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07. The Book of Job: Retributive Punishment

The Ambassador Group


  • October 25, 2016
    11:00 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 that new heart. That's formation seven retributive punishment. Can you discover the depths of God can you by searching discover the limits of the Almighty ascent of his heights. Extend to his wits and comprehend his infinite perfection. Joe Chapter eleven and verse seven the Amplified Bible. The problem of human suffering surely continues to dark humanity. We see good people suffer immense tragedy. While evil ones go unpunished in this life. A few years ago a book came out called Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People. It was one of numerous attempts over the millenia to come to a satisfactory answer to that problem. It did many other writers and thinkers have written of their struggle to come to terms with human suffering they don't seem to have found the right answers this theme of course is the theme of the Book of Job in it. We continue to explore why even good people such as Joe suffer in this world. The crucial difference between the Book of Job and the others though is that job is not based on human perspectives of suffering though we get plenty of that in the book rather because it's the Bible. We get a look at God's perspective on the problem in this exploration. We will hear more speeches from the men who came to job in his misery. Listening friend. What can you learn. From them especially from their mistakes as they as others have done trying to come to grips with the problem of pain more as is giving a lecture from elephants weren't bad enough job than face one from Bildad who said something similar to what Emma facit said unfortunately build that was cruder and harsher toward Joe than even elephants was a man thing going up to someone whose children had died and saying to the person. If your sons have sinned against Him He has cast them away for their transgression Job Chapter eight and verse four New King James Version. This is ironic because the first chapter of job especially job one verse five makes it clear that job offer sacrifices on behalf of his children for that very reason and for a stance and so we see a contrast here between an understanding of grace as seen in Job's actions and build that opening words which reveal a harsh rigidity of illegal ism even worse though is that build that speaks this way in his attempt to defend the character of God. Let's listen to Joe Chapter eight verses one through two. And he too. What is Bill Dance argument and how much truth is he speaking if you were to forget the immediate context and just look at the sentiments expressed what fault if any could you find with his words then build that the Shiite answered and said How long will you say these things. And will the words of your mouth be a mighty wind does God pervert justice or does the Almighty pervert writer since if your children have sinned against Him then He has handed them over to the power of their transgression and punish them. If you would diligently seek God and implore the compassion and favor of the Almighty then if you are pure and upright surely now he will awaken for you and restore your right to its place though you are beginning was insignificant. You are in the will greatly increase enquire please of past generations and consider and apply yourself to the things searched out by their fathers for we are only of yesterday and know nothing because our days on earth are like a shadow just a breath or a vapor. Will they the father's not teach you and tell you and other words from their hearts the deepest part of their nature can the pirates grow up without a marsh. Can the rushes or reed grass grow without water. While it is still green and flower and not cut down the added Withers before any other plant. When without water. So are the paths of all who forget God and the hope of the Godless will perish for his confidence is fragile and breaks and his trust is like a spider's web. He trusts in his house but it does not stand he holds tightly to with but it does not endure he thrive. It's and prosperous like a green plant before the sun and his branches spread out over his garden his godless roots are wrapped around a pile of rocks and he gave says at a house of stones. If he is snatched from his place in the garden then his place will forgive him saying I have never seen you. Behold. This is the joy of his way and from out of the dust. Others will spring up and grow to take his place. Behold. God will not reject a man of integrity. Nor will he strengthen or support evil doers. He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with a joyful shouting. If you are found blameless those who hate you will be clothed the shame and the tense of the wicked will be no longer can you find fault with so much of what he is saying. For we were born yesterday and know nothing because our days on earth are a shadow job eight and verse nine New King James version that's powerful true and very biblical James Sheppard for one verse fourteen sounds similar it says. Yet you do not know the least thing about what may happen in your life. Tomorrow. What is securing your life you are merely a vapor like a puff of smoke or wisp of steam from a cooking pot. That is visible for a little while and then vanishes into thin air. Or what's wrong with his warning that the godless man who puts his hope in worldly things is really trusting in something. No firmer than a spider's web rope separate in verse fourteen. That's about as biblical a thought as one could get. Perhaps the biggest problem is that Bill that is prison. Just one aspect of God's character. It's things ample of being in a ditch on one side of the road or the other need the places where