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

LESSON 12 - WHERE WERE YOU? (JOB 38-41)

INTRODUCTION:  HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A WESTERN WHERE THE SHERIFF SHOWS
UP JUST WHEN YOU WERE HOPING HE WOULD? WELL, THIS WEEK GOD SHOWS UP
AND TALKS TO JOB AND HIS (NOW) FOUR FRIENDS.  

IN ALL THAT WE HAVE STUDIED IN THE BOOK OF JOB SO FAR, JOB AND HIS
FOUR FRIENDS HAVE BEEN DEBATING WHY THIS HAS HAPPENED TO JOB.  JOB
HAS REPEATEDLY SAID THAT HE WANTED TO TALK TO GOD; HE EVEN WANTED
TO SUE GOD AND HAVE A HEARING ON HIS CLAIMS, HE WANTED TO CONFRONT
GOD WITH WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO HIM AND WHAT HAS NOT HAPPENED TO THE
WICKED. (31:35) WELL HE IS HERE. SO LETS FIND OUT WHAT GOD SAYS.


I. GOD ARRIVES
      A. READ 38:1. DO YOU HAVE THE PICTURE IN YOUR MIND? GOD SPEAKS
      OUT OF A STORM! WHY DO YOU THINK GOD ANSWERS JOB "OUT OF A
      STORM?" (GOD IS SHOWING HIS POWER.)

      B. DO YOU REMEMBER THAT JOB'S TROUBLES REALLY BEGAN WHEN A 
      STORM KILLED HIS CHILDREN? (1:19)  IS IT CHANCE THAT GOD NOW
      APPEARS TO JOB IN STORM? (NO. I THINK THAT GOD IS SHOWING JOB
      THAT HE IS IN CHARGE AND THAT HE IS COMING STRAIGHT AT THE
      PROBLEM.)

      C. READ 38:2.  WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT GOD MEANS WHEN HE SAYS
      THAT JOB IS DARKENING HIS COUNSEL WITH WORDS WITHOUT
      KNOWLEDGE? (DARKEN COUNSEL PROBABLY MEANS TO MAKE HIS COUNSEL
      WORSE OR CAST ASPIRSIONS ON HIS COUNSEL. JOB AND HIS THREE
      FRIENDS SAID A LOT ABOUT GOD.  AS WE KNOW, THEY DID NOT HAVE
      A CLUE AS TO WHAT WAS REALLY GOING ON. SO THEY SAID THINGS
      THAT WERE WRONG. GOD IS NOW GOING TO ENTER AND SUPPLY THE
      KNOWLEDGE.)

      D. READ 38:3. IS THIS WHAT JOB HAD IN MIND WHEN HE ASKED FOR
      A TRIAL? (NO. IT SEEMS THAT HE WANTED TO BE THE ONE TO DO THE
      QUESTIONING BECAUSE HE HAD A LOT OF QUESTIONS AND HE THOUGHT
      GOD HAD A LOT OF THINGS TO ANSWER FOR.)

            1. I LIKE THIS PICTURE OF GOD.  NO WIMP HERE. "YOU WANT
            TO TALK TO ME? WELL BRACE YOURSELF AND ANSWER ME."

      E. LETS READ SOME OF GOD'S QUESTIONS AND TREAT THESE AS IF GOD
      WERE ASKING US THOSE QUESTIONS. READ 38:4-7.  WHAT IS THE
      ANSWER TO THIS? DO YOU KNOW?

            1. WOULD ANY MAN KNOW THIS? (NO. MAN WAS CREATED LAST. SO
            HE WAS NOT AROUND FOR THE FIRST WORK.)

            2. IS THAT GOD'S POINT? (I THINK SO. "YOU ACCUSE ME OF 
            DOING WRONG? WELL, WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I SET UP THIS
            WHOLE THING?")

      F. READ 38: 8-15. GOD SAYS THAT THE SEA AND THE LIGHT AND 
      DARKNESS HAVE LIMITS: THEY CAN ONLY GO SO FAR.  

            1. WHAT DOES THAT TELL JOB ABOUT HIS PROBLEMS? (DO YOU
            REMEMBER THAT JOB'S FRIENDS SAID THAT THE WICKED DO NOT
            PROSPER AND JOB SAID, "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL YOUR LIFE,
            UNDER A ROCK?"  THE SUGGESTION IS THAT THE WICKED DO
            PROSPER, PROBLEMS DO ARISE, BUT GOD HOLDS THESE THINGS IN
            CHECK.)

