- What is the book of Job? (Lesson for October 1, 2016)The book of Job is written as poetry, loaded with symbolism and parallel structure. The book is carefully constructed, as if it is intended for memorizing and even public presentation. Far greater than that, however, is the message of Job. What does Job have to say to you and me as we struggle to live a Christian life in the midst of evil and suffering? What us the deep message in this book of conflicting and even tangled descriptions of Job’s problems?
- We start at the end. Our lesson study begins by contemplating the way Job’s story ends. What is it about the end of the book of Job that is filled with happiness? Would you be willing to suffer as Job did if you knew for sure that the end would be loaded with riches and joy? But who knows how your life will end? As Christians how should we consider the end of our existence?
- How other lives ended. Continuing with the theme of life’s end, the author of our lessons presents the tragic end of life for well-known Bible characters. Think of the tragic way the life of these Bible characters came to an end: Abel, Uriah, Eli, King Josiah, John the Baptist, Stephen. How do these end-of-life experiences compare with the death and resurrection of Jesus?
- The end of Job’s life. After his wife, abundant children and wealth are restored to job, what was missing, according to our lesson author? Is your life filled with unanswered questions? What caused Job’s remarkable recovery? Healthful living? Unceasing prayer? A miracle? What is the cause of events in your life that helped determine the course of your existence? Do you need to know?
- The history of Job. What lessons await discovery by the eager Christian in the story of Job? Can you connect Job’s experience in any way to the promise of eternal life? To the plan of salvation? To a life of dedication to God? Have you ever, whether you meant to or not, played the role of one of “Job’s friends?” In what way(s) was Job’s death not the end of his existence? Or his testimony to us Christians today?
- The resurrection and the life. Will you have questions for Job when you see him in heaven? What would you like to hear from him? Does the promise of life eternal make up for the reality of life before the Second Coming? What can you and I do today to prepare our hearts for the eternal resurrection?