Before His trials began Job is described as a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil (1:1). In the immediate aftermath of the first round of his sufferings the Bible says “In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong” (1:22).
In the latter chapters God will rebuke him and he will repent: “Behold, I am vile” (40:4), “I repent in dust and ashes” (42:6).
As the book plays out Job gives what he calls “free course” to his complaints (10:1). Consider some of the things he said about God:
- Why do You hide Your face, And regard me as Your enemy? (13:24)
- I was at ease, but He has shattered me; He also has taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces; He has set me up for His target, His archers surround me. He pierces my heart and does not pity (16:12-14).
- As God lives, who has taken away my justice, And the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter (Job 27:2).
- But You have become cruel to me; With the strength of Your hand You oppose me (Job 30:21).
Can you imagine saying something like that about God? Why do you think Job said these things? Could this be Job’s sin? Is there anything about they way he says these things that shows he still has faith in God?
We began our “Taming the Male Spirit” class in Proverbs 31. It sounds like a strange place to start a class for men. Often overlooked in the “worthy woman” chapter are the first 9 verses which are a great instruction to men. It is the words of King Lemuel, which his mother taught him. I’m not sure who King Lemuel is. Some think maybe Solomon. Maybe someone can share their thought on that.
So we have this wise woman who loves her son and wants him to succeed. Basically she tells him to avoid two destructive behaviors: wine and women. Great advice for then and now. Not much has changed as sexuality and substance abuse remain two of man’s greatest pitfalls. We talked about getting ourselves under control and re-channeling our male spirits toward worthy things.
Note how the section ends: (Instead of chasing women and getting drunk) “Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9).
Question: How do we do that today? It is not often that we find ourselves in a position to plead the cause of the poor, needy, or speechless. How do those translate to our lives today? In addition to those, what other worthy endeavors should we pursue with the strength and gifts God gives us?
Note: The last session in this class will be this Sunday at 11:45 am.
As Job deals with his suffering he seems strong in his faith in God. “Though He slay me I will trust in Him (13:15). This is in spite of the fact that he believed God was responsible for his sufferings (that’s a point of discussion: who to blame God or Satan? In 12:9 Job seems to place the responsibility on God: “the hand of the LORD has done this”).
Someone said Job felt his sufferings were “an attack by God for some unknown reason”. If he knew the reason for his trials, or if we know the reason for ours, (if there is one), it might make it easier to bear.
Question: What are some of the reasons God may allow us to experience sufferings? Consider: James 1:3, James 1:12, John 9:1-4, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, John 15:2.