            2. IF GOD SETS THE LIMITS FOR THE SEA (v.10-11) AND 
            CONTROLS THE DAWN AND THE MORNING (v.12), DOES HE HAVE
            CONTROL OF EVERYTHING ELSE? OR OR OTHER THINGS DIFFERENT?

      G. READ 38:19, 24, 31-33. WHAT IS THE ANSWER TO THIS? (NO. AND
      THIS SETS UP ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE
      UNIVERSE.  SCIENTISTS BELIEVE THAT THE UNIVERSE IS VERY SLOWLY
      MOVING OUT. IF IT MOVED IN, GRAVITY WOULD MAKE IT IMPLODE. IF
      IT MOVED OUT TOO FAST, THE LOOSENING OF THE GRAVITATIONAL PULL
      WOULD ALLOW THE UNIVERSE TO SPIN APART.  BUT IT MOVES JUST
      ENOUGH NOT TO IMPLODE AND NOT TO SPIN APART.)

      H. LETS STOP A MINUTE. WHY DOES GOD ASK THESE QUESTIONS 
      INSTEAD OF GIVING JOB ANSWERS TO HIS QUESTIONS ABOUT WHY ALL
      THESE THINGS HAPPENED TO HIM -- A JUST MAN?
      
            1. WHAT IS GOD'S PURPOSE IN ASKING THESE QUESTIONS? (GOD
            IS SHOWING JOB THAT GOD SHOULD BE TRUSTED. HE DID ALL THE
            TOUGH STUFF, SO JOB SHOULD JUST TRUST HIM WITH THE MINOR
            THINGS (LIKE JOB'S LIFE AND FAMILY.) (ELIHU IS PROBABLY
            CLAPPING RIGHT NOW BECAUSE GOD IS ALSO CLEARLY PUTTING
            JOB IN HIS PLACE.)

      
      I. CONSIDER THE TOUGH THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED IN YOUR LIFE
      OR TO PEOPLE THAT YOU KNOW.  OR CONSIDER THE ATTACKS THAT YOU
      HEAR ON THE CHARACTER OR JUSTICE OF GOD.  
      
            1. DO YOU CONSIDER THESE QUESTIONS TO BE A SUFFICIENT 
            ANSWER?  

            2. DOES THE FACT THAT GOD CREATED AND CONTROLS EVERYTHING
            MEAN THAT HE IS JUST?  DO THE TWO HAVE ANYTHING TO DO
            WITH EACH OTHER?
            
            3. AND WHAT IS THE ANSWER TO JOB'S QUESTION? (I THINK GOD
            IS SAYING, "YOU AS SMART AS ME, BOY?" "IF NOT, JUST TRUST
            ME.  I MADE THIS MACHINE AND YOU JUST STICK WITH ME.")

            4. DOES THIS SOUND LIKE YOU AND YOUR PARENTS WHEN YOU 
            WERE A TEEN-AGER?  YOU WANTED TO KNOW "WHY," AND THEY
            SAID TO YOU, "DO IT BECAUSE I TOLD YOU TO!"

            5.  I THINK THIS IS AN ACCEPTABLE ANSWER FOR GOD. THAT IS
            NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE PROUD, ARROGANT, PSEUDO-
            INTELLECTUALS.  IF THEY CAN'T EXPLAIN IT, IT MUST NOT BE
            RIGHT!  WAIT TILL THE 2ND COMING, "BRACE YOURSELF LIKE A
            MAN; I WILL QUESTION YOU AND YOU WILL ANSWER."(38:3) THAT
            IS MY KING. HE DOES NOT HAVE TO ANSWER TO SLUGS!  BUT THE
            BEAUTY OF IT IS THAT HE DOES. HE WROTE THIS BOOK!

II. CHPT. 39.
      A.  LETS MOVE ON TO CHPT 39, WHERE GOD CONTINUES TO ASK JOB
      QUESTIONS. THIS GROUP QUESTIONS JOB ABOUT THE ANIMALS.

      B. LETS LOOK AT WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT THE OSTRICH IN 39:13-18.
      READ.  I THINK THIS GROUP OF COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS HELPS TO
      PAINT THE PICTURE THAT GOD WANTS JOB (AND US) TO SEE.

            1. DOES THE OSTRICH HAVE GOOD FEATHERS? (AVERAGE. THEY
            CANNOT COMPARE WITH THE FEATHERS OF THE STORK.)

            2. HOW IS THE OSTRICH AS A PARENT AND EGG WATCHER? 
            (LOUSY. LAYS THE EGGS, BUT LEAVES THEM WHERE THEY CAN BE
            STEPPED ON AND CRUSHED.  AND IF ANY MANAGE TO HATCH, SHE
            DOES A LOUSY JOB AS A MOTHER TOO.)
            
