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1. If it is true that “to spare the rod is to spoil the child”, how did you make it through your childhood?
- by the skin of your teeth?
- with flying colors and a sore bottom?
- counting your blessings?
- spoiled and thankful?
2. Would you discipline your children (if any) differently than you were punished and rewarded? How so?
3. Is Elihu being virtuous or presumptuous in claiming to speak for God, and to speak for Him so perfectly (verses 2 – 4)? Upon what grounds does he defend God? Why is he striving to prove God innocent?
4. From Elihu’s perspective (verses 5 – 21), why is humanity endowed with the divine rights of kings? Why are we treated as captains of our own fate, getting exactly what we deserve, even what we choose?
5. Elihu says that the righteous are rewarded and sinners are punished (verses 11 and 12). How does that contrast with what Job has been claiming?
6. What are the benefits of God’s discipline? What is the fate of those who respond positively to God’s correction? Likewise, to those who ignore God’s correction?
7. What new reason, hope and warning with regard to suffering does Elihu introduce in this section (verses 16 – 21)? What does Elihu say here that distinguishes him from the other three friends who here given up on Job? What does he say here that contradicts God’s view of Job (see chapter 1:8; chapter 2:3)?
8. In verses 22 – 33, what does Elihu say about God that is true and worthy of full acceptance?
9. Is the discipline of Job at all like the discipline of other believers, as in Hebrews 12:7 – 13? How do you see that New Testament passage relating to Job’s situation? If Job is being disciplined, what does that suggest about his value in God’s eyes?
10. When have you been in a situation where you have felt stretched by God in order to learn something from Him? What were the circumstances and what did you learn? Was the pain worth the gain? Why didn’t God just “tell” you what He wanted you to know and leave the agony to those who aren’t listening anyway?