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Monday: Who Our Father Is — 11 Comments

  1. A friend and I were discussing one of the dilemmas facing the Seventh-day Adventist church some decades ago. My friend, who was quite a well-known theologian said, "When this topic comes up I just keep talking and talking because I don't know the answer!" While his comment was said somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I think we all know what he meant. Some of the most difficult questions produce a lot of talk and discussion without producing a lot of clarity.

    When we read the book of Job from beginning to end, we ultimately realise that there are not a lot of answers, and there are a lot more questions.

    I propose that there is an a practical answer in the story of Job and you do not need to read to the end to find it. It is found in Chapter 2

    Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.
    And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.
    So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great. Job 2:11-13 KJV

    Job's friends came and suffered with him for a week without saying anything. It was only after they opened their mouths and started trying to explain everything that they got into trouble.

    It is true that God does not thunder his explanations from the heavens. Rather, his compassion and understanding is revealed through his human agents who show his compassion and understanding through their actions.

    Carmel loves sharp kitchen knives. She reckons that the sharper the knife the less likely you are to cut yourself when you are cutting up vegetables. When she does cut herself, as inevitably happens, I race to the first-aid cupboard and get the appropriate bandaid and bind up the wound. Then I finish the job of cutting the vegetables myself while Carmel recovers her spirits and dignity by sitting in her favourite chair. I learned long ago, that offering explanations and, worse, instructions, does little to soothe the problem.

    If we are going to make any headway at all in this pain, suffering, sin problem we have to show compassion and empathy rather than explanations.

    I submit that we often get very forensic about the plan of salvation, the cross and the crucifixion, we write and preach explanations ad-nauseam. God suffers with us. It was an act of unselfish love; action, not an explanation.

    • Maurice - Thank you for your encouragement to always trust God and continue to express our love for Him through continued kindness, compassion and empathy of our fellow man!

  2. Study asks:
    Are things that you just can’t understand happening now?

    Job 1:1-5
    1 There was a man in the country of Uz named Job. He was a man of complete integrity, who feared God and turned away from evil.
    2 He had seven sons and three daughters...
    5 Job thought, “Perhaps my children have sinned, having cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice...

    This is a #type# of the eternal plan of salvation in the Godhead.
    (Father and Sonship in unity of purpose in Holy Spirit)

    I'm sure you can see the anti_types !

    Who/What is Job ultimately ?
    Who are we?
    Do we share suffering for priesthood?

    Colossians 1:15-20
    Ephesians 1:9-14
    1 Peter 1:18-20
    1 Peter 2:6-10
    Colossians 1:24
    2 Corinthians 11:16-33

    Keep on Trucking (meme)
    Shalom in his endurance 🙏

    • But what does Job 1:3 mean where it says that Job was the greatest man of all the men of the east? Was Job the wealthiest of all the men of the east? Did Job have more children?, more wealth? More wisdom? More what?

      • What WEALTH did the WORD of God have with his Father in eternity?
        Proverbs 8:30

        Matthew 6:19-20
        Google/study types and anti-types in scripture .. letter to the Hebrews is a great example.

        What do you consider as wealth that lasts ?

        Shalom brother!

  3. The LORD does reveal Himself and what He is going to do. The Word of the LORD is full of prophecies about what is going to happen. When we compare Scripture with Scripture we learn more about the character of the LORD.

    Amos 3:7 MKJV  For the LORD will do nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.

    Joh 15:15 MKJV  No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master does. But I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

    Deut 29:29, Gen 18:17-19, 2Tim 3:15-17, Ex 34:6-7

    • Shirley, I'm so glad that you pointed this out. We just saw in Sunday's lesson how God told Habakkuk what He was going to do when He said that He was going destroy the wicked, so I was questioning why Chambers statement was even in our lesson. To me it seems to be contradicting.

  4. While it is true that "God does paint a picture of His unparalleled greatness as revealed through the astonishing works of creation", that is not all that God does.

    It is easy to skip over a key question Job asks at one of his most desperate points in his outcry in Job 9:24 - if it is not God who is causing injustice to happen, who then is it? This question echoes the conversation between God and Satan where Satan initially portrays God as the one who would afflict Job (see Job 2:5). However, God corrects this misportrayal by His response in Job 2:6 - placing the causal responsibility squarely upon Satan.

    And it is no coincidence that later, in Job 41, God devotes considerable focus to discussion of "Leviathan" (note especially a couple of the characteristics of Leviathan explicitly outlined by God Job 41:24,34). The significance of this is easily overlooked unless we are aware that ancient near eastern mythologies typically also included stories of a 'cosmic conflict' between a creation god/s and leviathan - with leviathan being synonymous with chaos and evil/maleficence. It is after this portion of God's discourse that Job states that he now sees something he didn't previously see. In light of this we can see God answering Job's question from Job 9:24 - it is Leviathan that is causing injustice, however I have him on a leash (Job 41:2) and he can only do what I will allow within my overarching orchestration. Though it is not explicitly stated what this overarching orchestration is leading to (eg Job 42:1), from Job's authentic response (Job 42:5) it is apparent that Job now sees this as a hope-inspiring orchestration rather than a distressing one that he previously mis-concluded.

    It is also interesting that Job is commended for speaking rightly about God in contrast with his friends (Job 42:7). Thus the idea that God shut's down Job's questioning and speaking out is, I believe, mistaken.

  5. Phil’s comments bring up the question – does God want to show us that we are more than flesh and bone; that we have a spiritual relationship with Him? Is God’s willingness to ‘gamble’ with Job’s life callous and cruel, or does He want to establish a Truth which, when understood, overcomes all the challenges of Job‘s experiences?
    Does He want to show us that keeping our faith in Him, regardless the circumstances, will ultimately bring about that which we all need to understand – peace in our heart and spirit and oneness with God?

    God tells Satan to ‘spare his life’; this is a curious statement in light of the power only God holds over Life and Death. I am trying to understand "Who our Father is" – what does God want to show His faithful servant Job and us? Is it that He is most powerful, or is it that we are more than flesh and bones - maybe both?
    I see Him demonstrating that we are more than our body, we are His spiritual children, formed in His Image and encouraged to be and remain part of His Spirit’s family by faith.
    Phil.4:19 - ”And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus”.


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