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04. The Book of Job: God and Human Suffering

The Ambassador Group


  • September 28, 2016
    9:44 AM

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Welcome to another adult Bible study guide exploring the Book of Job written by Clifford Goldstein edited for audio and produced by the Embassador group narrated by Byron Phillips and Lynette Newhart expiration for God and human suffering. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about its own things so efficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew chapter six and verse thirty four the New King James Version. Unlike every other book of the Bible the Book of Job is completely removed from the context of the land and people of Israel from Genesis with the promise to Abraham that the Lord will make of the a great nation Genesis Chapter twelve in verse two to Revelation which describes the holy city. Drusilla Revelation chapter twenty two in verse nineteen in some way. Directly or indirectly the context of Israel and its covenant relationship with God helped shape. Each book in job. There is nothing of that not even the important event in ancient Israel life history the Exodus the most immediate reason is that Moses wrote job in median along with Genesis the Exodus had not happened yet. Which explains why it's not been trimmed but perhaps there is another reason even more important one of the key themes of job human suffering is universal. It's not limited to any one people were time Jew or Gentile we all know something of Job's woes of the pain of existence in a fallen world. However unique his. Paint Job represents us all you know are suffering. Let's listen to Romans chapter one verses eighteen through twenty. What is Paul saying in these verses for God does not overlook sin and the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all on godliness and unrighteousness of men who in their wickedness suppress and stifle the truth because that which is known about God It is evident within them in their inner consciousness for God made it evident to them for ever since the creation of the world is an invisible attributes his internal power and divine nature have been clearly seen being understood through his workmanship all His creation the wonderful things that he has made so that they who fail to believe and trust in Him are without excuse and without defense. Well the powerful few sentences in the mouth of the reality and they exist and of God is revealed through the phrase what has been made in the New American Standard Bible that is through the created world that people will be without excuse for their unbelief. Paul is saying that. On the creation alone. Humans can learn enough about the existence and nature of God that they can justly become them on the day of judgment. No question the natural world does reveal so much to us about the existence of God Modern science too has revealed to us details about the marvels of creation that our ancestors even just three hundred years ago much less three thousand years ago could not even have begun to imagine there's an interesting irony here as well. The more complexity science finds in life. The less likely becomes the means science claims for its origin that of accident and chance and i Phone for instance which looks designed acts designed reveals design both inside and out and works only through design is of course these are and but a human being which looks designed acts designed reveals design both inside and out and works only through design is we are assured a product of pure chance a moment. Sadly many people are these seized into believing such claims. Listen to Joe Chapter twelve versus seven through ten. How do the words in these verses reflect the idea presented in Roman chapter one verses eighteen to twenty now ask the animals and let them teach you that God does not deal with his creatures. According to their character and ask the birds of the air and let them tell you. Or speak to the earth with its many forms of life and it will teach you and let the fish of the sea they clear this truth to you. Who among all these does not recognize and all these things that good and evil are randomly scattered throughout nature and human life that the hand of the Lord has done this and whose hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind in these verses too. We are told that the reality of God is seen in the created world though especially in its fallen state nature doesn't reveal the full character of God It certainly reveals his creative power and aspects of his goodness as well. What things in nature is specially talk to you about the power and goodness of God How can you learn to gain strength and encouragement from the message. It gives you nothing gained some itself. There are many good and powerful arguments in favor of God's existence. Besides the testimony of the created world there are also what's called the cosmological argument basically it's the idea of the nothing came from itself and that nothing created itself. Instead what was created was created by something else before it and what ever created that had to be created by something else before it. And this goes on and on until we stop at something and create. Did something that had always existed something that never was not in existence and who else would that be. But the garden the picked it in scripture. What do the following three texts teach you about the origin of all things Revelation chapter four and verse eleven were the are you. Our Lord and God to receive the glory and the honor and the power. For you created all things and because of your wheel the exist and were created and brought into being kolache and champed or one verse sixteen and seventy four by Him all things were created in heaven and on earth things visible and invisible whether Thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things were created and they exist through him. That is by his activity and for him and he himself existed and is before all things and in Him all things hold together. He is the controlling cohesive force of the universe and John chapter one and verse one through three in the beginning before all time was the word Christ and the Word was WITH God and the Word was God himself he was come to new will be existing in the beginning Co eternally with God all things were made and pain into existence through him. And without him not even one thing was made. That has come into. These text teach what is really the most logical explanation for the creation and eternally existing god. Some think it was utterly opposed to the idea of God have come up with an alternative suggestion and stead of an all powerful and eternal God creating the universe we are told that nothing created it even such a famous scientist as Stephen Hawking who now occupies the chair that Isaac Newton once held argues that nothing created the universe. He wrote quote because there is a law like gravity. The universe can and will create itself from nothing in the quote hold from page one hundred eighty of the book by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow in titled The Grand Design published by Random House in New York twenty ten the haunting surely has plenty of deep