Saturday, October 20, 2012

Job 34

Today's reading in our daily plan is Job 34. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • In this chapter, Elihu keeps speaking to Job.
  • Elihu probably spoke from a genuine place in his heart but his beliefs about God were still wrong. Elihu believed (as did the other companions of Job) that if someone suffered as Job did then God was punishing them for sin. This is a faulty view of how God interacts with humankind. God always acts out of love because God is love. Sure, sometimes in his love God disciplines us. However, it would be wrong to assume every time someone suffers God is punishing them. It’s just not what the Bible teaches us about God. This may be the case at times but more often than not the Bible teaches us that God is “long suffering.” This means that God waits to react to our sins with the desire for us to turn from our sin and towards him.
  • Elihu scolded Job for saying he wasn’t guilty and saying he was being wronged for nothing. When, the truth is, Job was being “wronged for nothing.” Job was being tested by Satan to try to get him to turn against God. This is the part of the picture Job couldn’t see. God wasn’t behind his pain and suffering, Satan was. 

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • What did you take away from our reading today? Maybe we can simply think about this: we don’t know as much about God, or how God, acts as we think we do. God is so much bigger than we can ever comprehend; it’s a big part of what makes him God and us not. Through reading the Bible and having a genuine relationship with God we can “know” a lot about God but not everything. And it would be rather pretentious of us to act as if we have it all figured out. 
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • When there are times we don’t understand why God is acting or not acting as we would expect (or like) then perhaps we should resign to the fact that it may be a “part” of God we don’t fully understand yet. 
  • Furthermore, instead of just “trusting” God let’s learn to trust in what we can know about God through reading the Bible and having an intimate relationship with him. 
  • Through the Bible, we know that God is love, offers us his love and grace, greatly values each of us and wants a relationship with us. That’s really good news for us and more than enough for us to focus on. Take a moment today and thank God for being bigger than you can understand and ask God to help you trust in what you do know about him rather than fret over what you don’t understand.