Job Replies (Job 12:1 – 13:5)

Scripture Text:

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Job 12:1 – 13:5

1. Describe the counselor or pastor who has been the most help to you over the years. What about that person was most helpful?

2. When have you  been more helped by the counsel of friends, not professionals? What about their friendship meant the most?

3. What tone of voice do you hear in Job’s reply here? Where is sarcasm most evident?

4. What superior knowledge do the three friends claim to have, that Job and all of creation know as well (chapter 12:2, 3, 7 – 12; chapter 13:1, 2)?

5. On what basis does Job make this claim to know as much as they (chapter 12:3, 22; chapter 13:1)?

6. What distinguishes Job from criminals and idolaters (verses 4 – 6)?

7. What does Job hope his three friends will learn from God’s random activity in creation (verses 7 – 10, 14 – 25)?

8. In creation and history, is there a moral pattern: Do the righteous suffer, regardless of God’s presence? Does the punishment always fit the crime?

9. In verses 17 – 25, who parades forth in Job’s view of human history? What disasters befall each? Why? (Or is there no reason?)

10. Is God whimsical or arbitrary? Is God seen as detached from it all, or responsible for it all? What does Job say to either defend, or indict, God’s nature?

11. How does this contrast with Eliphaz’s “simple” understanding of the way God works in nature and history (see chapter 5:10 – 16)?

12. Is merely “knowing” the ways of God enough to satisfy Job (chapter 13:1 – 5)? Why or why not? What more does he want from God? From his “wise” friends (see Proverbs 17:28)?

13. To what source do you attribute most of your knowledge? What is common to the rest of humanity? What is unique to you?

14. What does it mean to “know” God, as Job does? How is that different than knowing “about” God, as Eliphaz does? Which knowledge do you possess?

15. If you only had “general revelation” (creation and history) to learn from, and no “special revelation” (the Bible and Jesus Christ), what could you deduce about God’s character? How does that compare with Romans 1;18 – 23)?

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