Lesson 3 April 14 - 20

Grace Under Pressure - Noah and Job

Memory Text: (Job 42:1-2 RSV) Then Job answered the LORD: {2} "I know that thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of thine can be thwarted.

"Scripture from the NEW KINGS JAMES VERSION" Copyright © 1982: Used by permission

Sabbath Afternoon


The Stories' Settings

(Gen 6:5 NRSV) The LORD saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually.

(Gen 6:5 NKJV) Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

(Job 1:6 NRSV) One day the heavenly beings came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.

(Job 1:6 NKJV) Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.


Noah: End-Time "Fanatic"

(Gen 6:3 NKJV) And the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years."

(Heb 11:7 NKJV) By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 308

Those who think they must preach definite time in order to make an impression upon the people do not work from the right standpoint. The feelings of the people may be stirred and their fears aroused, but they do not move from principle. An excitement is created; but when the time passes, as it has done repeatedly,

Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 308 (Continued)

those who moved out upon time fall back into coldness, darkness, and sin, and it is almost impossible to arouse their consciences without some great excitement. {4T 308.1}

In Noah's day the inhabitants of the old world laughed to scorn what they termed the superstitious fears and forebodings of the preacher of righteousness. He was denounced as a visionary character, a fanatic, an alarmist. "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." Men will reject the solemn message of warning in our day, as they did in Noah's time. They will refer to those false teachers who have predicted the event and set the definite time, and will say that they have no more faith in our warning than in theirs. This is the attitude of the world today. Unbelief is widespread, and the preaching of Christ's coming is mocked at and derided. This makes it all the more essential that those who believe present truth should show their faith by their works. They should be sanctified through the truth which they profess to believe; for they are a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. {4T 308.2}

Noah preached to the people of his time that God would give them one hundred and twenty years in which to repent of their sins and find refuge in the ark, but they refused the gracious invitation. Abundant time was given them to turn from their sins, overcome their bad habits, and develop righteous characters. But inclination to sin, though weak at first with many, strengthened through repeated indulgence and hurried them on to irretrievable ruin. The merciful warning of God was rejected with sneers, with mockery and derision; and they were left in darkness to follow the course that their sinful hearts had chosen. But their unbelief did not hinder the predicted event. It came, and great was the wrath of God which was seen in the general ruin. (p. 309){4T 308.3}

(Gen 7:10 NKJV) And it came to pass after seven days that the waters of the flood were on the earth.

(Gen 7:17 NKJV) Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth.

(Gen 8:3 NKJV) And the waters receded continually from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters decreased.


The Torment Of Job

(Job 1:14-15 NRSV) a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were feeding beside them, {15} and the Sabeans fell on them and carried them off, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you."

(Job 1:14-15 NKJV) and a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, {15} "when the Sabeans raided them and took them away; indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"

(Job 1:18-19 NRSV) While he was still speaking, another came and said, "Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house, {19} and suddenly a great wind came across the desert, struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; I alone have escaped to tell you."

(Job 1:18-19 NKJV) While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house,

{Job 1:19} "and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"

(Job 2:12 NRSV) When they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him, and they raised their voices and wept aloud; they tore their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads.

(Job 2:12 NKJV) And when they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven.

(Job 9:33 NRSV) There is no umpire between us, who might lay his hand on us both.

(Job 9:33 NKJV) Nor is there any mediator between us, Who may lay his hand on us both.

(Job 10:18 NRSV) "Why did you bring me forth from the womb? Would that I had died before any eye had seen me,

(Job 10:18 NKJV) 'Why then have You brought me out of the womb? Oh, that I had perished and no eye had seen me!

(Job 19:14 NRSV) My relatives and my close friends have failed me;

(Job 19:14 NKJV) My relatives have failed, And my close friends have forgotten me.


Faith - The Source Of Persistence

(2 Pet 2:5 NRSV) and if he did not spare the ancient world, even though he saved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood on a world of the ungodly;

(2 Pet 2:5 NKJV) and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;

(Job 19:25 NRSV) For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth;

(Job 19:25 NKJV) For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth;

(Rom 3:21-22 NKJV) But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, {22} even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;

(Rom 10:3-6 NKJV) For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. {4} For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. {5} For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, "The man who does those things shall live by them." {6} But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' " (that is, to bring Christ down from above)

(Rom 3:17 NKJV) And the way of peace they have not known."

(Job 19:25 NKJV) For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth;

(Rom 3:23 NKJV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,


The Vindications

(Gen 9:1-3 NKJV) So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. {2} "And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. {3} "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.

(Job 42:7 NRSV) After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite: "My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.

(Job 42:11 NRSV) Then there came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they ate bread with him in his house; they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him; and each of them gave him a piece of money and a gold ring.

(Job 42:11 NKJV) Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the LORD had brought upon him. Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold.

(Job 42:12 NRSV) The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys.