            3. WHAT DOES GOD SAY IN v.17 IS THE REASON FOR THIS? 
            (THAT GOD DID NOT GIVE HER WISDOM OR GOOD COMMON SENSE.)

            4. WHAT IS THE OSTRICH REALLY GOOD AT? (RUNNING. SHE RUNS
            SO FAST THAT SHE LEAVES THE HORSE IN THE DUST.)

            5. HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THE OSTRICH? (NOT TO PUT TOO FINE
            A POINT ON IT: YOU CAN'T.  GOD JUST DID IT THAT WAY, AND
            HE DOES NOT HAVE TO EXPLAIN IT. THAT IS WHY GOD TOLD THIS
            STORY OF THE OSTRICH.)

III. JOB'S ANSWER

      A. JOB NOW HAS A CHANCE TO ANSWER GOD. LETS SEE HOW HE DOES
      IT.
      B. READ 40:1-5.  WHAT IS JOB'S REACTION? (THAT HE DOESN'T WANT
      TO TALK NOW.)

            1. WHAT DOES THIS REVEAL ABOUT JOB? (HE HAS SOME COMMON
            SENSE.)

            2. DOES JOB ADMIT THAT HE DESERVED WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM?
            (NO. HE DOES NOT.)

            3. I THINK THAT MAY EXPLAIN WHY GOD CONTINUES HIS 
            QUESTIONS TO JOB. ONCE AGAIN GOD SPEAKS OUT OF A STORM,
            ONCE AGAIN HE TELLS JOB TO BRACE HIMSELF AND ANSWER GOD'S
            QUESTIONS.

      C. READ 40:8-10.  DOES JOB DISCREDIT GOD'S JUSTICE? (YES. DO
      YOU REMEMBER THAT JOB'S FRIENDS SAID THAT JOB HAD TO HAVE
      SINNED BECAUSE ALL OF THESE BAD THINGS HAPPENING TO HIM WERE
      GOD'S JUDGEMENTS (OR AT LEAST THE RESULT OF GOD'S SYSTEM). 
      JOB SAID HE WAS NOT WRONG AND THAT GOD MUST HAVE IT WRONG.
      (27:2) THAT IS WHY HE WANTED TO HAVE A HEARING WITH GOD.
      (31:35)

      D. GOD SAYS TO JOB, "WOULD YOU CONDEMN ME TO JUSTIFY
      YOURSELF?" ARE WE TRULY ON THE HORNS OF A DILEMMA? THAT EITHER
      JOB OR GOD IS WRONG? (NO. WE KNOW FROM THE BEGINNING THAT
      NEITHER GOD NOR JOB ARE WRONG. IT IS SATAN WHO HAD DONE THIS.)

      E. DOES JOB HAVE AN ARM LIKE GODS? AND WHAT ARE WE TALKING 
      ABOUT ANYWAY? (I LOVE THIS EXPRESSION WHICH IS COMMON IN THE
      OT. GOD ASKS, "IS MY ARM TO SHORT TO DO THIS?"  AND HE MEANS
      AM I TOO WEAK, OR TOO SHORT, OR INCAPABLE OF THIS?  GOD'S ARM
      IS NEVER TOO SHORT AND JOB OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT HAVE THE POWER
      THAT GOD HAS.)

      F. IN ISREALITE SOCIETY, IF A JUDGE GAVE A VERDICT HE WAS 
      OBLIGED TO SEE THAT JUSTICE WAS DONE.  HE MADE SURE THAT
      THINGS WERE MADE RIGHT.  SO GOD SAYS TO JOB, YOU QUESTION MY
      JUSTICE, DO YOU BEGIN TO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT?
      THE OBVIOUS ANSWER IS NO, JOB DOES NOT.  GOD HAS TO VINDICATE
      JOB, HE CANNOT.

IV. BEHEMOTH AND LEVIATHAN.

      A. IN  THE LAST PART OF CHPT 40 AND IN CHPT 41 GOD TALKS ABOUT
      A SUBJECT THAT IS MUCH IN THE NEWS TODAY: MONSTERS OF THE
      PAST. WE WILL NOT READ THIS, BUT GOD'S POINT IS THAT HE
      CONTROLS THESE ANIMALS AND HE KNOWS WHAT TO DO WITH THEM. JOB
      COULD NEVER BEGIN TO CONTROL THEM OR PROFIT FROM THEM.

V. NEXT WEEK: THE WONDERFUL CONCLUSION TO JOB'S STORY. READ CHPT
42.