Friday, October 12, 2012

Job Youth Bible Study

Brief: There’s always hope with God.
(Printable Student Sheet available for Patreon supporters or with a purchase of Created.)
Needed: nothing
Scripture: Job 1:1-4:8; 38; 42:7-17

Note: For the sake of time, you might want to read selections from Job 38.

Does anyone have an idea of when Job lived? What time period of the Bible was it?

We think Job lived sometime during the time of Genesis – after the Flood and probably after the Tower of Babel.

Job 1:1-7: In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.

His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.

One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”

Why does Satan come to present himself before the Lord? Why does he answer God’s questions?

Satan is still under the authority of God. He has to come when God calls, and he has to answer when God asks.

Who is Satan?

We don’t know much about the angels, but this is what many Christians think.

Satan was Lucifer, one of the three archangels.

The three archangels are Gabriel who is the chief messenger angel. He is the one who spoke to Daniel in the Old Testament and to Zechariah about the birth of John the Baptist and to Mary and Joseph about the birth of Jesus in the New Testament. He may have spoken to other people in the Bible, but those are the times he’s named.

Michael, the second archangel, is the chief warrior angel. When we talk about spiritual warfare and guardian angels, Michael and his division of angels are who we’re talking about.

Lucifer, who became Satan, was the chief musician in Heaven. We hear about the choirs of angels and the beautiful worship that occurs in Heaven. Lucifer was the choir director. But for some reason, he got tired of worshipping God and decided that he wanted people to worship him. So he and his angels tried to overthrow God. It didn’t work. Instead of overthrowing God, it was Lucifer who got kicked out of Heaven.

And now what does Lucifer do all day long since he got fired from directing the choir? He tries to get his revenge against God by tricking people, God’s creation, God’s children, into sinning against God and betraying Him.

Job 1:8: Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

Why is God bringing up Job? What is God doing here?

He’s bragging. God is proud of Job because Satan has not convinced Job to turn against God.

Job 1:9-11: “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

What is Satan doing here?

He’s challenging God. He’s saying that Job is only faithful to God because Job has it easy in life. Things are going good for him. It’s easy to worship God in the good times. So, Satan challenges God and says that he can get Job to turn against God if Job has some trouble.

Job 1:12: The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

Why does God agree to the challenge?

God knows that our faith needs to be tested sometimes. We need our faith to be tested. Because if I can go through a little trouble and still remain faithful to God, then that’s training that will make it easier for me to remain faithful when a big trouble comes.

Job 1:13-22: One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, 15 and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

16 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

17 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

18 While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said: “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.”

22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

Job passed the test!

Job 2:1-3: On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before Him. And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited Me against him to ruin him without any reason.”

Listen to God bragging on Job again. I wonder how many times God gets to brag on us. Do you pass the tests? Do you resist temptation? If so, God is proud of you and brags against Satan because of you.

Job 2:4-5: “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But now stretch out Your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse You to Your face.”

Does Satan quit after tempting Job once? Does he say, “Oh, well, I couldn’t get him, so I guess I’ll give up”?

No. He keeps going. Satan doesn’t give up. He keeps tempting us, and we have to keep resisting. It’s a constant battle.

Job 2:6-10: The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.

His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”

10 He replied, “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.

Job passed the test again! He did not sin in what he said.

Job 2:11-3:26: When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. 12 When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. 13 Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.

3 After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. He said: “May the day of my birth perish, and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’ That day—may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine on it.

May gloom and utter darkness claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm it. That night—may thick darkness seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months.

May that night be barren; may no shout of joy be heard in it. May those who curse days curse that day, those who are ready to rouse Leviathan. May its morning stars become dark; may it wait for daylight in vain and not see the first rays of dawn, 10 for it did not shut the doors of the womb on me to hide trouble from my eyes.

11 “Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb? 12 Why were there knees to receive me and breasts that I might be nursed? 13 For now I would be lying down in peace; I would be asleep and at rest 14 with kings and rulers of the earth, who built for themselves places now lying in ruins, 15 with princes who had gold, who filled their houses with silver.

