Bible

WEEK ELEVEN: SUFFERING

Prayer: 

Eternal God, whose thoughts and ways are not mine, You alone are God.  

Teach me in the ways of faith and wisdom, that I, like Job, may learn to truly see and hear and, in humility, find blessing. 


Amen. 

WEEK ELEVEN | DAY ONE

 

READ: Job 1-10 


JOURNAL: Write your initial thoughts on today’s reading. What words or phrases stuck out to you? What questions do you have about what you read?

 

LEARN: Right away we are introduced to Job. He has a big family, lots of property and animals. And he is described as one of the most righteous men out there. And then God asked a question of the Adversary, who had been wandering the earth. Have you considered my servant Job? And with this question, Job’s life changed.

 

RESPOND: Unknowns and mysteries often accompany suffering. In the face of unexplained suffering, we have to respond. What is your faith journey or response through suffering? How are you more likely to respond to suffering? Job’s afflictions began from the malice of Satan, by the Lord’s permission. What do you see as the purpose of God singling him out to Satan? Is his torment a punishment or an honor? How does Job react when everything he loved is destroyed? Put yourself in Job’s place. How do you think your responses would have been the same? Different? Do you think we ever find the answers to the “why’s,” why we suffer?   

WEEK ELEVEN | DAY TWO

 

READ: Job 11-19


JOURNAL: Write your initial thoughts on today’s reading. What words or phrases stuck out to you? What questions do you have about what you read?

  

LEARN: Job’s complete loss of material things, as well as his health and family, two things that will rattle anyone to the core, brought him to sorrow and grief. It appears Job has been abandoned. All of Job’s friends believed that suffering is a result of sinfulness, and therefore Job’s lot in life must have been brought on by his own doings. 

RESPOND: Job accuses his friends of a critical spirit regarding his suffering.

  • In your experience, what friends helped you see God’s bigger purpose at work when crisis comes?

  • How can you endure a nonjudgmental attitude toward those whom you are called to witness to during their time of suffering?  

WEEK ELEVEN | DAY THREE

 

READ: Job 20-31


JOURNAL: Write your initial thoughts on today’s reading. What words or phrases stuck out to you? What questions do you have about what you read?

 

LEARN: Jobs friends continue to pour out the reasons or accusations for why this is happening to Job. And then in response, Job continues to justify or explain himself. Job even reflects on what he would do if he were actually allowed to plead his case to God. But the friends continue to ask how a mortal can be righteous? As you read the final statement to Job’s friends you see Job describing decisions that were made in order to stay in right relationship with God. Job’s last words are of self-defense. Job was always focused on obeying God, no matter the circumstances.

 

RESPOND: Have you ever found yourself in the position of needing to give a defense of your actions? Or even a defense of your character?  It is not easy to do. We can all agree that life is not always fair; good people are not always happy, and wicked people sometimes seem to prosper. However, this should never tempt us to ease up on our efforts to live with integrity. What is most difficult for you to understand or live with – good people sometimes suffer or wicked people sometimes prosper? 

WEEK ELEVEN | DAY FOUR

 

READ: Job 32-38


JOURNAL: Write your initial thoughts on today’s reading. What words or phrases stuck out to you? What questions do you have about what you read?

 

LEARN: Elihu is a new character.  He is only mentioned in these passages, but his words add a new layer to what we have already heard from Job’s friends.  Elihu claims that out of deference for their age and wisdom, he waited his turn. Then Elihu believes he will convince Job of his errors, or do a better job than the previous arguments. He defends God against Job’s accusation of divine indifference. No one is to blame for Job’s troubles but Job. Despite Job’s statements of faith, Job does ask repeatedly why he was suffering. And in a stormy whirlwind, God responds with a number of questions. 

 

RESPOND: In Job 38, you read God putting forth many questions to Job. 

  • What do you think was God’s purpose of questioning Job?

  • Is Job able to comprehend the wonders of the world?

  • Can he control them?  What explanation of God’s power impresses you the most?

WEEK ELEVEN | DAY FIVE

 

READ: Job 39-42


JOURNAL: Write your initial thoughts on today’s reading. What words or phrases stuck out to you? What questions do you have about what you read?

 

LEARN: Can we say the story of Job ends with a happy ending? God finds fault with those who criticized Job, rebuking them for giving Job bad advice. The story ends with Job’s misfortunes being reversed. He is granted a new life of comforts and prosperity. This ending still leaves the reader with much to process.   

 

RESPOND: How might you describe the character of God after reading Job? We read God uses a large, frightening animal (Leviathan) as a metaphor to describe God. God is more powerful and terrifying than the Leviathan. And Job followed up with acknowledging God’s authority over all. How would you describe God’s power in your life? Where do you see God’s strength at work?  What gave Job peace of mind? What gives you peace of mind? What lessons are to be found throughout the Book of Job?   

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ABOUT US

Church of the Saviour United Methodist is a multi-generational Christian congregation serving Montgomery, Blue Ash, and other communities in the northern region of Cincinnati, Ohio. 

ADDRESS

Church of the Saviour United Methodist​

8005 Pfeiffer Road
Cincinnati, OH 45242

513-791-3142

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