE WAS
          SUFFERING BECAUSE OF THE SINS OF OTHERS.)

          3. READ 16:16-17. THIS MAKES THE POINT THAT JOB THINKS
          THAT HE DID NOT DESERVE THIS.  AND WE SHOULD KEEP IN MIND
          THAT GOD DID NOT DESERVE THE VERBAL BEATING THAT HE IS
          GETTING FROM JOB HERE.

III. THE INTERCESSOR
     A. READ 16:18-22. FOR WHAT DOES JOB PLEAD?

     B. IS THIS SOMETHING THAT IS MISSING FROM THE PICTURE SO FAR?
     WE HAD SATAN TALKING TO GOD ABOUT JOB. SATAN ACCUSED JOB,
     ASKED GOD TO LET HIM TAKE AWAY JOB'S STUFF, AND NOBODY STOOD
     UP AND SAID, "WAIT A MINUTE!"
     
     C. DID JOB NEED A MEDIATOR? (JOB IS TALKING ABOUT HIS DEATH
     WHEN HE SAYS, "DON'T COVER UP MY BLOOD." "ONLY A FEW YEARS
     WILL PASS BEFORE I GO ON THE JOURNEY OF NO RETURN." IN DEATH
     HE WILL NEED A MEDIATOR. FOR HIS FRIENDS ARE RIGHT WHEN THEY
     SAY (ELIPHAZ) IN 15:14, "WHAT IS MAN THAT HE CAN BE PURE, OR
     ONE BORN OF WOMAN THAT HE COULD BE RIGHTEOUS?")

          1. WASN'T SATAN TECHNICALLY ENTITLED TO DO WHAT HE DID TO
          JOB?
          2. OR DID JOB JUST THINK THAT HE NEEDED A MEDIATOR?

     D. DO YOU SEE A STATEMENT OF FAITH HERE? (HE IS LOOKING TO 
     HEAVEN FOR HIS MEDIATOR, HIS HELP.) 
     
     
     E. JOB CONTINUES IN CHPT. 17 WITH A REQUEST TO GET INTO COURT
WITH GOD (AGAIN) (v.3, THE PLEDGE); HE SAYS THAT HIS FUTURE IS DARK
(11-14) AND HE SAYS THAT HIS FRIENDS ARE NO HELP (10)

IV. BILDAD'S SECOND REPLY

     A. READ 18:1-4

     B. READ 5-12

     C. READ 18-21.

V. NEXT WEEK: JOB 19-20. SUBSTITUTE: I'M PREACHING THE SERMON!