you really should be someone ten for instance focus only on Law and Justice and obedience while someone else can focus on grace and forgiveness and substitution either overemphasis usually leads to or to store that picture of God and of truth. There is a similar problem here as a human you should always strive for the right balance between law and grace in your theology and then you're dealing with others. If however you want to err on one side or the other and as humans we eventually do which side would it be better to err on when dealing with the faults of others and why. Let's think you're going to deserve. Can you search out the deep things of God and you find out the limits of the Almighty they are higher than Helen. What can you do the but then she oh what can you know there measure is longer than the Earth and broader than to see Job Chapter eleven verses seven through nine New King James Version. Let's compare those verses with Isaiah Chapter forty and verse twelve through fourteen. What truth is being expressed and why is it important for you to remember it. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span of the hand and calculated the dust of the earth with the measure and weigh the mountain. And in the balance and the heels. And a pair of scales who has directed the spirit of the Lord who has taught him as his counselor with whom did he consult him who in light in him who taught in the path of justice and taught him knowledge and informed him of the way of understanding. The words in those verses are beautiful expressions of the fact that there is so much about God We don't know and that all of our efforts to search him out by ourselves will still leave us knowing so little it's interesting that one of the twentieth century's most famous philosophers the late Richard Rorty basically argue that we are never going to understand reality and truth and so we ought to give up the attempt. Instead of trying to understand reality Rorty argued all we can do is try to cope with it. Fascinating twenty six hundred years of the Western philosophical tradition culminates in this expression of these feet. If all our searching leads us in the dark about the nature of the reality that we live in and then who by searching is going to understand the Creator the one who made that reality to begin with and so is even greater than it roared he essentially affirmed that we just read from the Bible yet these texts profound as they are were from a speech from so far the third of jobs acquaintances and he used those words as part of a faulty argument against job. Listen to Joe chapter eleven verse one through twenty. What is right with what the so far is saying but what is wrong with his overall argument then Zulfikar than they might answer then said Shall a multitude of words not. He answered. And should the talkative man making such a long winded defense be acquitted. Should you oppose and babble silence men and shall you scoff and no one put you to shame for you have said mighty thing down friend that God knowingly afflicts the righteous is pure and I'm innocent then your eyes but hold that God would speak. And open his lips or speak against you and that he would show you the secrets of wisdom for sound wisdom has two sides. Know they are for their god for gets a part of your wickedness and guilt. Can you discover the depths of God can you. By searching the sky over the limits of the almighty a sin to this height extend to his wits and comprehend this infinite perfection his wisdom is as high as the heights of heaven. What can you do it is deeper then she told the netherworld the place of the dead. What can you know it is longer a measure and scope than the Earth and broader than the sea. If God passes by or arrests. Or calls an assembly of just better. Who can restrain him. If he is against a man who can call him to account for it. For he recognizes and knows founds and worthless men and he sees wickedness will he not consider it but a hollow empty headed man will become intelligent and wise. Only when the cult of a wild donkey is born as a man. If you direct your heart on the right path and stretch out your hands to him. If sin is in your hand put it far away from you and do not let wrong doing well in your tense then indeed. You could lift up your face to him without moral effect. And you would be firmly established and secure and not fear for you would forget your trouble you would remember it as waters that of passed by and your life would be brighter than the mundane darkness then would be like the morning then you would trust with confidence because there was hope you would look around then rest securely you would lie down with no one to frighten you. And many would entreat and seek your favor. But the eyes of the wicked will fail and they will not escape the justice of God and their hope is to breathe their last and die. It's so hard to understand how someone could come up to a man suffering as job is. And say to him. Basically you're getting what you deserve no in fact you're getting less than you deserve what season worse is that he is doing it as worth it to others. All in the attempt that they indicate the goodness and the character of God sometimes merely knowing truths about the character of guy does not automatically enable us to reflect what else do you need in order to reflect God's character Eat Eat the sign retribution Job's three friends undoubtedly had some knowledge of a. God and they were missed in their efforts to defend him too. And as we heard as misguided as their words to job were especially given the context. These men were expressing some important truths and central to their arguments was the idea that God is a God of justice and that Sen brings divine retributive punishment upon evil and special blessings upon goodness though we don't know the