Look Up At The Heavens
By Scarlett Stough
To prepare for this study, please read
the Women in Christ commentary Job’s
Wife and the Book of Job.
Part I. The Example of Job’s Wife
1. Job 1:1-5,8 What was Job’s character like? What was God’s opinion of Job?
2. Job 1:6-12 What accusation did Satan present against Job? In your own words, describe in a sentence or two the essence of this debate between Satan and God. What version of this debate have you heard discussed in modern times?
3. Job 1:13-19 What did God allow Satan to do to Job?
4. Job 1:20-22 How did Job react?
5. Job 2:1-5 What argument did Satan give God as to why Job chose to be righteous?
6. Job 2:6-8 What did God now allow Satan to use against Job?
7. Job 2:9 Put yourself in the shoes of Job’s wife. What had she lost? What would your frame of mind and emotional state be if you were to lose as much as she did? Put her statement to her husband in your own words.
8. Job 2:10 How did Job respond to her outburst? Would that have been any comfort to her? What is your honest reaction to Job’s words to his wife?
9. Job 2:11-13 Why did Job’s friends agree to visit him together? What was their initial reaction to his suffering? If you were in Job’s situation, would their initial effort have been of some comfort to you or not? Explain--with a personal experience if you have one.
10. Job Chapters 3-31 Summarize the theological reasoning for the accusations Job’s three friends made to Job about why he was suffering. (Job 8:3-7; 11:13-19; 15:1-5,14,20; 20:4,5,12-23; 22:4-11,21-23,29-30) Do you think there is any truth to their reasoning? Why, or why not? What parallels are there with people’s reasoning today in their view of suffering?
11. Job Chapters 32-37 At this point in the story, a fourth man, Elihu, speaks out. Summarize his point of view. (Job 33:12; 34:12; 35:5-8; 37:23-24) How does Elihu summarize Job’s point of view? (Job 34:9; 35:3)
12. Job Chapters 38-41 Summarize God’s revelation of himself to Job. (Job 40:1-2, 8,14: 41;11) Does he explain why Job was allowed to suffer? If you think he did, tell why you think God allows suffering. If not, explain what you think he wants us to learn from his message to Job?
13. Job 42:1-6 What did Job learn? What was his response to God?
14. Job 42:7-9 What did God have to say to Job’s three friends? Why do you think he said nothing about, or to, the fourth man, Elihu?
15. Job 42:10-17 After Job’s repentance
and reconciliation with God, what service did Job perform for his friends?
What rewards did God give Job? How did Job’s wife benefit from the Lord’s
Part II. From What He Suffered
1. James 5:10-11 What quality did Job express throughout his suffering? What qualities does God bring to our suffering? Why is it so difficult for us to see those qualities during a season of suffering?
2. Matthew 16:21; 17:12; Luke 22:15; Isaiah 52:13-53:1-12 What did Jesus expect to do as he fulfilled his mission on earth? Do you think this is relevant to this study of the Book of Job? Explain your answer.
3. Matthew 16:22-23 How did Peter feel about his Messiah having to suffer? What perspective did Jesus have?
4. Matthew 16:24-28; John 16:33 What perspective on suffering does Jesus expect his followers to have?
5. Matthew 26:36-46 Was the prospect of suffering easy for Jesus to face? What example do you see to follow from Jesus’ prayers on the night he was betrayed?
6. Hebrews 12:2 Why was Jesus willing to endure suffering?
7. Luke 13:1-5 According to Jesus, do tragedies befall only the most wicked people? Who needs to repent and why?
8. I Peter 2:21-25; Hebrews 2:5-18 What did humanity gain because Jesus was willing to suffer? (Refer to Isaiah 52:13-53:1-12)
9. I Peter 4:1-19; 5:10; Revelation 1:9; 2:8-11 How should followers of Jesus handle suffering? What do you think humanity has to gain, if anything, from the suffering of Christians?
10. Revelation 21:1-5 How will God ultimately
deal with the problem of human suffering?
Optional Discussion Questions:
1. Compare the elements of the account of Job’s suffering to the difficulties and rewards of living life as a follower of Christ.
2. In the Book of Job, God does not directly answer the question, “Why does a just God allow human suffering?” What question (s) should we be asking that God does answer in this book?