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

LESSON 1 - WHEN CALAMITY STRIKES (JOB 1:1-5, 13-22; 2:7-13)

INTRODUCTION: THIS IS THE START OF A NEW QUARTER, AND THE STUDY OF
THE BOOK OF JOB. JOB WAS PROBABLY ONE OF THE VERY FIRST BOOKS OF
THE BIBLE TO BE WRITTEN. PERHAPS THAT IS BECAUSE GOD WANTED TO GET
THE MESSAGE OF THIS BOOK BEFORE HIS FOLLOWERS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

I AM REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO GOING THROUGH THE STUDY OF THIS BOOK
WITH YOU.  MY BET IS THAT EVERYONE OF US WILL, IF WE HAVE NOT
ALREADY, ASK GOD SOME OF THE SAME IMPORTANT QUESTIONS THAT JOB
ASKED GOD.  THESE LESSONS MAY BE CRITICAL TO RETAINING OUR FAITH IN
GOD.  LETS GET INTO IT.

I. JOB THE MAN

     A. READ JOB 1: 1-5. WHAT KIND OF PERSON WAS JOB? LETS LIST ALL
THE THINGS THAT WE LEARN ABOUT HIM.
          1. MAN
          2. UZ (EDON, SOUTHWEST OF THE DEAD SEA)
          3. BLAMELESS (HEBREW WORD LITERALLY MEANS "COMPLETE."
          4. UPRIGHT (HEBREW MEANS LITERALLY "STRAIGHT.")
          5. FEARED GOD (REVERED GOD)
          6. SHUNNED EVIL. (LITERALLY "TURNED OFF.")
          7. RICH (7K SHEEP; 3K CAMELS; 500 OXEN; 500 DONKEYS)
          8. FAMOUS
          9. HE WAS BLESSED BY GOD TO HAVE SEVEN SONS AND THREE
               DAUGHTERS. (A COMPLETE NUMBER. NOTICE THE SAME FOR
               HIS ANIMALS WHICH ALSO ADD UP TO 10)
          10. PERSONAL AND REAL CONCERN ABOUT THE SPRITUAL WELFARE
               OF HIS FAMILY--A MAN WHO BELIEVED IN "FAMILY
               VALUES."
     B. WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE LIKE JOB? DIDN'T HE HAVE A GREAT LIFE?

II. TRAGEDY STRIKES.
     A. OUR LESSON WANTS US TO WAIT UNTIL NEXT WEEK TO LOOK AT 
     VERSES 6-12, SO WE WILL. LOOK WITH ME AT v. 13-15.
     
          1. WHAT KIND OF DISASTER IS DESCRIBED?  HOW WOULD YOU 
          GUESS IT WOULD AFFECT JOB? (HALF OF HIS WEALTH. SCRATCH
          THE OXEN AND THE DONKEYS)

     B. READ v.16. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FACT THAT THE
          FIRST REPORTER WAS STILL SPEAKING? (THAT JOB HAD NOT HAD
          A CHANCE TO RECOVER FROM THE FIRST TERRIBLE NEWS.)
          1. WHAT KIND OF DISASTER IS DESCRIBED HERE? HOW WOULD IT
               AFFECT JOB? (SCRATCH THE SHEEP AND THE SERVANTS:
               PROBABLY MORE THAN 3/4 OF HIS WEALTH)
          2. WHAT IS THIS FIRE FROM GOD? (LIGHTNING)
          3. DO YOU THINK THAT THE DEVIL COULD CONTROL LIGHTNING
               EVEN WAY BACK THEN? (NOT WANT TO DIVERT FROM THE
               LESSON'S ORDER TOO MUCH, BUT 1:12 HAS GOD PUTTING
               JOB'S STUFF IN THE DEVIL'S HANDS. THIS IS ACTUALLY
               A VERY SOBERING THOUGHT AS WE CONSIDER THE
               INCREASING NUMBER OF NATURAL CALAMITIES.)

     C. READ v.17. NOTE THAT THE SECOND REPORTER IS STILL SPEAKING.
          1. WHAT KIND OF DISASTER IS DESCRIBED HERE? (SCRATCH THE
          CAMELS: THE REST OF HIS WEALTH)

     D. READ v.18-19. AS YOU CONSIDER THE LIST THAT WE MADE ABOUT
          JOB, WHAT IS GONE? (ALL OF HIS BLESSINGS. HIS MATERIAL
          GOODS AND HIS CHILDREN.)
          1. TELL ME THE IMPACT OF THE LOSS OF ALL OF YOUR CHILDREN
               FOR A MAN WHOSE REGULAR CUSTOM (1:5) IS TO GIVE
               SACRIFICES FOR EACH ONE OF THEM? (HE OBVIOUSLY
               CARED A GREAT DEAL FOR THEM. HIS LOVE AND DAILY
               CONCERN CONTINUED EVEN WHEN THEY HAD GROWN UP.)
          2. ONCE AGAIN, NOTICE HOW THEY DIED -- A DISTURBANCE OF
               NATURE THAT IS APPARENTLY CONTROLLABLE BY SATAN.