exact time that the man lives because of Except that Moses wrote the book of Job while he was in media and they lived some time before the Exodus most likely to be lived after the flood. Listen to Genesis Chapter six and verses five through eight though we don't know how much these men elephant has built that and so far knew about the flood. How might its story have influenced their theology. The Lord saw that the weak in this depravity of man was great on the earth and that every imagination or intent of the thoughts of its heart were only evil continually The Lord regretted that he had made mankind on the earth and he was deeply grieved in his heart. So the Lord said. I will destroy a nihilist mankind whom I have created from the surface of the earth. Not only man but the animals and the crawling things and the birds of the air because it deeply grieves me to see mankind sinned and I read gret that I have made them but know of sound favor and grace in the eyes of the Lord. Clearly the story of the flood is an example of divine retribution for send in it. God directly brings punishment upon those who specifically deserved it. Yet even here. The concept of grace is revealed as seen in Genesis Chapter six and verse eight. Elementary why I wrote to the fact that every below struck upon the ark was preaching to the people reference the Spirit of Prophecy Volume one page seventy. Nevertheless to some degree we can learn in this story an example of what these men were preaching to Joe I was the same idea of retributive judgment seen in these verses Genesis Chapter thirteen and verse thirteen. But the men of Sodom were extremely wicked and sinful against the Lord unashamed in their open send before him. Genesis Chapter eighteen verses twenty through thirty two and the Lord said the outcry of the sinner Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great and their sin is exceedingly grave. I will go down now and see whether they have acted as Vialli and wicked plea as the outcry which has come to me in the case and if not I will know. Now the two men engendered beings turned away from there and went towards Sodom. But Abraham remained standing before the Lord Abraham approached the Lord and said Will you really sweep away the writers those who do right with the way to those who do evil suppose there are fifty right as people within the city will you really sweep it away and not spirit for the sake of the fifty writers who are in it hard for you to do such a thing. To strike the right just with the wicked so that the writers and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from here. You shall not. Judge of all the earth do right by executing just and righteous judgment. So the Lord said if I find within the city of Sodom fifty righteous people then I will spare the entire place for their sake. Abraham answered. Now behold I who am but dust in origin and ashes had decided to speak to the Lord. If five of the fifty writers are lacking. Will you destroy the entire city for litle size and he said if I find at least forty five right as people there. I will not destroy it. Abraham spoke to him yet again and said So polls. Only forty are found there. And he said I will not do it for the sake of the forty who are writers then Abraham said to him all. May the Lord not be angry and I will speak suppose thirty right as people are found there and he said I want to do it if I find thirty there. And he said now behold I have decided to speak to the Lord again. Suppose. Only twenty right his people are found there and the Lord said I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty then Abraham said Well middle order not be angry with me and I will speak only this one's supposed him right as people are found there. And he said I will not destroy it. For the sake of the ten. And Genesis Chapter nineteen verses twenty four to twenty five then the Lord rained down brimstone flaming sulphur and fire on Sodom and Mantle more are from the Lord out of heaven and they overthrew their modest in their. Those cities and the entire valley and all the inhabitants of the cities. And what ever grew on the ground whether or not ever fans feel that and so far knew much about these incidents they reveal the reality of God's direct judgement upon evil god wasn't simply abandoning senators to their sin and letting that sin itself destroy them as with the flood God was the direct agent of their punishment. He functioned here as the judge and destroyer of wickedness and evil. However much you want to lend should focus on God's character of love grace and forgiveness. Why most you not forget the reality of his justice as well consider all the evil that has yet gone on punish what does this tell you about the necessity of divine retribution. Whenever and however it comes the the EAT EAT EAT EAT EAT THE eat if the Lord be it's a new thing many instances of direct divine punishment upon evil as well as blessings for faithfulness are recorded in scripture long after all the characters in the Book of Job were dead. Consider Deuteronomy Chapter six verses twenty four. Twenty five. What great promises given for beauty and so the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes to fear and worship the Lord our God with our field of reverence and profound respect for our good always and so that he might preserve us alive as it is today it will be considered right just as for us. That is right. Standing with God If we are careful to observe all this commandment before the Lord our God just as he has commanded us the Old Testament is filled with promise after promise of the blessings and prosperity that God would directly bring to his people were they to obey him. So we can see here examples of what these men had said to job regarding God's blessing the faithfulness of those who seek to obey Him and