SOURCE FOR QUESTIONS
Job 38:1 through 42:17
KEY VERSE FOR MEMORIZATION
“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.” (Job 42:5)
In the lengthy dialogue between Job and his friends, recorded in chapters 4 through 37, Job had frequently expressed his longing to have God respond to his questions. In these chapters, Job’s wish was granted and God’s silence was broken, though not in the manner Job had expected.
By refraining from cursing God at the loss of his loved ones, health, and material advantages, Job had disproved Satan’s contention that he would not serve God without reward. By persisting in his assertion that sin and suffering are not linked in a cause-and-effect sequence, he had silenced his friends’ accusations. However, in defending his own integrity, he had questioned the integrity of God and characterized Him as being unjust. He felt God had not been consistent in His moral jurisdiction of the world, and that God had an unjustifiable enmity against him.
Job seemed to presume that his own finite mind could comprehend and even challenge the infinite mind of God. It was this presumption that God addressed in His approach to Job, chiding him for his empty words about a subject far beyond his knowledge. With poetic beauty, God presented Job with a series of hard questions related to His work as the Creator of the universe.
Job’s repentance and submission concluded the dialogue between God and Job, and the final verses of the narrative (Job 42:7-17) record the restoration of Job — an inspiring conclusion to this account of true worship and integrity in the face of extreme adversity.
- In chapters 38 and 39, God referred to the grandeur of creation, and by implication pointed to the power and wisdom of the One who could create such a universe. In one or two sentences, summarize the essence of the questions that God asked Job in chapter 38. Why do you think God said what He did and why in this tone?
- God spoke of very broad topics such as creating the earth (Job 38:4-7), but also of details of creation such as clouds and rain (Job 38:37-38). What does this tell us about God, and how does this help the Christian have hope?
- Throughout his trial, Job often complained about God’s seemingly unjust treatment of him. In Job 40:2, God asked him, “Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him?” How do we bring our cares to God without lapsing into complaining about our circumstances?
- Job had been so absorbed in his terrible trial that he overlooked the revelation of God which is apparent in every part of the universe. God’s eloquent speech and series of questions in chapters 38 and 39 hit their mark. According to Job 40:3-5, how did Job respond to God’s question in the preceding verses? What does his response tell us about Job’s spirituality?
- While Job had a new understanding of his insignificance compared to the majesty of God, God was not yet finished. In Job 40:6 through 41:34, He again spoke out of the whirlwind, challenging Job to demonstrate his power if he thought he was equal to the Omnipotent Creator. God had spoken glowingly of Job in Job 1:8 and 2:3, so what did Job mean when he responded by saying he would “repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6)?
- At the conclusion of the dialogue between God and Job, God still had not answered all of Job’s questions. Should a Christian always have to know the reasons God does what He does? Why or why not?
- As we conclude our study of Job, what key lessons stand out to you from this book?
Job despaired about life when his troubles seemed the worst and God was silent. However, he refused to curse God and became an encouraging example of one who held onto God without knowing the specific end of his trial. Can we also trust God with our unanswered questions?