and complicated math to describe his idea. One has to wonder. Here we are a good four hundred years since the beginning of the scientific revolution and one of the world's best scientists is arguing that the universe and all that's in it came from nothing error is error even when spoken by a great scientist in this context. Let's listen to first Corinthians chapter three and verse nineteen for the reason of this world is foolishness upsurge of the stupidity before God For it is. In scripture. He is the one who checked is the wise and clever in their craftiness Why is it always important to keep this important truth before you eat your A list of books. Despite the hype of those who don't believe in God Those who do believe in God have many good reasons for their belief however there's been one perennial problem that many have used through the ages to justify their disbelief and that is the problem of human suffering and evil. How can God be all good all loving and all powerful and evil exist. This has been and remains a stumbling block to many. And also if we are honest. What believe or in God What person who has tasted and experienced the reality of God and His love has and struggled at times with that question I want to sing them and I wonder why it also taught what Jewish tradition teaches that Moses wrote Joe in the Indian the long years among desert solitudes were not lost not only was Moses gaining a preparation for the great work before him. But during this time under the in. Spiration of the Holy Spirit he wrote the book of Genesis and also the Book of Job which would be read with the deepest interest by the people of God until the close of time here is the reference to white comment. The S.D.A. in Bible Commentary Volume three. Page eleven forty what this tells us is that of the first two books of the Bible every penned one of them. Joel deals with the universal issue of human pain and suffering that is God knew that this would be a big question for humans and thus right from the start in the word he had moles or spin the story of Job. God let us know early on that we are not left alone in our pain and suffering but that he is there. He knows all about it and we can have the hope that he will make it right in the end what do the following four texts teach us about the reality of evil. Matthew chapter six and verse thirty four. So do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will wary about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own John Chapter sixteen then verse thirty three. I have told you these things so that in me. You may have perfect peace in the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering but be courageous big confident and daunted the filled with joy. I have overcome the world. My conquest is accomplished my victory abiding the angle chapter twelve and verse one. Now at that in time. Michael the great Angelic Presence who stands guard over the children of your people will arise and there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since it was a mason until that time but at that time your people. Everyone who has found written in the book of life will be rescued and Matthew chapter twenty four and verse seven for a nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. However understandable the argument from evil against the existence of God in light of the Scriptures. It makes no sense though the Bible teaches the reality of an all knowing all powerful all loving god. It also teaches the reality of the evil of human suffering and woe evil is not an excuse for disbelief in God In fact a cursory reading of the Book of Job shows that even amid his utter despondency job never questioned the existence of God the question instead and a valid one is Why are these things happening to him. It's only natural to have questions about the evil you see how can you learn to trust in the goodness of God. Despite that evil the was the week the week. The war the war the dilemma. Listen to the following tax and job. What issue his job wrestling with what question does he not ask Joe Chapter six verses four through eight because the arrows of the almighty are within me my spirit drinks they are poison the terrors of God are rave against me. Does the wild donkey break when he has grass or does the Onslow over his father can something that has no taste to it be eaten without salt or is there any flavor in the white of an ache my soul refuses to touch them such things are like a low some food to me. Sickening and repugnant. Oh that my request would come to pass and that God would grant me the thing that I long for Job Chapter nine versus one through twelve then Joel but answered and said Yes I know it is true but how can a mortal man be right before God if one should want to contend or dispute with him he could not answer him once in a thousand times. God is wise in heart and mind he and strength who has ever be fired or challenge him and remained on harm. It is God who removes the mountains and they do not know it when he overturns them in his anger who shakes the earth out of its place and its pillars tremble who commands the sun and had. Does not shine who seals up the stars from view who alone stretches out the heavens and tramples down the waves of the sea who made the constellations the bear. All right again and the play at ease and the vast starry spaces of the South who does great things beyond understanding unfathomable. Yes marvelous and wondrous things without number. Behold he passes by me and I do not see him he moves past me but I do not perceive him. Behold he snatches away who can restrain or turn him back who will say to him. What are you doing. And as we discovered in the previous section. The issue of God's existence never came up in the Book of Job Instead the question was why was dual going through these trials and considering all that happened to him. It certainly was a fair question. Especially because he believed in God If for example someone was an atheist and trials were to come. The answer about why could be relatively simple and straightforward to him or her we live in a meaningless and purposeless world that cares nothing about us let us. Amid the harsh and cold and uncaring natural forces around us we sometimes are the victims of trials that serve no purpose. How could they. If life itself serves no purpose then the trials of our company that life must be just as meaningless. While many find this answer unsatisfying and hopeless. It certainly makes sense given the premise. Which is that there is no God On the other hand for someone like job but the lemma is different. Misson to Job Chapter ten versus eight through twelve. How do these verses help you understand the terrible questions that job is wrestling with your hands have formed and made me altogether. Would you turn around and destroy me remember now that you have made me as Clay. So will you turn me into dust again. Have you not poured me out like milk and curdle me like cheese. You have the clothed me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews you have granted me life and loving kindness and your providence divine care supervision has preserved my spirit. Yes the question that job is wrestling with is the same one that most believers in dark have wrestled