His commandments and to live a godly and upright life. Of course the Old Testament is also filled with warning after warning about direct divine punishment that would come for disobedience in much of the Old Testament especially after the covenant with Israel at Sinai God is warning the Israelites about what they have disobedience would bring upon them. But if you do not obey the Lord and if you re bell against his commands his hand will be against you as it was against your ancestors first Samuel Chapter twelve verse fifteen the New International Version. Listen to Numbers Chapter sixteen verses one through thirty three you to question what does this incident teach about the reality of divine retributive punishment. Now Cora the son that is Har the son of Kohath the son of Levi with dates and Abiram the sons of Elie ob. And on the son of Pell F. the Cendant of Reuben took action and they rose up in rebellion before Moses they gather with some of the Israelites two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation chosen in the assembly men of distinction. They assembled together against Moses and Aaron and said to them you have gone through are enough for all the congregation are holy every one of them and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord. And when most heard this he fell face downward. And he spoke to Cora and all his company saying in the morning. The Lord will show will be longs to him and who is holy. And will bring him near to himself. The one whom he will choose. He will bring Mir to himself do this take census for yourselves or I and all your company then put fire in them and place incense on them in the presence of the Lord tomorrow and the man whom the Lord chooses shall be the one who is holy. You have gone far enough. You sons of Levi. Then Moses said to Cora. Here now you sons of Levi. Does it seem but a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the Lord and to stand before the congregation to minister to them and that he has bought you near to him. Cora and all your brothers sons of Levi with you Will you seek the priesthood also there for you and all your company are gathered together against the Lord. But as. For Aaron. Who is he that you murmur against him. The most are sent to called they then and the Byram the sons of Ilya but they said they thought I and three we will not come up is a small thing that you have brought us up out of them. I am the plenty throwing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness but you would also lord it over us. Indeed you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey nor given us an inheritance of fields and then yards. Will you gal shall the eyes of these men. We will not come up then Moses became very angry and said to the Lord pay no attention to their offerings. I have not taken one donkey from them nor have I harmed any one of them. Most are said to Cora. You and all your company. Are to appear before the Lord to morrow oaths you and they along with Arran. Each of you take your sensor and put instance on it and each of you bring his sense of before the Lord two hundred and fifty sensors also you and Aaron shall each bring his sense of so they each took his own sensor and put fire on it. And laid incense on it. And they stood at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting happening with Moses and Aaron. Then Cora assembled all the congregation against Moses and Aaron at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting happening and the glory of brilliance of the Lord appeared to all the congregation. Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron saying separate yourselves from among this congregation. So that I may consume them immediately. But they fell on their faces before the. Lord and said Oh God God of the spirits of all flesh. When one man sins will you be angry with the entire congregation. Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying say to the congregation get away from around the tents of Korah they thin and the room then Moses arose and went to date and then to be around him and the Elders of Israel funneled him and he said to the congregation get away from the tents of these wicked men and touch nothing of the areas where he will be swept away in all their sand. So they got back from around the tents of Korah they thought and their beer and dates and their beer and came out and stood at the doorway of their tents with their wives and their sons and their little children then Moses said by this you shall know that the Lowered has sent me to do all these works for I do not act of my own accord. If these men die the common death of all mankind or if what happens to everyone. Happens to them. Then you will know for sure that the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord. Creates the entirely new thing and the ground opens up its mouth and swallows them up along with all that belongs to them and they descend alive until she told another world the place of the dead then you will understand that these men have spurned and rejected the Lord. As soon as Moses finished speaking all these words the ground under them split open and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households and all the men who supported Kora with all their possessions. So they and all the better. Long to them went down high to see oh every earth closed over them and they perished from among the assembly given the nature of how the rebels were destroyed this incident cannot be chalked up to the idea of sin bring its own punishment. These people faced divine and direct retribution from God for their sin and rebellion in this case we see supernatural manifestations of God's power. It seemed that the very laws of nature themselves which changed. But if the Lord creates a new thing and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them