     E. LETS MAKE THIS REAL PERSONAL: IMAGINE THAT IN THE LAST 
          TWENTY MINUTES YOU HAVE: LOST YOUR JOB; LOST ALL THE
          MONEY IN YOUR CHECKING AND SAVINGS ACCOUNT; LOST ALL OF
          YOUR OTHER SOURCES OF INCOME; AND ALL OF YOUR CHILDREN
          HAVE BEEN KILLED.
               a. HOW DO YOU REACT?

     F. HOW DID JOB REACT? READ v.20-21. WHAT A GUY!

     G. WE WILL LOOK AT THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN CHRIST AND SATAN NEXT
          WEEK, BUT I WANT YOU TO CONSIDER THE POWER OF THE DEVIL
          FOR A MINUTE.
          1. IN THOSE FOUR DISASTERS THAT OVERTOOK JOB'S BLESSINGS,
               HOW PRECISE WAS THE DEVIL'S WORK? 
          2. FOUR TIMES ONLY A SINGLE PERSON SURVIVED: JUST EXACTLY
               THE NUMBER NEEDED TO CONVEY THE TRAGEDY TO JOB.
          3. IN THE WIND STORM, ALL TEN OF JOB'S CHILDREN WERE 
               KILLED, NOT ONE SURVIVED, NOT ONE JUST INJURED.
          4. I SUGGEST THAT IF THAT DOES NOT SCARE THE LIVING 
               DAYLIGHTS OUT OF YOU, THAT YOU NEED YOUR HEAD
               EXAMINED.
          
          5. ARE THE ISSUES OF GOOD AND EVIL JUST A GAME?  IS SIN
          JUST GOOD CLEAN FUN? CAN ANYONE BE NEUTRAL?  
          
          6. SOMEONE SAID TO ME RECENTLY, I'M PRO-CHOICE, BUT I'M
               NOT PRO-ABORTION: I THINK THIS STORY SHOWS THAT
               THERE ARE NO SPECTATORS IN THE WAR BETWEEN GOOD AND
               EVIL, THERE IS NO NEUTRAL ZONE. AS JESUS SAID IN MT
               12:30 "HE WHO IS NOT WITH ME IS AGAINST ME, AND HE
               WHO DOES NOT GATHER WITH ME SCATTERS." (SAME LK
               11:23)

     H. NOTICE IN v.21 AGAIN: JOB DOES NOT SAY, "WHAT HORRID LUCK
WE HAD TODAY: BAD WEATHER AND UNRULY NEIGHBORS."  HOW CLOSE IS JOB
TO THE TRUTH?  WHAT ROLE DID LUCK AND GOD PLAY HERE?


III. THE SECOND TEST

     A. READ JOB 2:7-10. WHAT IS TAKEN FROM JOB THIS TIME?  (HIS
     HEALTH)
     
     B. WHAT IS NOTABLE ABOUT THIS SKIN DISEASE? (THAT IT IS 
     PAINFUL.)
          1. COULD YOU WALK?
          2. SLEEP?
          3. DOES SATAN HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITY TO RUIN OUR
          HEALTH TOO?
          
     C. WHY IS JOB SCRAPING HIMSELF WITH A PIECE OF BROKEN POTTERY?
WHAT KIND OF TREATMENT IS THAT?  (MATTHEW HENRY IS A VERY OLD
COMMENTARY, AND HE HAS AN INTERESTING OBSERVATION ABOUT JOB'S
TREATMENT.  HE SAYS THAT OTHERS SHOULD BE COVERING JOB'S SORES WITH
SALVE.  BUT JOB CANNOT AFFORD A DOCTOR; HIS CHILDREN AND SERVANTS
ARE DEAD, AND HIS WIFE DOESN'T CARE. AND JOB DOESN'T DO A VERY GOOD
JOB OF TAKING CARE OF HIMSELF.)

     
     D.WHAT DOES JOB HAVE LEFT? (HIS LIFE, HIS WIFE, AND HIS 
     FRIENDS.)

