HomeSSLessons2016d Book of JobFriday: Further Thought – The Character of Job    


Friday: Further Thought – The Character of Job — 15 Comments

  1. What a great reminder and glorious. Christmas message, Christ came as a baby, to make salvation and restoration of humanity possible! Christ in you (as a part of humanity)! Praising God that makes every day a Merry Christmas!!!

  2. This has been an excellent study in the book of job
    We can be encouraged to live the Christian life and trust God to strengthen us when we go through trials.
    As the prophecies are fulfilled our time is shortened
    Let's work diligently to spread the good news of salvation
    Keep the faith saints of God and may we soon enjoy the next sabbath school lesson at Jesus feet.
    We have this hope in the soon coming of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ

  3. Fully surrendering what we have to Christ daily gives hope. He alone can transform us. He is the only one who can give strength and courage if we stumble or struggle against strong holds in our lives...

    Praise Him for His marvelous work in our lives...

    Praise Him for His marvelous work in us, His patient lessons and constant watch care and love!!

  4. In answer to the Discussion Questions:

    1. What does God tell us? What was the teaching of Jesus? “Repent ye, and believe the Gospel”. Doesn't this sum up our duty? Keep in mind, both repentance and belief are shown in actions of the life. Every decision we face is affected by repentance and belief and results in actions, words, even thoughts.

    2. Faith/belief is demonstrated in the actions of repentance and obedience. Many struggles with self will surely take place, but they are based on what God has revealed as “the way you should go”, while the decision and action are left with us to exercise as free-will beings formed in the image of God. We cannot bring forth living food, but we can cultivate the soil, plant the seed, and then must harvest the produce. We do not sit idle while God puts food into our mouths. Watch how ants gather their food which God has provided for them to gather. Such is salvation, which is put within the reach of faith.

    In the sanctuary services we see faith in action: selecting a sacrifice without blemish, bringing it to the altar, confessing our sin, taking the life, walking away free of all guilt, all done in accordance with the instructions and promises of God. While we don't offer such blood sacrifices today, they illustrate the action that faith will produce in sinners today. The Free Gift must be taken, or it will serve no benefit. The cross pays the penalty, but no one is justified by it without faith shown in repentance and continual surrender to the will of God which we learn of through the prayerful study of His Word, believing in His “exceeding great and precious promises” which will make us partakers of the Divine Nature.

    3. Jesus taught that our “good works” will be seen of others and will bring glory to God. Obedience is how God is glorified. When we reveal His character in our daily living, others will see “Him”. Only the presence of God's Spirit in our lives can produce good works, and only through repentance can we receive the Spirit. There is a "gospel order" which we will follow if we believe in God's Word.

  5. When a child yields himself to the protection, council and will of his parents, in reverence and out of love, love that is a response, they are perfect, not yet mature but perfect.

  6. Today's Discussion Question asks, "What choices can we make that will influence the degree to which the Lord can work in us? We know that only God can change the heart, but we must cooperate. What does that cooperation look like? How is it manifested?".
    In giving these questions "further thought", I was forced to ask myself some questions based on Scripture's revelation regarding myself and all of my specie who has or will come to existence. One of several such inspired revelation of Scripture is Rm 5:12, which states that all men (persons) are sinners because of one man's (Adam) action. How does sin affect my choices? Is there really a hereditary (genetic) aspect to sin that impacts my choices? Are there gaps in our knowledge, like Job's (Job 38:2; 42:3-6), that distorts our understanding of our selves, our Creator and the workings of satan (Job 2:6-7 compare 19:21-22)? Are we in existential danger because of this lack of knowledge? Could we have been deceived into thinking we are informed when we are not?
    Down syndrome, hemophilia, color blindness, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), Cystic Fibrosis, Sickle-cell disease and Prader-Willi syndrome (a scary eating disorder I've witnessed!) are all known hereditary disorders for which there is nothing known that restores one so diagnosed to wholeness. Perhaps if I had a choice among these, I'll choose something innocuous like color blindness. However, what if something I inherit is revealed to isolate me from God (Isaiah 59:2; Rm 8:7-8; 3:9-10)? WHAT DO I DO THEN?! What choices do I make that will rid me of my offensive inheritance, so that God will want to get close to me? If I can't rid myself of what offends Him, then the next action would have to be His. Either He will remain totally repulsed by my condition or He will find a way to overcome His revulsion. It is hard for a parent to stand back and watch a child stricken with ALS or Cystic Fibrosis slowly degenerate towards death without any intervention! So God's people MUST UNDERSTAND the mechanism of the Father's love in relation to our salvation (Jn 3:16-17; Rm 5:6-8). His people MUST UNDERSTAND the extent of His willingness (grace) to SAVE the fallen (Rm 5:18; 1 Cor 15:22). His people MUST UNDERSTAND the limits of His willingness (grace) to SUSTAIN those whose life He has SAVED (Rm 5:9-10). His people MUST bear WITNESS in CHARACTER AND SPEECH, the good news to all men (Ps 145:8-12).

    • We must also understand that the new birth will free us from all inherited defects that separated us from God which might have been acquired in the first birth and its upbringing. The second birth is of incorruptible seed and hence we are a new creature. 1 Peter 1:23.

      • I have friends and relatives who had suffered from inherited and/or acquired defects that make it very difficult for them to connect with God. Being born again has not removed those defects but rather is an indication of accepting God's promise, "My grace is sufficient for you."

    • Lynrol, I think it is all a matter of surrender. We will all surrender... either to the prince of darkness or to The Light of the World. There is no further effort, "cooperation" or works on our part that will help us beyond what Jesus does in us and through us after we fully surrender to Him. We even need Him to stay surrendered (John 15:5).

