Job God and Suffering
I. The Bible and Suffering
A. The Reality of Suffering:
Because of the fall, we are all broken people with broken lives and we are living in a broken
B. Reasons for suffering:
We are all sufferers under sin because of
• the fallen world
• the sinful actions of others
• our own sinful actions
II. Job’s Suffering: The Situation (Job 1-2)
“Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is
blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
Job is a singled out by God himself as blameless and upright.
Satan argues that this is only because God has blessed Job and protected him from
God permits Satan to attack Job
In a single day sudden tragedies strip Job of his wealth and family. Satan afflicts Job with
agonizing open sores. Through all of this Job remains faithful.
III. Job’s Friends: Why Suffering (Job 3-31)
A. Explaining Suffering: Moralize suffering
Good people get good stuff and bad people get bad stuff. Therefore, if you are suffering you
must have done something to merit it.
This is actually karma which stand against grace. Grace says the worst get the best and the
worst inherit the wealth of heaven.
Eliphaz (Job 4:1-8) Isn’t your piety your confidence and the integrity of your life your hope?
Consider: who has perished when he was innocent? Where have the honest been destroyed?
In my experience, those who plow injustice and those who sow trouble reap the same. OT Final Study guide
Bildad (Job 8:1-7)
Since your children sinned against him, He gave them over to their rebellion.
If you are pure and upright, then He will move even now on your behalf and restore the
home where your righteousness dwells.
Then, even if your beginnings were modest, your final days will be full of prosperity.
Zophar (Job 11:11-15)
As for you, if you redirect your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer —
if there is iniquity in your hand, remove it, and don’t allow injustice to dwell in your tents —
then you will hold your head high, free from fault. You will be firmly established and
Job’s friends are wrong. Why is Job suffering?
Job is suffering not because he has done something bad but because he is good
B. Explaining Suffering: Minimize Suffering
Minimizing suffering involves the attempt to downplay or reduce the extent or nature of
Job’s Friends (Job 5:17 & 22)
“See how happy the man is God corrects; You will laugh at destruction and hunger and not
fear the animals of the earth.”
Job’s Friends (Job 8:21)
“He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with a shout of joy.”
Job’s Friends (Job 11:16-17)
“For you will forget your suffering, recalling it only as waters that have flowed by. Your life
will be brighter than noonday; its darkness will be like the morning.” Explaining Suffering - Minimizing Suffering:
When we minimize suffering we have denied its existence, we
have reduced people’s pain to something smaller than it
actually is, and we fail to engage the brokenness for what it
really is. OT Study Guide
Explaining Suffering - Educational Suffering: (Elihu)
Suffering isn’t always punishment. God may use suffering to teach
and to get a person’s attention.
Job (Job 38-41)
Job has heard enough from his friends. He does not respond to Elihu and instead asks for an
audience with God. Job wants God to provide an answer for his suffering.
God (Job 38-41)
God himself speaks to Job. God does not tell Job why he permitted the suffering. He simply
reminds Job of two basic truths:
God is great beyond human comprehension
Human beings are weak and limited
The answer God provides is not to a question of “why,” “what,” or “how.” Instead, His
answer is “who” The “Who” always beats the “why,” “how,” and “what.”
We don’t need answers as much as we need God’s presence in and through our suffering.
“The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of men.” G.K. Chesterton
The great reversal in Job's life (Job 42):
The three are admonished by the Lord for their council of Job.
Job is given twice as much as he possessed before. His relatives come to him and re-establish
their relationships with him. Ten children were born after Job's period of affliction ended.
A. Suffering shows us that explanations are a substitute for trust.
We assume that an explanation can heal our hurt, that information can heal our broken
heart. We don’t need answers as much as we need God’s presence in and through suffering. B. Suffering shows us that brokenness precedes usefulness. 2 Cor. 4:7-10
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars
containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from
ourselves. OT Study Guide
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not
driven to despair.
We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not
destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the
life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
C. Suffering points us to ___________________ who is familiar with our suffering.
In Job, a decent man suffers some _________________ things. This directs us to Christ where
the best of all mankind suffered from the __________________ of all mankind.
Israel’s Worship Manual: Instructions in Lament and Praise
I. Psalms: The Basics
The book of Psalms is all about relationships. It assumes that its readers are in a close
relationship with God.
Any good relationship requires communication and the book of Psalms is a collection of
A relationship has highs and lows, and so there are praise psalms and lament psalms.
II. Organization of the Psalms
This book is an anthology of 150 hymns, covering a great many themes and situations. They
have been grouped into 5 different “books:”
• Book I: Psalms 1-41
• Book II: Psalms 42-72
• Book III: Psalms 73-89
• Book IV: Psalms 90-106
• Book V: Psalms 91-150
1. Moses - 1 psalm (Psalm 90)
2. David - 73 psalms (mostly in Books I and II) 3. Asaph - 12 psalms Asaph was a chief musician of David, evidently a choir leader in the
temple) (cf. 1 Chron 15-16; 15:3-4; 16:5, 7). Asaph was also a percussionist commanded to
play loudly (1 Chron 15:19)
4. Descendants of Korah - 11 psalms (42, 44-49, 84, 85, 87, 88; Korah was the Levite who
rebelled against Moses and was punished with death [Num 26:10f.], but whose descendants
occupied important places in the temple).
5. Solomon - 2 psalms (72, 97)
6. Herman the Ezrahite - 1 psalm (88; Heman was the founder of the choir known as the
"sons of Korah" [1 Chr 6:31,33,39,44], & was fabled for his wisdom [1 Ki 4:31])
7. Ethan the Ezrahite - 1 psalm (89; probably identical with Jeduthun, and thus founder of
one of the 3 levitical choirs [1 Chr 15:19; 2 Chr 5:12], also known for his wisdom [1 Ki 4:31])
8. Anonymous - 49 psalms which give no indication as to their authorship OT Study Guide
IV. Duration of the Psalms
The book of Psalms spans about 1,000 years - from Moses to the return from the exile.
Compare their duration to our praise and worship songs:
• Be Thou my Vision (1912)
• Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (1757)
The first book (Psalm 1-41) was collected in the time of David. The last book (Psalms
107-150) was collected around the time of Ezra, some six hundred years later.
V. Flow of the Psalms
The movement of individual lament psalms, and the movement of the book as a
whole, is from lament to praise.