          1. LETS TALK ABOUT SATAN'S "PRECISION BOMBING" FOR A 
          MINUTE.  WHY DOES JOB HAVE HIS LIFE? (AS WE WILL STUDY
          NEXT WEEK, THE LORD RESTRAINED THE DEVIL FROM TAKING IT.)

          2. WHY DOES JOB HAVE HIS WIFE? WAS SATAN RESTRAINED FROM
          TAKING HER?

          3. WHY DOES JOB HAVE HIS FRIENDS? WAS SATAN RESTRAINED
          FROM TAKING THEM?

     E. WHAT DOES JOB'S WIFE ENCOURAGE HIM TO DO? COMPARE HER WORDS
WITH THOSE OF SATAN IN 2:5. (TUMMAH (TOOM-MAW') THE WORD TRANSLATED
"INTEGRITY" IN EVERY TRANSLATION THAT I CONSULTED, IS THE FEMININE
FORM OF "INNOCENCE.")

     F. WHAT DO YOU THINK SHE MEANS BY THIS? (SATAN TEMPTED EVE
WITH THE IDEA THAT GOD WANTED TO WITHHOLD SOMETHING GOOD FROM HER.
I THINK THE IDEA HERE IS THAT GOD IS WITHHOLDING GOOD FROM JOB.
THAT GOD WANTED TO DO THIS TO JOB, AND THAT JOBS BEST WAY TO GET
BACK AT GOD IS TO CURSE HIM. JOB'S WIFE SAYS, "DON'T BE INNOCENT,"
"DON'T BE NAIVE.")
          1. HOW MANY OF US, WHEN THINGS DO NOT GO RIGHT, DECIDE
THAT WE SHOULD "GET BACK" AT GOD, BY REFUSING TO GIVE HIM OUR
ALLEGIANCE.

     G. ISN'T JOB'S WIFE SUFFERING EVERY BIT AS MUCH AS JOB, EXCEPT
FOR THE SORES?
      
     H. DID GOD SAY TO SATAN, CONSIDER JOB'S WIFE, SHE IS PERFECT?
(NO.)
          1. WE ARE GOING TO DISCUSS NEXT WEEK HOW JOB GOT INTO 
          THIS MESS, HOW DID JOB'S WIFE GET INTO THIS MESS?  
          2. DID SHE SIN AND CAUSE IT?
          3. WAS SHE AN OBJECT OF THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN GOOD AND 
          EVIL? (IT SEEMS THAT NOTHING HAPPENS BY CHANCE HERE, BUT
          SHE SEEMS TO BE CAUGHT UP IN A FIRE ZONE. IT SEEMS IT IS
          NOT HER FAULT OR HER FIGHT.)

     I. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT JOB'S RESPONSE TO THE SUGGESTION OF
          HIS WIFE?
          1. MUST WE ALWAYS BE ON OUR GUARD, EVEN WITH PEOPLE THAT
          WE TRUST, TO ENSURE THAT THEIR ADVICE SQUARES WITH THE
          BIBLE?
     
IV. THE FRIENDS.

     A. READ JOB 2: 11-13. WHY DON'T THEY RECOGNIZE HIM?

     B. WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THE THREE FRIENDS? (TO SYMPATHIZE
     WITH HIM AND TO COMFORT HIM.)
          1. TELL ME FIRST WHAT THEY DID, AND WHETHER YOU THINK 
          THAT ACCOMPLISHED THEIR PURPOSE OF COMFORTING HIM AND
          SYMPATHIZING WITH HIM? 
               (a. THEY SHOWED THAT THEY COULD HARDLY RECOGNIZE HIM
               BY WEEPING OUT LOUD, TEARING THEIR COATS AND
               SPRINKLING DUST ON THEIR HEADS.

               b. THEY SAT ON THE GROUND WITH HIM AND SAID
               NOTHING.)
               
          2. WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN SICK, IS THIS WHAT YOU WANTED YOUR
          FRIENDS TO DO? (THERE IS A COUPLE OF VERY GOOD THINGS
          HERE. FIRST, THEY CAME TO SEE HIM. SECOND, THEY SHARED
          HIS GRIEF: THEY WEPT. THIRD, THEY SHARED HIS DISCOMFORT
          AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, THEY TORE THEIR COATS, SPRINKLED
          DUST AND SAT ON THE GROUND FOR SEVERAL DAYS.)

V. NEXT WEEK: "THE ADVERSARY," A STUDY OF WHAT WENT ON BEHIND THE
SCENES OF JOB'S SUFFERING IN THE HEAVENLY COURTS. JOB 1:6-12, 21,
22; 2:1-10.)