Introduction:A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that Job responds to his accusing friends with faith in God. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to be helpful friends and those who reaffirm our faith in God.
Read Job 19:1-7
I. Job’s Complaint. We see in our Sunday School material that Job has been going through a great deal of suffering. Some of his suffering included listening to attacks of his “friends.”
In his responding to his friends, Job talks about how God has done him wrong. God is not responding to his cry for help.
- Be helpful, instead of harmful. Notice in vss. 1-3 that Job’s friends seem to be hurting more than helping. First, sometimes the best thing to say is nothing. Our presence can say volumes about how much we love the person who is in distress.
Second, if we choose to talk, we should be extra careful to review the facts, before we accuse the person in distress of being the cause of their own problem.
Third, even if the person is the cause of their own problem, we should ask ourselves, “how does bringing this up at this point help the situation”? If it doesn’t help then we should not bring it up. Let’s work on being helpful to those who are in distress, instead of harmful.
It should be further noted that there are times to speak the truth in love, which may mean helping the person see who they are responsible for what they are experiencing.
However, there is a time and way to communicate such a message. We should God’s wisdom and spiritual courage to do so, in a way that is pleasing to Him.
- Watch what you say. Notice in vss. 6-7 of our Sunday School material that Job accuses God of doing him wrong. He talks about God being nonresponsive to his cry of violence.
First, there are times when God seems to be nonresponsive to what we expect from Him.
We pacify our anxiety and discomfort with ideas like “He may not come when we want Him, but He comes right on time.” This sounds better than, “God can seem to be nonresponsive to our cries for help.”
Second, we should be careful what we say to and about God. We don’t want to say in the heat of the moment those things that we will have to answer for when the heat of the moment has passed over.
As with Job’s friends, sometimes saying nothing is a safe path. Or we may want to at least say, “it seems to me that God is not treating me right, but that seems impossible.”
Third, as Job complained about God’s nonresponsiveness, God was keeping him alive. In like manner, no matter how terrible things may be in our lives, if we are still living, God is still blessing. Let’s work on being careful about what we say, when God doesn’t live up to our expectations.
Read Job 19:23-27
II. Job’s Hope. In our Sunday School material Job wants a permanent record made of what he has experienced. And he wants the record to show that he knows that his redeemer lives. Job has a faith that still trusts in God, even though God seems to be nonresponsive.
- Living the life that we want recorded. Notice in vss. 23-24 that Job wants a record made of how he has lived and how he has been treated. Even God declared that Job was an upright man.
There is a song in many Black churches that includes a line that says, “may the works I’ve done speak for me.” Let’s live so we can call for a record to be made and read to vindicate us.
Perhaps many of those who read these notes are like the author, we need a large portion of grace and mercy to be read along with the works that we have done.
In other words, we have not done all that we have been called to do and the record may reveal our shortcomings more than vindicate us from our suffering.
- Reaffirming our faith. Notice in vss. 25-27 that in spite of Job’s accusing God of doing him wrong, he yet essentially declares that his faith is in God.
The Sunday School material did a good job of helping Christians understand some of the challenges in interpreting what Job meant by his words.
But we can easily agree that Job still had faith in God. And he wanted God to set things straight, in a way that Job would be able to see the record straight. In like manner, even if we say things that don’t really reflect our inner convictions, we should always reaffirm our faith in God.
We should always ask God to do what is best. Let’s work on reaffirming our faith in God, no matter what is going on.
Read Job 19:28-29
III. Job’s Warning. Job confronts his friends. In our Sunday School material he talks about how they see the root of the trouble being in Job. In essence, he tells them to be careful, because they are subject to experience the same thing.
- Condemning others. Notice in vss. 28-29 that Job essentially informs his accusers that the same thing that has happened to him is subject to happen to them.
First, as noted above, we should be careful about accusing people of things we don’t know for a fact. And even then, we should make sure there is a good reason to share a truthful accusation.
Second, we should remember that the standards used to judge others are often the standards used for judging us. Let’s be careful with condemning others, lest we condemn ourselves as well.
Conclusion: Let’s work on being helpful friends and those who reaffirm our faith in God. God has much for those who obey His will.Please click here to let us know, if this has been quality and helpful information for you (i.e., make sure you let us know the name of the article). Feel free to share your questions and comments about the article as well.