Bible study – Tuesday 27th October 2020

Bible Study- Job, God and Satan

Read Job 1: 1-5

1-What do we know about Job? How would you describe ‘integrity?’ How might we exercise integrity in our own day?

Read Job 1:6-12

2 -Is this how you imagine Satan? Is there truth in Satan’s accusation that we only praise God when things are good?

Satan is part of the court- if slightly detached. He is almost like a prosecutor. His role is to bring out truth. This leads us to contemplate Jesus’ time in the wilderness and the Lord’s Prayer ‘do not lead me into a time of trial’.

Read Job 1:13-22

Job gets three messages of bad news (the ultimate ‘trouble comes in threes’). There I something about suffering that piles on and is relentless.

3-What do you think of Job’s response to suffering?

Read Job 2:1-10

Job is a book about ‘theodicy’. Why do bad things happen to good people? Also why does a benevolent, all-powerful, all-knowing and just God allow bad things to happen in the world. It is the first historic document that this question is presented. Most scholars think it dates from 5th Century BCE in other words after the Exile as the re-formed nation questions what it has been through.

Suffering raises questions. Answers in history include:

-God is not real.

-God is malevolent (He therefore acts outside the Laws he has given to us)

-Suffering is caused by sin (Yes sometimes but not always…and not in the case of Job)

-God has a bigger plan at work

-God has chosen to withdraw so we can live through the consequences of our freewill.

-We learn through suffering

4-What do you think to the above and how God is portrayed in Job 1-2?

5-What do you think of Job’s response to his wife about ‘shall we accept good from God and not trouble’? A better translation in ‘Bless God and die’ rather than ‘Curse’. Her statement starts Job’s journey in the mystery of suffering. What is the difference between a couple pulling together or apart in hard times? (They have another 10 children before this story is out)

As I said in the services last week. I think the three friends start off pretty well. Job is not just an intellectual exercise in how we think about suffering but actions and processes which may help. Job teaches us that we slowly need to be reintegrated into society following a bereavement. Jews today (following the example of Job) have seven days of mourning where they stay at home a receives comforters called ‘Shiva’. Orthodox men do not shave for 30 days and every year on the anniversary of the death they light a candle. We heal slowly.

6-What processes and rituals have helped you in times of loss and grief?

Prayer

God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to all
who wait or work in uncertainty.

Bring hope that you will make them the equal
of whatever lies ahead.

Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
for your will is health and wholeness;
you are God, and we need you.

-Adapted from New Zealand Prayer Book, p. 765

 

 

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