QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION ON SUNDAY'S SCRIPTURES 080209

Psalm 23 – Lessons from the Valley
Learning to Trust God – Job 1:1 – 2:10
1. Job 1:6-12 & 2:1-6 present a challenging view on the source of suffering. This narrative almost establishes a challenge or bet between God and Satan – where Job is the object, or as one person put it, a pawn in their game. The rest of Job’s story makes clear that the point is not how Job and his family came to be under this great suffering. Rather, it points to how we remain in relationship with a God who is wholly other, completely righteous and just, when life is in fact filled with all sorts of painful and challenging experiences. Job losses family, goes broke, suffers physically, and because of this would have been scorned by his neighbors. Even his wife finally says, “Just curse God and die you fool!” (Italics mine). How does this part of the narrative fit with or challenge what you believe about God and the world?
2. How would you feel if someone suggested that part or all of the story may not be historical, but rather is told to teach a moral – much like Jesus’ parables?
3. Job says, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.” And then “Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?” How much to you really believe that all you have comes not from your own hard work, cleverness or luck, but from God’s provision?
4. What does that say about all those who lack even the very simplest necessities to feed and clothe their children and keep them healthy?
5. Twice (v1:22 & 2:10) we are told that Job did not sin with his lips or blame God. What might it look like to sin with the lips in this case? In what ways has Job refrained from sinning?
6. How does someone develop the kind of faith that Job demonstrates here? How close are you?

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