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Summary: Dealing with hard times

Why does God let bad things happen to good people? - What do you do when the bottom falls out in your life? Do you remain faithful in your suffering? Do you blame God or bless Him? What do you do when God is silent? These questions were addressed by the earliest book to be written down in all of the Bible - predates Moses.

Job is no ordinary guy - cross between Bill Gates and Mother Theresa

JOB 29:11 Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me, 12 because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him. 13 The man who was dying blessed me; I made the widow’s heart sing. 14 I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban. 15 I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. 16 I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger. ... 21 "Men listened to me expectantly, waiting in silence for my counsel. 22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more; my words fell gently on their ears. 23 They waited for me as for showers and drank in my words as the spring rain. 24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them. 25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief; I dwelt as a king among his troops; I was like one who comforts mourners.

Job 1 - The Wager Pt. 1

On hearing the news of his family’s destruction

vs. 21 "Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."

Job 2 - The Wager Pt. 2

Skin for skin - wife caves "Curse God and die" Consider all the petty reasons we curse - complain.

Tell your neighbor about something petty you complained about - now tell them "I’m sorry"

Vs. 10 You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?"

In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

3 friends arrive for a visit - entered his grief - not a word for 7 days

They try to make sense of his suffering, giving common sense but not really helping

Their theology is not too solid - but we hear it all the time

You are suffering because of your sin - You are suffering because God wants to punish you

Sin does bring about suffering - hairpin electrocution - I didn’t even know I wanted to stick hairpins in sockets. Paul said the law exposed his disobedience

But the reverse is not true that suffering is only because of sin. Innocent people suffer all the time.

Job 3 - Job Speaks

Suffering distorts memory and reality

Vs. 25 What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.

Job 4 & 5 Eliphaz responds

Why waver - follow your course - no one is pure - God regards the good and punishes the wicked.

JOB 5:17 "Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. 18 For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.

Job 6 & 7 Job’s rebuttal

Not as simple as that - I am innocent - God put me out of my misery

JOB 6:24 "Teach me, and I will be quiet; show me where I have been wrong.

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