(Job 42:12 NKJV) Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys.

(Job 42:13 NRSV) He also had seven sons and three daughters.

(Job 42:13 NKJV) He also had seven sons and three daughters.

(Job 42:17 NRSV) And Job died, old and full of days.

(Job 42:17 NKJV) So Job died, old and full of days.


Read Job from the RSV

Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 117 - 118

Chap. 10 - The Tower of Babel To repeople the desolate earth, which the Flood had so lately swept from its moral corruption, God had preserved but one family, the household of Noah, to whom He had declared, "Thee have I seen righteous before Me in this generation." Genesis 7:1. Yet in the three sons of Noah was speedily developed the same great distinction seen in the world before the Flood. In Shem, Ham, and Japheth, who were to be the founders of the human race, was foreshadowed the character of their posterity. {PP 117.1}

Noah, speaking by divine inspiration, foretold the history of the three great races to spring from these fathers of mankind. Tracing the descendants of Ham, through the son rather than the father, he declared, "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren." The unnatural crime of Ham declared that filial reverence had long before been cast from his soul, and it revealed the impiety and vileness of his character. These evil characteristics were perpetuated in Canaan and his posterity, whose continued guilt called upon them the judgments of God. {PP 117.2}

On the other hand, the reverence manifested by Shem and Japheth for their father, and thus for the divine statutes, promised a brighter future for their descendants. Concerning these sons it was declared: "Blessed be Jehovah, God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant." The line of Shem was to be that of the chosen people, of God's covenant, of the promised Redeemer. Jehovah was the God of Shem. From him would descend Abraham, and the people of Israel, through whom Christ was to come. "Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord." Psalm 144:15. And Japheth "shall dwell (p. 118) in the tents of Shem." In the blessings of the gospel the descendants of Japheth were especially to share. {PP 117.3}

The posterity of Canaan descended to the most degrading forms of heathenism. Though the prophetic curse had doomed them to slavery, the doom was withheld for centuries. God bore with their impiety and corruption until they passed the limits of divine forbearance. Then they were dispossessed, and became bondmen to the descendants of Shem and Japheth. {PP 118.1}

The prophecy of Noah was no arbitrary denunciation of wrath or declaration of favor. It did not fix the character and destiny of his sons. But it showed what would be the result of the course of life they had severally chosen and the character they had developed. It was an expression of God's purpose toward them and their posterity in view of their own character and conduct. As a rule, children inherit the dispositions and tendencies of their parents, and imitate their example; so that the sins of the parents are practiced by the children from generation to generation. Thus the vileness and irreverence of Ham were reproduced in his posterity, bringing a curse upon them for many generations. "One sinner destroyeth much good." Ecclesiastes 9:18. {PP 118.2}

On the other hand, how richly rewarded was Shem's respect for his father; and what an illustrious line of holy men appears in his posterity! "The Lord knoweth the days of the upright," "and his seed is blessed." Psalm 37:18, 26. "Know therefore that the Lord thy God He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations." Deuteronomy 7:9. {PP 118.3}

For a time the descendants of Noah continued to dwell among the mountains where the ark had rested. As their numbers increased, apostasy soon led to division. Those who desired to forget their Creator and to cast off the restraint of His law felt a constant annoyance from the teaching and example of their God-fearing associates, and after a time they decided to separate from the worshipers of God. Accordingly they journeyed to the plain of Shinar, on the banks of the river Euphrates. They were attracted by the beauty of the situation and the fertility of the soil, and upon this plain they determined to make their home. {PP 118.4}

Here they decided to build a city, and in it a tower of such stupendous height as should render it the wonder of the world. (p. 119) These enterprises were designed to prevent the people from scattering abroad in colonies. God had directed men to disperse throughout the earth, to replenish and subdue it; but these Babel builders determined to keep their community united in one body, and to found a monarchy that should eventually embrace the whole earth. Thus their city would become the metropolis of a universal empire; its glory would command the admiration and homage of the world and render the founders illustrious.

Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 117 - 118 (Continued)

The magnificent tower, reaching to the heavens, was intended to stand as a monument of the power and wisdom of its builders, perpetuating their fame to the latest generations. {PP 118.5}

(Heb 11:1-39 NKJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. {2} For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. {3} By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. {4} By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. {5} By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. {6} But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. {7} By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. {8} By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. {9} By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; {10} for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. {11} By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. {12} Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude; innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. {13} These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. {14} For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. {15} And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. {16} But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. {17} By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, {18} of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called," {19} concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. {20} By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. {21} By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. {22} By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones. {23} By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's command. {24} By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, {25} choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, {26} esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. {27} By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. {28} By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. {29} By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned. {30} By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. {31} By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. {32} And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: {33} who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, {34} quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. {35} Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.

{Heb 11:36-40} Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. {37} They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented; {38} of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. {39} And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, {40} God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.