16 Or why was I not hidden away in the ground like a stillborn child, like an infant who never saw the light of day? 17 There the wicked cease from turmoil, and there the weary are at rest. 18 Captives also enjoy their ease; they no longer hear the slave driver’s shout.

19 The small and the great are there, and the slaves are freed from their owners. 20 “Why is light given to those in misery,  and life to the bitter of soul, 21 to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure, 22 who are filled with gladness and rejoice when they reach the grave?

23 Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in? 24 For sighing has become my daily food; my groans pour out like water. 25 What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. 26 I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.”

What is Job saying here? What does he wish had happened?

He’s saying he wishes he were dead. He wishes he had never been born or that he had died in childbirth.

But I thought that the Bible said that Job didn’t sin in what he said. How can he be saying he wishes he were dead?

It’s not a sin to wish we were dead. It’s a sin to commit suicide. But it’s not wrong to think that life is bad at a particular time. It’s not wrong to be sad and frustrated like Job was. Sometimes, we get the idea that Christians have to be happy all the time. But we don’t. That’s fake. Bad things happen, and we can’t be expected to be happy about those things. It’s okay to be upset.

Job 4:1-8: Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied: “If someone ventures a word with you, will you be impatient? But who can keep from speaking? Think how you have instructed many, how you have strengthened feeble hands. Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees.

But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged; it strikes you, and you are dismayed. Should not your piety be your confidence and your blameless ways your hope? “Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished? Where were the upright ever destroyed? As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.

What is Eliphaz saying? Why does he think these bad things are happening to Job?

He thinks Job must have sinned and that’s why bad things are happening. God is punishing him.

But is that what’s happening? Is God punishing Job? Is that why the bad things are happening to him?

No. It’s happening because Satan wants to make Job sin, not because Job is being punished for already sinning.

Does Job know why these bad things are happening?

No. He doesn’t know anything about the conversations between God and Satan.

So the rest of the story goes something like this: Job’s friends tell him he sinned and Job says he didn’t, but he doesn’t know why God is letting these things happen.

Job 38: Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that obscures My plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.  Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
“Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, 10 when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, 11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?

12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, 13 that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it? 14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; its features stand out like those of a garment. 15 The wicked are denied their light, and their upraised arm is broken.

16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? 17 Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness? 18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this.

19 “What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? 20 Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings? 21 Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!

22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, 23 which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle? 24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth? 25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm, 26 to water a land where no one lives, an uninhabited desert, 27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass? 28 Does the rain have a father? Who fathers the drops of dew? 29 From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens 30 when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen?

31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades? Can you loosen Orion’s belt? 32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs? 33 Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?

34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water? 35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’? 36 Who gives the ibis wisdom or gives the rooster understanding? 37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds? Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens 38 when the dust becomes hard and the clods of earth stick together?

39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness and satisfy the hunger of the lions 40 when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in a thicket? 41 Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food?

Why does God ask Job all these questions? What is the point?

Job wanted to know why God was letting all this bad stuff happened to him. Now God asks Job all these questions to show Job that he can’t always understand everything that God does. Job won’t always be able to understand why things happen. We won’t always be able to understand why things happen.

Job 42:7: After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about Me, as my servant Job has.

What did Eliphaz and the other friends say that wasn’t right?

They said that God was making bad things happen to Job because Job had sinned, which wasn’t true.

Job 42:8-17: So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.

10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. 11 All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.

12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. 15 Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.

16 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 17 And so Job died, an old man and full of years.

When all the bad things were happening to Job, he said that he wished he had never been born or that he had died in childbirth. Do you think Job would have said the same thing when God blessed him again? When his new children were born?

Of course not! Job was frustrated and depressed about the problems he was having, and rightfully so. But the great thing about God is that there’s always hope. If we’re going through a rough time in life, even if it’s as rough as Job had it, we can trust God to bring us through it and bring us into better times. When things are bad, we can believe that God will make them better.

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This lesson is included in my book, Created: Youth Bible Studies on Genesis 1-11 and the Book of Job.
Created: Youth Bible Studies on Genesis 1-11 and the Book of Job: Perfect for Youth Sunday School Lessons by [Wilson, Rev. Stephen R.]
Kindle $3.99, Print $6.99

Find more youth lessons on my Free Youth Ministry Helps page!



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