      I would prefer to replace the word "cooperate" in the lesson with "surrender." "Cooperate" sounds too much like my effort (i.e., cooperation) contributes to my salvation when, in fact, the only thing I contribute to my salvation is the sin I need to be redeemed from.

      My answer to all three of Friday's questions is "surrender to Jesus."

      Happy Sabbath 🙂

      • Seig, perhaps the fact that God calls for our willing surrender makes it a matter of cooperation to some. Works either way, if we understand it correctly.

      • Sometimes the expressiveness of the English language makes it too easy for us to widen nuances of meaning when there is no real need. Cooperation and surrender can have overlapping meanings within the context we are discussing here. We are not saved because we have an eloquent explanation of the process of salvation.

        My wife and I have been happily married for 48 years. We have cooperated and surrendered, and a few other things as well. None of the words are adequate to describe a love relationship. We could say we work on our marriage, but that too is a poor description. There is a mystery about the marriage relationship that is beyond a mere verbal description.

        Likewise, salvation, is an experience beyond words and to appreciate it, you really have to experience it.

        I like mangoes. They are juice, sweet, have a texture like a ripe peach and taste like - well ... I have a box of 28 mangoes (make that 25 now) and if you really want to find out I will share one with you - then we will both know what the experience of eating mangoes is like. (apologies to those people who do not like mangoes)

        The shared experience of salvation is the way to surrender/cooperate/receive ...

      • Sieg, my concern is whether as followers of Christ's teachings that sin is a problem of the mind (Mk 7:19-23), we might have misunderstood human choice, with respect to God's "work in us" raised by the discussion question. It is observable that humans have and do make choices, but how do our choices matter in the face of something INHERITED, as Scripture appears to reveal (Gen 8:21; Deut 5:29; 1 Cor 2:14; Rm 5:12)? The law of human inheritance binds the choice of parent and offspring (Jer 13:23)! Neither my parents or I chose whether I have one head, two eyes, ten fingers etc, even though they desired a normal offspring. So someone of abnormal birth, in order to be restored to normal, would only be able to trust him or herself to some proven, post-birth therapy for that restoration--yes, all we bring "is the sin I need to be redeemed from." John, who taught the way to salvation (Lk 2:76-77), pointed to that "therapy" (Jn 1:29) for our not-so-insignificant mind problem. Our conversations around human choice, if understood based on God's revelation, BEGINS FIRST within the care of our Creator (Jn 3:16) unwilling to see His creation/offsprings succumb to a created deviant's design (1 Jn 3:8; Jn 3:17). Based on Jn 3:16, it is the LOVE of the "Therapist" that actuates the belief/choice of the one in imminent danger of perishing (Rm 5:10). That model has never been or will ever be subject to variation or adjustment. I appreciate your expression that, "We even need Him to stay surrendered (John 15:5)", but OUR ABILITY TO surrender is also a result of His action (Philippians 2:13; Rm 5:18). Scripture reveals a sinister, inescapable reality against which our daily choices are ineffective (Jn 8:44; Rm 7:14, 21; 5:12). I'm not sure that the full plight of our humanity has completely dawned on our consciousness. Isn't that how deception is defined (Rev 12:9)?

    • Is Gods love selective? Most all of the physical mishaps known to man will surface at one time or another. How we respond to those mishaps is not always the way God does. Yes God does Love equally. But in our heart of hearts do we choose how or who? The questions may not be the right ones even if they appear to be obvious. The answers may be even less obvious. Mostly because we are not all the same.

  7. An answer to the three questions that I fine helpful is:

    "If we would humble ourselves before God, and be kind, courteous and tenderhearted and pitiful, there will be one hundred convertions to the truth where now there is only one"

    EGW Testimonies to the Church, Vol 9, pg 189

  8. I agree with those who say we have been immensely blessed by the study of Job. Many lessons have been learnt and, I will by God's apply them in my life. The book of Job sets out to establish the justice of God in His dealings with men. Human suffering assumes centre stage and questions arise as to how God relates to this thorny issue. Job is introduced as a man of great piety:"blameless and upright,and one who feared God and shunned evil"(1:1);a man of great prosperity (1:2). But Job loses all of his wealth, all of his children, then his health, and then the support of his wife. Job's "friends" arrive on the scene to comfort and console him. They endeavour to come up with reasons why Job could suffer somuch. They conclude that Job must be a terrible sinner. Of course, Job never denied that he was a sinner. Indeed, at the end of the book he confesses great depths of sin. But in reference to this suffering, he maintains, he is innocent. He'd served God faithfully. He questioned God, but never rejected Him. His words show a kind of struggling faith, but not contentious unbelief. Clearly then lne important lesson of the book of Job is that suffering often comes as the result of an unseen conflict between God and Satan. The devil had come before God to boast about his success in the world and God responded by pointing to Job and his godliness and faithfulness. To which Satan respknded: "He only serves you for what he gets out of it! Sure he's faithful! Why shouldn't he be? Look at all the wealth you have given him!" He threw down the gauntlet and falsely accused Job before God. And to prove Satan wrong, God accepted Satan's bet. A further lesson to be learnt from Job's experience that inadequacy of human reasoning is inadequate tk explsin tradegdy and suffering. God does not give us all the details but He has given us more than enough information to trust Him. The third lesson from Job's is that God is sovereign and supreme over Satan and our suffering. God is not absent. That Satan is not God. God is God. And the devil is His devil. God is love. The God Who loves me such that He sent His Son to die in my place. Finally, we may not know the reasons for our suffering but there is a God whom we do know, Whose rule is unchangeably firm over all circumstances of life, Whose character is unchangeably just, and Whose heart is unchangeably good and loving and gracious. Through Jesus Christ, we know Him. And knowing Him we may trust Him implicitly.


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