Monday: Innocent Blood
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The cross

We often hear the question of “innocent” suffering. The Bible even uses the phrase “innocent blood” (Isa. 59:7, Jer. 22:17, Joel 3:19), usually in the context of assault, or even murder, of people who didn’t deserve what happened to them. If we use this understanding of “innocent blood,” then, as we all know, our world … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: Job’s Protest
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Job crying with hands to forehead

Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar had a point: God does punish evil. Unfortunately, that point didn’t apply in Job’s situation. Job’s suffering was not a case of retributive punishment. God was not punishing him for his sins, as He would do with Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Nor was Job reaping what he had sown, as can … [Click to read more …]

Sabbath: Innocent Blood
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Read for This Week’s Study: Job 10, Isa. 53:6, Rom. 3:10–20, Job 15:14–16, Job 1:18–20, Matt. 6:34. Memory Text: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Algerian–born writer Albert Camus struggled with the question of human suffering. In his book, The Plague, he used a plague as … [Click to read more …]

Friday: Further Thought – Retributive Punishment
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Ancient person sitting & thinking

As said earlier in this quarter, it’s important to try to put ourselves in the place of the characters in the story, because doing so can help us understand their motives and actions. They didn’t see the battle going on behind the scenes as we do. If we put ourselves in their shoes, it shouldn’t … [Click to read more …]

HopeSS: Retributive Punishment
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You can view an in-depth discussion of “Retributive Punishment” in the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of this week’s lesson at Hope Sabbath School is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from the HopeTV Sabbath School Site. … [Click to read more …]

Thursday: The Second Death
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Fire from heaven

Certainly the greatest and most powerful manifestation of retributive judgment will be at the end of time, with the destruction of the wicked, called in the Bible “the second death” (Rev. 20:14). This death, of course, must not be confused with the death common to all the descendants of Adam. This is the death from which … [Click to read more …]

Wednesday: If the Lord Creates a New Thing
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Job's Suffering and the Discouragement of Three Friends

Many instances of direct divine punishment upon evil, as well as blessing for faithfulness, are recorded in Scripture long after all the characters in the book of Job were dead. What great promise is given here for obedience? Deut. 6:24-25. The Old Testament is filled with promise after promise of the blessings and prosperity that … [Click to read more …]

Tuesday: Divine Retribution
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3 friends mourning with Job

Job’s three friends undoubtedly had some knowledge about God. And they were earnest in their efforts to defend Him too. And, as we saw, as misguided as their words to Job were (especially given the context), these men were expressing some crucial truths. And central to their arguments was the idea that God is a … [Click to read more …]

Monday: Less Than Your Iniquity Deserves
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Job looking upwards, three friends

“ ‘Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than heaven—what can you do? Deeper than Sheol—what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea’ ” (Job 11:7–9, NKJV; see also Isa. 40:12–14). What truth … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: More Accusations
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Job and his troubles

As if getting a lecture from Eliphaz weren’t bad enough, Job then faced one from Bildad, who said something similar to what Eliphaz had said. Unfortunately, Bildad was cruder and harsher toward Job than even Eliphaz was. Imagine going up to someone whose children had died and saying to the person: “ ‘If your sons … [Click to read more …]