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Tuesday: The (Partial) Restoration — 34 Comments

  1. I am disappointed with the SS commentary for the lesson of JOB....seems the author is \"looking for despair\" when the story of JOB IS a story of suffering then redemption and prosperity....why is the author of this month\'s lesson so reluctant to allow the story of prosperity and abundance to be explored instead of despair and doubt??

    • You know, as I was reading this lesson, I felt discouraged, and I did not understand why they dwelled on the negative point of Jobs life or an even the characters. I understand what they are saying but it was full of dispair. I know they are saying that alot of messed up things will happen to some of us, and we will never know why, until God comes. But while these things are happening, we have the promise of God's second coming, to fall back on.

    • I completely disagree with the comment of disappointment. The author has touched on great truths that we rarely look at as a church. There exist what is called partial restoration applicable now, while we waiting for the appearance of our saviour. I am a young woman and I lost both my parents, it is not an easy life. I do not have siblings but God has restored me partially but that doesnt mean there is lack on the side of God.

      In reality I do long for a Mother-Daughter relationship and a Father-Daughter relationship. I am happy in Christ, but the pain and the need of both my parents still lives inside of me. Thats the message the author is trying to get across. It is ok to have those needs and questions but still have no answer. What ever restoration, it will never close the void they left in my life. We should stop turning a blind eye to such needs. The story does not give doubt or despair but it does highlight that there are things that can never be replaced and we should not have those expectations either. But we do look forward to be reconciled with our loved one when our Saviour appears!

      • What \"great truths\" of disappointment and disillusion have we missed as a Seventh-Day Adventist Church??...SDA Churches are filled with individuals who feel shame and remorse for their sin...which is good as long as they experience repentance and joy...

        What we do seem to miss as Seventh Day Adventists is the joy of living, which is the joy of overcoming Satan, overcoming trials and the joy of prosperity and personal wealth....in my experience as an SDA for 30 years, is that it seems to me, that the Church condemns or makes one feel ashamed of prosperity and wealth.

    • Please be patient Brother.We have only just begun. The author has to build a foundation then take us to the end of the building and in this case the ultimate end which is when Christ returns and rescues us all from the curse of sin.Please read 1 Cor. 4:5

    • I hope I understand your question and I surely would like to try to explain what I feel. Yes, God showed Job prosperity and abundance, and this is good to explore, but even in all this there is still the reality of what this world has to offer in comparison to what God's ultimate plan is for us. In today's lesson it hit on it, Job still had situations that arose, but because of his trials he probably had more hope than before. Knowing that his (and our) fiery trials are but for a moment but work in us a far more exceeding weight in glory.

      I think this lesson shows me, in this life we will have problems, suffering, and death, but the real end is when Jesus returns and it is said so well in Revelations, there will be no more death, no more tears, no more sicknesses, for the former things will be no more. The controversy will be over, we would have made it, and heaven will be cheap enough. So, don't just look at the prosperity on this earth, that will pass away, we will suffer, but look for the blessed hope that will come when Jesus appears again. I don't know if I even said anything that may be an answer to what you are asking, but I surely pray God will reveal to you more about suffering, for in the end we will be redeemed.

  2. Hello All,

    In my opinion, it's less about doubt and dispair and a reminder prosperity in this fallen world is imperfect as compared to the world that is yet to come. We do face trials, we do have unanswered questions. This focus has reminded me that only when Jesus returns will we have true prosperity.

    It has brought new light to my understanding of what Job went through, the good (our usual focus) and the bad.

    May we all meet in Heaven, and sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him answer our every question. This is my hope.

  3. Because the reality of life is that: the story that ends "... and they lived happily ever after" is only in children' stories. The reality of life is that there are some questions which linger at the end of every story. That is why we need to meet the author of life's stories to explain to us why?

  4. This week's lesson has been tackled philosophically by the author. One would really have a hard time digesting all the arguments put forward in the lesson. At some point it appears as though he only looks at life in a negative sense, admonishing us to look at life with a despondent and pessimistic eye (after all we all going to end up dying).

    On the other hand though, (and rightly so), he is simply tackling the complexities of life, the lot of man, the endless journey of mankind mirrored in the book of Job. What meaning is there to our life if in the end we all die?

    We often aspire to be great and possess great riches so that we can look down with a sense of superiority upon those who are poor and below us by our own measure. But that is not true greatness. That which does not increase the value of the soul is no real value in itself.

    Ask Solomon he will tell you it is vanity. And says Christ: What shall it profit man if he gains the whole world and finally loses his own soul?

    That's the author of the lesson refuses to focus on the trivia and trifling wealth but rather focuses on the bigger picture of the story. What will be our ultimate end when all is said and done. Let that be our focus.