and they go down alive into the pit. Then you will understand that these and then have rejected the Lord Numbers Chapter sixteen. And verse thirty new James Version the verb creates here is from the same root used for created in Genesis chapter one in verse one the Lord wanted everyone to know that it was he himself who immediately and directly. Brought this punishment upon the rebels. The second death. Certainly the greatest and most powerful manifestation of retributive punishment will be at the end of time with the destruction of the wicked called in the Bible. The second death Revelation Chapter two. Any inference fourteen this death of course must not be confused with the death common to all the descendants of Adam. This is the death from which the second Adam Jesus Christ will spare the righteous at the end of time first Corinthians Chapter fifteen in verse twenty six the last in the ME to be abolished and put to an end is death. In contrast the second death like some of the other participants seen in old testament times is God's direct punishment upon centers who have not repented and received salvation in Jesus. Listen to second Peter chapter three and verse five through seven. What is the Word of God saying about the fate of the lost for they willingly forget the fact that the heavens existed long ago by the Word of God and the earth was formed out of water and by water through which the world at that time was destroyed by being flooded with water but by His Word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire fire comes down from gone out of heaven. The earth is broken up the weapons concealed in its depths are drawn forth. Do you. Valerie in flames burst from every yawning cancer the very rocks are on fire. The day has come that shall burn as an oven the elements melt with fervent heat the earth also and the works that are there in are burned up Malakai for one second. Peter three ten the earth's surface seems one molten mess a vast sea the in Lake of Fire. It is the time of the judgement. And preditions of. Oddly meant the day of the Lord's vengeance and the year of recompenses for the controversy and Zion Isaiah thirty four eight The author is Ellen G. White the book is entitled The great controversy that quotation is found on pages six hundred and seventy two and six hundred and seventy three those same can bring its own punishment. There surely are times that Dhanam self does directly punish sin and centers as Job's protagonists argued it's true that all the suffering in this world has arisen from sin but it's not true that all suffering is const punching of sin that was certainly not the case with Joe nor in most other cases as well. The fact is that you are involved in the great controversy and you have an enemy who is out to do you harm the good news is that a minute. All you can know that God is there for you. Whatever the reasons for the trials you face whatever the present outcomes of those trials. You have the assurance of God's love of love revealed as so great that Jesus went to the cross for you and that they're not alone promises to end all suffering. How can you be sure that someone's suffering is direct punishment from God If you can't be sure. Then what's the best approach for you to take with that suffering person or with your own suffering. Let's continue exploring here a few thoughts to pondering questions to consider and as we heard earlier in these explorations it's important to try to put yourself in the place of the characters in the story because doing so can help you understand their motives and actions they didn't see the battle going on behind the scenes as you do if you put yourself in their shoes. It shouldn't be that hard for you to see the mistake that Bill that Enzo far made in regard to job suffering they were making a judgment that they were really not qualified to make it is very natural for human beings to think that great calamities are a sure index of great crimes and enormous sins but men often make a mistake in the US measuring character. We are not living in the time of writ tribute to judgment good and evil are mingled and calamities come upon all sometimes men do pass the boundary line beyond God's protecting care and then Satan exercises his power upon them and God does not interpose job was sorely afflicted and his friends sought to make him knowledge that his suffering was a result of sin and cons him to feel under condemnation. They represented his case as that of a great sinner but the Lord rebuked them for their judgment of his fate. SERVANT. Ellen G. White comments yesterday Bible Commentary Volume three page eleven forty you need to be careful in how you deal with the whole question of suffering sure in some cases it seems easier to understand someone smokes cigarettes and is lung cancer. How much simpler could it be. That's fine but what about those who will smoke all their lives and never get it. Is God punishing the one but not the other in the end my fellow fans to build that and so far we don't always know why suffering comes as a done in one sense it almost doesn't matter if we know or not what matters is what we do in response to the suffering that we see here is where these three men were totally wrong. What does the reality of Richie beauty of punishment teach you about how to trust in the ultimate justice of God Even despite how things seem now these three men really didn't understand all that was happening to job in his suffering in a sense. Isn't that the case with us all. We don't fully understand the reasons for human suffering. So let's be more compassionate with those who are suffering embassador group. Oh ard. This media was brought to you by audio verse 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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