Job 38:1-40:5

  1. Consider the examples of God’s Handiwork depicted here. What relation had this to Job’s condition and perplexity?
    What response ought this to produce in us?
    Cf. Pss. 97:1-6, 12; 104:1, 24.
  2. Job had pleaded for an interview with God in which his innocence could be established. See 13:3; 23:3, 4; 31:37.
    God proves his littleness. What do you think Job confess in his reply?

Notes

  1. 38:2. This means: ‘You are obscuring the truth by speaking without thinking’.
  2. 38:4ff. The reader should take good note of the bold, magnificent images employed here. The world is like a building erected by one man (verse 4). The sea’s birth was like a child’s issuing from the womb (verse8). Dawn shakes the earth like an open-air sleeper rising and shaking out of his blanket the creatures that came in for warmth (verses 12, 13). ‘God is now speaking to deeper need, to the hidden fear, hardly realized by Job and certainly unconfused, that there might be somewhere the writ of God did not run, where God was not all-sovereign’ (H. L. Ellison).
  3. 40:2. This means: ‘Can you prove yourself right only by proving me wrong?
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Job 36 and 37

  1. What does Elihu assert here concerning:
    (a) the character of God’s rule, and
    (b) the evidences of his greatness?
    To what conclusion about his troubles does he seek t lead Job?
  2. Of what is Elihu profoundly aware concerning:
    (a) the character and the ways of God, and
    (b) his own attempts to describe them?
    Cf. Rom. 11:33-36.

 Note. 37:20. Elihu expresses dread at the thought of contending with God.

Job 34 and 35

  1. According to Elihu Job says:
    (a) that God is wronging him (34:5, 6), and
    (b) that there is no profit to be gained from delighting in God and doing his will (34:9; 35:3).
    How does Elihu answer these contentions? What precious truths about God does he declare?
  2. In the setting of the book of Job it is not a question whether Elihu is right or not – obviously he is right, at least in large measure – but whether he contributes anything to the solution of Job’s “Why?”
    Obviously he does not ‘ (H. L. Ellison). Do you agree with this judgment?
    Why did a man who knew so much fail t be helpful? Of what danger should this make us aware?

Notes.

  1. 1 34:13-15. The thought here seems to be that God as Creator has no motive for injustice; and that the existence and preservation of the universe is an evidence of God’s interest in his creatures.
  2. 34:23-30. There is no need for God to act as men do by process of trail and judgment. God knows all and acts at once.
  3. 35:10. God is the only source of all true comfort. Cf. Ps. 42:8; 2 Cor. 1:3, 4.

Job 32 and 33

Elihu is a young man who has overheard the friends and Job speaking. Both sides anger him, and he wants to put things right. His main beliefs are these: God is incapable of making; pain is a divine deterrent aimed at keeping men from sin.

  1. What made Elihu angry?
    On what grounds does he claim a right to speak?
    What do you think of the way he begins his speech?
  2. Job had said that God treated him unjustly (33:8-11), and that he made matters worse by refusing to talk to him (33:13).
    What replies does Elihu give to Job about this? See verses 12, 14-33.
    In what does he say God speaks?
    And for what purpose?

Job 30 and 31

  1. Chapter 30. Contrast Job’s present condition with his previous prosperity surveyed in chapter 29.
    In what different ways is job now beset by misery and distress?
    What is his chief reason for perplexity and complaint?
  2. Chapter 31. Of what sins, secret and public, does Job here declare himself innocent?
    Make a list and use it for self-examination.
    In contrast to the judgment of his friends, what is job seeking here to prove about his present condition?

Job 28 and 29

  1. Chapter 28. What is expressed here concerning:
    (a) human skill, and
    (b) human inability? What are:
    (a) the source, and
    (b) the essence of true wisdom? Cf. 1:1; 2:3; Ps. 34:11-14.
  2. Chapter 29. What can we learn from Job’s description of his manner of life before tragedy overwhelmed him? What most stands out in his memory? What then gave enrichment and direction to his daily living?

Notes

  1. Chapter 28 reads like an independent insertion – a poem in praise of wisdom. The ‘wisdom’ meant is not simply mental ability, but understanding of the right way to act in the face of life’s mystery. Supremely, as known only to God, it means the master plan behind the Christ. Cf. 1 Cor. 1:30; Col. 2:23.
  2. Job’s speech in chapter 29-31 is best understood as a concluding monologue, summing up the whole situation.’

Job 25 and 27

  1. How do Bildad and Job speak of:
    (a) God’s holiness, and
    (b) his omnipotence?
  2. The knowledge of God’s power does not help Job now.
    To what does he cling (27:1-6)? Was he right in this?
  3. Does 27:7-22 add any fresh ideas about the wicked.

Note. 27:7-22. Some part of the otherwise lost third speech of Zophar is possibly here. The thought echoes 20:12ff.