Bible Reading - Week 4
Last week you saw how when Joseph experienced evil and suffering God used it for good. This week you will read about Job, another man who experienced terrible suffering. With Job, however, the purpose for his suffering is not so discernable. His experiences remind us that life is often complex and painful, without clear answers to all of our questions.
VERSE OF THE WEEK
Job 23:12 I have not departed from the commands from his lips; I have treasured the words from his mouth more than my daily food.
DAY 1 Job 1-5
- Take note as you read of all that gets taken from Job. Try to imagine how you would react if you suffered so much loss so quickly. How would it challenge your faith?
- What does Job wish for in chapter 3?
- According to Eliphaz, what is the reason for Job’s suffering? Do you see any flaws in his advice to Job?
DAY 2 Job 6-9
- What does Job want most from God? From his friends?
- What is Bildad’s explanation for Job’s suffering?
- In chapter 9 Job seems to be on the brink of despair. Pause to pray for someone you know who is facing a despairing situation and ask God to give that person strength to persevere.
DAY 3 Job 10-13
- Clearly Job is disappointed with the way God is dealing with him. Yet he refuses to give up on God! Let this encourage you during difficult times.
- The third of Job’s friends, Zophar, chimes in with his advice to Job. Why are Job’s friends proving not to be helpful to him?
DAY 4 Job 14-17
- Job’s friends determine to take another run at correcting Job’s views. Do you detect a sharper tone in Eliphaz this time around (compare chapter 15 with chapters 4-5)?
- Try to feel Job’s emotions, especially as you read chapters 16-17.
DAY 5 Job 18-21
- Is Bildad’s tone also sharper as he takes another crack at Job (compare chapter 18 with chapter 8)?
- Note how alone Job feels in chapter 19. Yet even now he has not lost faith. Pray for God to give you such a strong faith that you will hold on to him no matter what happens.
- In chapter 20 Zophar appeals to history in an attempt to argue that the wicked only enjoy momentary joy and happiness. In chapter 21 Job does not accept Zophar’s conclusion. Why do you think he doesn’t?
DAY 6 Job 22-24
- Eliphaz decides to try one more time to persuade Job to change his mind, this time by accusing him of various acts of unkindness to others. What proof does he have of such accusations? Job 1:1 gives a different assessment of Job, informing us that he “was a man of complete integrity, who feared God and turned away from evil.” Also, Job later defends himself against these charges (31:16-23).
- How do you respond when falsely accused? You may want to read 1 Peter 3:8-17 for some help with this.