with. And still do wrestle with if God exists a good and loving god. Why do humans suffer the things that they do. Why do even good people such as job go through calamities and trials that so often seem to produce nothing of value and Yann. If the universe were godless The answer would be that this is simply what it means to live in a purely materialistic constable's in which human beings are merely the accidental by products of atoms and molecules job knew better than that we do to insist that the lemma. The odyssey this into Romans Chapter three verses one through four though the immediate context is the unfaithfulness of some of God's covenant people. What is the bigger issue that Paul is talking about what is Paul saying about God Romans Chapter three verses one through four then what is the advantage of that you or what is the benefit of circumcision great in every respect to begin with the Jews were intrusted with the oracles of God is very words what then. If some did not believe or were unfaithful to God their lack of belief will not another fine make invalid the faithfulness of God and His word will certainly not let God be found true as he will be though every person be found a liar just as it is written in Scripture that you may be justified in your words and prevail. When you are judged by sinful men holding Psalm Chapter fifty one in verse four Paul talks about how the Lord himself will be justifying in your words and will prevail. When you are judged Romans chapter three in verse four new English translation. The idea being presented is a motif that appears in the various places in the Scriptures. It's called. The odyssey and it is the question of understanding the goodness of God in the face of evil. It's the age old question that we have been looking at in this particular exploration in fact the whole great controversy itself is really at the Odyssey before humans before enjoins before the whole universe the goodness of God will be revealed this by the evil that unfolds in the world every question of truth and error in the long standing controversy has now been made plain the results of rebellion the fruit of setting aside the divine statutes have been laid open to the view of all created intelligences the working out of Satan's rule in contrast with the government of gone has been presented to the whole universe Satan's own works have condemned Him God's wisdom his justice and his goodness stand fully vindicated. It is seen that all his dealings in the great controversy have been conducted with respect to the eternal good of his people and the good of all the world that he has created. Ellen G. White wrote those words in her book in title the great controversy pages six hundred seventy and six seventy one. However hard it might be for us now to understand immersed as we are in a world of sin and suffering and if it's hard for us in hand and what job must of thought when it is all over. We will be able to see the goodness and justice and love and the fairness of God. And in all his dealings with humanity with Satan and with sin. This doesn't mean that everything that happens in the world is good. Really it's not it means only that God is dealing with it in the best way possible and then when this terrible experience with sin is over we will be able to shout. What is proclaimed in Revelation fifteen and verse three New King James Version great in marvelous are your works Lord God Almighty just and true and your way is Okene of the saints Great him marvelous are your works. Lord God Almighty just and true are your ways. Oh she never the saints the New King James Version. Why is it so important to be praising God Even now even amid the trials that seems so hard. Let's continue exploring here are a few thoughts to ponder and questions to consider students of the Book of Job who delves into the Hebrew come across and into. Misting phenomenon job's wife's words to him are translated curse guard and I drove chapter two and verse nine the New King James Version droll chapter one and verse five is translated it may be that my sons have send and cursed die and in their hearts New King James Version and Joe chapter one and verse eleven is translated. But now stretch out your hand and touch all that he has and he will surely curse you to your face the New King James Version. Each case however the word translated curse comes from a word that means bless the word from the root. B R K is used all through the Bible for bless. It's the same root used in Genesis chapter one in verse twenty two when God blessed the creatures he had made the same root is used in Psalms chapter sixty six and verse eight. Psalms sixty six and verse eight all bless our God you People's New King James Version. Why then is the same verb. Which means less translated as curse and these few texts. First of all if the idea of Blessed were meant in those texts and job. The text would be nonsensical in Job Chapter one in verse five. Why would Job want to offer a sacrifices to God in case his sons had blessed God in their hearts the context demands a different meaning the same with Job Chapter one and verse eleven and chapter two in verse five. Why would Satan think that if calamity be felt job it would bless God the context demands that the meaning be curse. Instead. Also why would joke rebuke his wife for telling him to bless God Job Chapter two. In verse nine and ten. Given the context the text makes sense only if the idea of curse is meant. Why then did not the author use one of the common words for curse scholars believe that it's a euphemism because the idea of writing down the concept of cursing God was offensive to the authors religious sensibilities because see the same thing in the first Kings Chapter twenty one vs ten and thirteen where the word translated blessed FIM is from B R K But a less listen to the verse verse ten and seat two worthless and unprincipled men opposite him and have them testify against him saying. You cursed Guard and the king then take him out and stone him to death verse thirteen two worthless and unprincipled men came in and sat down opposite him and they testified against May both before the people saying neighbor of cursed and re now nce to God and the king then they brought him outside the city and stoned him to death so Moses use the word bless. Instead of the actual word for curse. Even though it's obvious that the idea of curse was intended in times of crisis. Why is it so natural for people to question the reality of God or to question what God is light amid the harsh reality of what it means to live in a fog. In world a world in which the great controversy is real. Why must you keep the reality of the Cross always before you though you know the background to what was going on in the story or Joe As far as we can tell didn't know it all he knew with a commandment things that happened to him he didn't know the bigger picture. What does this tell you about how when you are experiencing trials to remember that there's a bigger picture that you often don't see or understand and to draw comfort and hope from the struggles embassador group this media was brought to you by audio first a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse. 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