Job Replies (Job 14)

Scripture Text:

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Job 14

1. In tending to your garden (if you have one), do you prefer annuals (which bloom all summer, but then die forever)? Or perennials (which bloom only briefly, but spring to life again the next year)? Which of each are your favorites?

2. What are the four major poetic images in this chapter (verses 1 – 6, 7 – 13, 14 – 17, 18 – 22)? What mixed metaphors do you see here?

3. What do these poems say about the human condition? About God’s link to humankind?

4. What mood swings in Job do you detect as he moves through the various stanzas? Where do you see waves of despair? Renewal of hope? Certainty of faith?

5. What is the movement here: Is Job regressing? Or progressing? What is the “bottom line” for him? (note: Job is speaking poetically, often circling around the main point, not logically, in step-wise sequence as if each line of thought is built upon or superseded the previous one.)

6. What will God do with Job’s sin (verses 13 – 17)? When? To what does Job owe his continued existence, now and hereafter: To some immortal element intrinsic to his soul? Or some act and gift of God?

7. Which of the poems best captures your present mood?

8. Where on the continuum between suicidal despair and resurrection hope are you? Where are most of your friends? How might Job speak to their condition?

9. Chapter 14 ends the first round of three debates between Job and his friends. What impressions do you have of them, as friends? As theologians?

10. What impression has Job made on you so far? Would you want him as a dinner guest? A missionary partner? A best friend in time of need?

11. Has God cursed Job yet, as Satan says He surely will? If so where? If not, how close does he come?

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