  5. True, God never wiped Job's memory, he well remembered everything and this helps if necessary when testifying about our Lord, and Job never allowed the past to torture him, God is always there fore us.

  6. I am comforted by the text . Sometimes we tend to question God and ask why, and it does discourage us. Sometimes when we see situations that we have no answers for. Lord help us to continue to trust you.

  7. The SS quarterly has just opened up and started the discussion of Job. I'm sure the author is going to put it all into perspective (the good and the bad) but ultimately wants to keep us focused on the spiritual battle that we face every single day on earth. We should all be able to relate to suffering and the many questions of "Why?", but there is a bigger platform to the story, the spiritual warfare that is taking place on this earth that will exist until Jesus returns.

  8. That is so true. Gloom and doom depicts the life of Job. A real round the bush commentary from the author. So much to learn from Job, a man of God with strong faith and perseverance, consistency, honesty, and so much more that could be written. Hope the coming lessons will be good.

  9. Because Mark, many of us who go through severe trials do not see prosperity and abundance in this life. However, the author want us to not lose our faith but keep holding on to the Lord. As the text in 1 Corinthians 4:5 says," Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the heart...."

    So when you pray for healing for a niece who at 34 is diagnosed with inoperable cancer and dies 3 months later, leaving a husband and a 3 year old daughter, you do not blame God because you do not understand why He allowed this to happen, you hold on to Him.

  10. I am sure we are going to learn a lot of different lessons from the experiences of Job. So far I have learned - trust the LORD, He has a plan for each one who submits their will to Him. It might be smooth or it might be rough but the main thing is He will be with us all the way and "the end" on this earth is only the beginning of eternal life on the perfect, peaceful earth made New.

  11. The theme of Job involves theodicy (the vindication of divine goodness and providence in view of the existence of evil)
    How can a loving omnipotent God, who spoke the universe into existence, allow suffering that is so widespread on Earth? This question is what causes many to be atheists and for even Christians to be deists or frustrated.
    The SS lesson author focuses first on the latter part of the book of Job.

    Here is what I think is very significant.

    "And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath." JOB 42:7

    When one does not speak right about God, they are actually involved in idolatry. Their salvation is at risk.
    Note JN 17:3--And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Job's "friends" did not know God.

    How many/much of the choices and events of everyday living is God IN CONTROL of?

    Can God allow free will if He is in control of all suffering, including individual hang ups, halitosis, and hangnails?

    Have you heard statements like.."the world is getting out of control"?

    At the end of the study of Job, we can be like his friends who do not speak right about God..because we don't know Him, or like Job who knows Him and speaks right about Him.

  12. 1 Corinthians 4:5 implies that these lessons are inspired by God. Only He knows the beginning from the end, "I AM ALPHA ..." Revelation 22:13 and that we should wait on Him. Only He knows why He allows the things of life happen to us. It is not for us to know the why or all the answers NOW, that's where faith begins. But we will understand it better by and by. 1 Corinthians 13:12.

    So what should we be doing NOW. We should be following 2 Peter 1 5-8. ..."giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue to virtue knowledge, to your knowledge selfish- control, to your self-control perseverance, to your perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love..." And I'm adding Peace.

  13. The story of Job does not only mark the chapters of our life, but it grants us the assurance that whatever we go through in this life, though it may be our stubborn humanity the cause, we have a loving eternal father-Jesus Christ who is in control of it all...He does not give us more than we can bare...Satan does not have all the control.what is your partial restoration after the futile difficulties on this life's journey? Let us examine ourselves then we will focus less on what God CAUSED, but what is God helping you through.

    • Karen,

      Where in the bible do you get the concept that Jesus is in control of all? The word "control" is not in the bible once in KJV. In the NKJV, the word is there just a few times and mostly dealing with, self-control.

      If Jesus was in control of..all, would not everyone be saved, since He is not willing that any should perish?

      How would there be free will or volition if Jesus was in control of all?

      This quarter's study is a time to really think through these issues. If one does not really know how involved God is in the affairs of this planet, there is the tendency to create a fanciful, smooth thinking idol of God/Jesus.

      The theological tension is between deism and universalism. Both concepts are idolatry.

      • Jim Bob, by the very fact that God is 'omnipotent,' He is, indeed, in control of all. However, He chose to give us free will because only creatures with free will can truly love. So He limited Himself in how much control He exercises.

        The book of Job actually tells us a little how His omnipotence interfaces with free will: Job is serving God of his own free will, but Satan claims that Job only serves God because God puts a hedge of protection around Him. So God allows Satan to take away all the prosperity and even most of the people in Job's life. But Satan cannot touch Job's life because God does not allow is. This demonstrates that God allows Satan a lot of latitude (free will even for the fallen angel!!), but He still exercises control in how much He allows Satan to do.

