God is Sovereign and Benevolent
Comments for Study 9
Key verse: 36:5
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I. What Advantage Has a Righteous Man? (35:1-16)
>1. Read 35:1-3. Did Job say these things? Did he imply them? What does "righteous" mean in verse 7? In his reply to Job in 4-7 Elihu asked two questions; what is their answers? (8)
>2. When suffering comes what do people usually ask? (9) What isn't in man's natural nature? (10-11, Rom. 3:9-18) How does this help us understand God's ways? (12-16, James 4:6) How then can we know God? (Jer. 1:5, John 15:15)
Job 35:1-16 "Then Elihu said: 2 "Do you think this is just? You say, 'I will be cleared by God.'
3 Yet you ask him, 'What profit is it to me, and what do I gain by not sinning?'
4 "I would like to reply to you and to your friends with you.
5 Look up at the heavens and see; gaze at the clouds so high above you.
6 If you sin, how does that affect him? If your sins are many, what does that do to him?
7 If you are righteous, what do you give to him, or what does he receive from your hand?
8 Your wickedness affects only a man like yourself, and your righteousness only the sons of men.
9 "Men cry out under a load of oppression; they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful.
10 But no one says, 'Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night,
11 who teaches more to us than to the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the air?'
12 He does not answer when men cry out because of the arrogance of the wicked.
13 Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea; the Almighty pays no attention to it.
14 How much less, then, will he listen when you say that you do not see him, that your case is before him and you must wait for him,
15 and further, that his anger never punishes and he does not take the least notice of wickedness.
16 So Job opens his mouth with empty talk; without knowledge he multiplies words."
* Paul also pointed out that the prophets agree that on one seeks God. Romans 3:9-18 "What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." "Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit." "The poison of vipers is on their lips." "Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness." "Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know." "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
* James also pointed out that the prophets agree that God does not listen to the cry of arrogant. James 4:6 says, "But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
* How then can anyone come to know God? His sovereignty. (Jer. 1:5, John 15:15)
II. The Function of Suffering as Discipline (36:1-25)
>3. Is Elihu's self proclamations in 36:1-4 correct? See the Lord's rebuke in 42:7.
>4. What is the heart of Elihu's second point? (5) What does he say is God's purpose? (6-7) How are the righteous to be kings forever? (1 Peter 2:9-10, and 1 Tim. 6:15, Rev. 19:16)
>5. What is one way that God gets our attention in hope of us repenting? (8-10, Heb. 12:5-11) What does God do when we listen to his discipling? (11) What does God do if we don't listen to his correction? (12)
>6. What are we warned of? (18-21) What are some ways we can praise God? (24)
Job 36:1-25 "Elihu continued: 2 "Bear with me a little longer and I will show you that there is more to be said in God's behalf.
3 I get my knowledge from afar; I will ascribe justice to my Maker.
4 Be assured that my words are not false; one perfect in knowledge is with you.
5 "God is mighty, but does not despise men; he is mighty, and firm in his purpose.
6 He does not keep the wicked alive but gives the afflicted their rights.
7 He does not take his eyes off the righteous; he enthrones them with kings and exalts them forever.
8 But if men are bound in chains, held fast by cords of affliction,
9 he tells them what they have done-- that they have sinned arrogantly.
10 He makes them listen to correction and commands them to repent of their evil.
11 If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.
12 But if they do not listen, they will perish by the sword and die without knowledge.
13 "The godless in heart harbor resentment; even when he fetters them, they do not cry for help.
14 They die in their youth, among male prostitutes of the shrines.
15 But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction.
16 "He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.
17 But now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked; judgment and justice have taken hold of you.
18 Be careful that no one entices you by riches; do not let a large bribe turn you aside.
19 Would your wealth or even all your mighty efforts sustain you so you would not be in distress?
20 Do not long for the night, to drag people away from their homes.
21 Beware of turning to evil, which you seem to prefer to affliction.
22 "God is exalted in his power. Who is a teacher like him?
23 Who has prescribed his ways for him, or said to him, 'You have done wrong'?
24 Remember to extol his work, which men have praised in song.
25 All mankind has seen it; men gaze on it from afar."
* Elihu's claim in 36:1-5 that he gets his knowledge "from afar", his words "are not false", and "one perfect in knowledge" seems be be confirmed by the Lord because he does not rebuke him in 42:7 as he did the three friends.
* "the righteous; he enthrones them with kings and exalts them forever" -this is prophetic as Jesus his followers will rule with him. Also 1 Peter 2:9-10 states, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." And as Paul wrote, "which God will bring about in his own time--God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords," (1 Tim. 6:15) And in Revelation it is said of Jesus, "On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND Lord OF LordS." (Rev. 19:16)
* God discipline in good. Hebrews 12:5-11 says, "And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."
III. God's Creating Power (36:26-37:24)
>7. What truth does he declare in 36:26? Since Jesus is the LORD God, what does this tells us about him? (John 1:1-4, 14, 14:10, 17:11, 20:28; Heb. 1:3)
>8. What is Elihu describing in verses 36:27-30? What does he compare that to? (36:28-33) What does this mean?
>9. What does he say about God's voice? (37:1-13) What does Elihu ask Job? (14-24) How does he conclude? Remember Elihu's comments as we study the Lord's words in the next study.
Job 36:26-33 "How great is God--beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out.
27 "He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams;
28 the clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind.
29 Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds, how he thunders from his pavilion?
30 See how he scatters his lightning about him, bathing the depths of the sea.
31 This is the way he governs the nations and provides food in abundance.
32 He fills his hands with lightning and commands it to strike its mark.
33 His thunder announces the coming storm; even the cattle make known its approach."
* Jesus is the Lord God and is therefore worthy of the praise. Here are just five of the verses stating his divinity. John 1:1-4, 14 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
* John 14:10 "Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work."
* John 17:11 "I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one."
* John 20:28 "Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
* Hebrews 1:3 "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."
Job 37:1-24""At this my heart pounds and leaps from its place.
2 Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
3 He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth.
4 After that comes the sound of his roar; he thunders with his majestic voice. When his voice resounds, he holds nothing back.
5 God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.
6 He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,' and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour.'
7 So that all men he has made may know his work, he stops every man from his labor.
8 The animals take cover; they remain in their dens.
9 The tempest comes out from its chamber, the cold from the driving winds.
10 The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen.
11 He loads the clouds with moisture; he scatters his lightning through them.
12 At his direction they swirl around over the face of the whole earth to do whatever he commands them.
13 He brings the clouds to punish men, or to water his earth and show his love.
14 "Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God's wonders.
15 Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash?
16 Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of him who is perfect in knowledge?
17 You who swelter in your clothes when the land lies hushed under the south wind,
18 can you join him in spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze?
19 "Tell us what we should say to him; we cannot draw up our case because of our darkness.
20 Should he be told that I want to speak? Would any man ask to be swallowed up?
21 Now no one can look at the sun, bright as it is in the skies after the wind has swept them clean.
22 Out of the north he comes in golden splendor; God comes in awesome majesty.
23 The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.
24 Therefore, men revere him, for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart?"