Job Replies (Job 23)

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Job 23

1. Did you enjoy playing “hide-and-seek” as a child (or as a parent with a child)? Which did you like more – the hiding or seeking? If you were “it”, what motivated you to keep seeking?

2. If you were to bring a malpractice suit against God for the bad way things turned out one particular day, what would be the charges? What compensation would you want?

3. Job dares to seek a day in court with God. What would he do in God’s presence (verses 3 – 7)? Why does he wish from God in return?

4. Why can’t Job find God (verses 8 and 9; compare Psalm 139:7 – 10):

  • looking in the wrong places?
  • not looking with faith or humility?
  • veiled from seeing what we readers of the Prologue can see?
  • God can stay in hiding as long as He pleases?

5. How do verses 10 – 12 resolve this paradox of God’s silence? How does Job contradict Eliphaz’ advice in chapter 22:22? What does it mean to be “tested” by God?

6. In verses 13 – 17, what does Job fear? What does he hope?

7. When you, like Job, can’t sense God in your life, what do you feel the most? Loneliness? Disorientation? Alienation? Guilt? Explain your answer.

8. Why does God sometimes chose to “hide”? What can you do to make God reveal Himself?

9. At such times, is He hiding from you, or are you hiding from Him?

10. How does God take the initiative to finding you?

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Eliphaz the Temanite Replies (Job 22)

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Job 22

1. (To those of you old enough to remember them), do you pay attention to advice columnist like Ann Landers and Dr. Ruth? If you did submit a problem to them, what do you fear might happen? How would you have to qualify their counsel?

2. Likewise, with applying the case studies from self-help books, when have you misapplied truth that didn’t really fit your situation?

3. Chapters 22:1 – 26:14 constitute the third cycle of dialogue. Compared with Eliphaz” first speech (see chapter 4:3 – 6; chapter 5:17 – 19, for example), what kind of friend has he become? Why the change?

4. What is Eliphaz saying about the character of God and humanity in verses 2 – 4? What irony is Eliphaz unwittingly contributing to the story of Job (see chapter 1:8 – 12; chapter 2:3 – 6)?

5. In verses 5 – 11, why is Eliphaz claiming Job is evil? Is he being fair, or libelous? (For Job’s reputation, see chapter 1:1 – 5; for Job’s refutation, see chapter 29:11 – 17.) What concerns do they share in common?

6. In verses 12 – 20, in what ways has Eliphaz overstated his case?

7. In verses 21 – 30, in what ways is he theologically “correct” in his last attempt to reach Job? How does this speech of Eliphaz compare with the song of David in 2 Samuel 22:20 – 28?

8. Good theology can be harmful if applied to the wrong situation. How are the situations different for David and Job?

9. When have you misapplied truth in counseling another?

10. What does it mean to “walk a mile in the moccasins of another”? Have you? When and with whom? How did it change your attitude toward the other person? How did it affect the other person?

11. Eliphaz and Job agree on at least this much – the appalling treatment received by the fatherless, the widowed, the hungry. How can you help the single-parent household in your neighborhood?

Job Replies (Job 21)

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Job 21

1. Which best describes your ideas on prosperity?

  • the one with the most toys in the end wins
  • you can’t take it with you
  • eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die (or diet)
  • everything that goes around, comes around so no one gets away with anything
  • God sends rain on the just and unjust so both their parades get wet
  • the righteous shall proper
  • everyone gets what they deserve, nothing more and nothing less
  • what the mind can conceive and the will believe, you can and will achieve so think and grow rich

2. To whom is Job directing his complaint in verse 4 and why?

3. How does Job view the happiness of the wicked (verses 7 – 16)? How does it compare to Eliphaz’s account of the happiness of the righteous in chapter 5:17 – 27?

4. How does Job perceive the fate of the wicked (verses 17 – 21)? How does Job’s view compare to his friend’s (chapter 8:11 – 19; chapter 15:20 – 35; chapter 18:5 – 21; chapter 20)? In what ways is Job right? In what ways are his three friends right?

5. In contrast to his friends, what is Job saying in verses 22 – 26? In what ways is God bigger than the teaching of his three friends (see Isaiah 40:14; Matthew 5:45)? Is Job focusing here on a principle of equality, fickleness, absurdity, mystery or what? Explain.

6. What nonsense and falsehood is Job speaking of in verse 34? How does that relate to his opening remarks in verses 2 and 3?

7. How do you respond to someone who has answer for everything? Do they, really?

8. Relative to your parents, are you more, or less, prosperous than they? Are you “paying your dues and getting just deserts” or are you being “short-changed”? In general, is life fairly predictable to you or is it sloppy business? How do you make sense out of the exceptions in your life?

9. To what extent do you allow God to make sense out of your life? Does He explain every detail? What do you do with all the “loose ends”?

10. If no one can instruct God (verse 22), then why does the Church try to neatly define its dogma? Why do we say that God adheres to certain inviolable spiritual laws of the universe?

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