        If, in fact, God were not omnipotent, thus "in control" by virtue of His power, we would not have to settle the question of theodicy. We could just say that God is doing "the best He can."

        • Inge,

          Thanks for your input. This is a situation where it is important to define and explain terms. You brought up "omnipotent" which is used 1 time in the bible..(REV 19:6) How powerful is a God who can speak a universe into existence and yet most on Earth will not be saved. (Matt 7:14). Jesus could heal very few in certain areas (MATT 13:58)

          Jesus cried over Jerusalem and was not able to save many (MATT 23:37)

          Jesus stands at the door and knocks, but doesn't kick the door down and flood the dwellers with grace.. against their will.

          How can God be in control of all, if he limits Himself?

          What does "control all" really mean if He limits the amount of control He exercises.

          In Dan 10:13 there is a 3 week delay before Michael assists the one sent to Daniel.

          In 1 Cor 10:13, God provides a way of escape for those who are tempted, yet He doesn't force one to take the escape path. If He did , all believers would cease to sin immediately.

          • Jim Bob, read Inge's response again because she has in fact answered your questions. God is omnipotent and can save everyone by force. That is not His nature. As Inge has said He has given to everyone of us free will for only creatures with free will can truly love. If God saved everyone by force, there would be chaos in the new earth. People would not be truly transformed. Salvation is a free gift but we have a part to play. We need to want to be saved and accept the free gift of salvation. Again, in the case of Daniel and the response to his questions, God could have easily hindered Satan's work but His reputation is at stake. The angels, the other beings from the unfallen worlds have to see that God is loving and just and respectful of our choices. It is not just our world that is involved. This world is a showcase for the entire universe.

  14. I believe that the author is not taking away from the restoration and redemption received by Job, but reality says, all was not complete joy, he lost his children, his workers, if you have lost a child, 10 could never replace that one, so the pain still remains. He is simply reminding us to look beyond the restoration, focus on the hope.

  15. I believe the author expresses the reality of this sinful life we live. This world is not our home, we are just passing thru. Is anything in this life really truly a happy ending? I believe the only truly happy ending is in eternal life with Jesus Christ.

  16. Indeed, a clear understanding of God is superior in importance to an unfolding of all the reasons for divine providence.
    Thanks God for this lesson for the days like these.

  17. Job was an upright man in a sinful world, although he never knew how what he went through came about, but he knew whom he believed.. Did he truly deserve what he went through? Would he had choosen that part if only he has known? Did his gain (restoration) really equal the sorrow?

    Think about Enoch and Elijah, from what was revealed in the scripture they didn't experience half of Job's sorrow yet they had happier ending. But here is one thing i'm certain of, everyone of the bible stories and characters were legacies meant for our generation and MAYBE generations to come. I think we are far too familiar with the postive ending to the story of Job, this other perspective to me is also an eye-opener. There has and will never be any complete fullfillment in this life but we have this hope that burns within our hearts, hope in the (second) coming of our Lord.. May the Lord open our eyes and minds to the inspirations that come from His words.

  18. Jesus Himself promised that in this life ("in the world,") we would have tribulation, John 16:33, and even in Acts 14:22 Luke assures us that "much tribulation," accompanies those who follow Jesus in hope of eternal life. In the same verse of John 16:33 Jesus also promised that "in Him," we wold have peace and to therefore be of good cheer. Jesus also promised in John 10:10 a more "abundant life..." in Him. I would say that while the S.S. Commentary tends to focus more on the negative, it should not lose sight of God's Promises and should try to reconcile all of the book of Job with All of the story of Jesus and God's goodness in sending Jesus His Son to not only help us to live life to its fullest in Him but also to not lose sight of the hope of His soon coming and life eternal in his soon coming kingdom.

    • Thanks Pete for pointing out that when Christ lives in us, then not only is this life more joyful and peaceful (regardless of trials and tribulation) but we will also soon join Him in heaven and WILL "live happily ever after" (Daniel 7:18).

  19. There is a lesson of comparison that the author wants us to learn and thus he looks at the extreme situation of Job's difficulties and his ultimate restoration. Job experienced partial restoration but his loss and pain remained very much alive, if not for himself or his material possessions, for his family.

    He is hopeful nevertheless that He will see his redeemer one day and all will be explained to him. He is filled with confidence and trust that his questionings will be satisfied. Let us like Job learn to trust God inspite of our difficulties and challenges and even when we are not able to explain what is happening in our lives.

  20. Revelation14:12....Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus....
    The lesson writer wanted us to understand that though Job's wealth was restored but there were scars that could not be restored until Jesus comes....


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