READ: Job 9-11
THINK: Why? It's one of the first and favorite questions toddlers learn to ask-and they ask it repeatedly in response to any answer anyone gives them. It's a simple question, but depending on the situation, the answer can be extremely complex. Sometimes, it seems there is no answer-even from God. The most difficult thing for Job to accept was God's persistent silence through a painful situation that seemed to have no purpose. God will sometimes allow you to go through dark and difficult times when He seems distant and unresponsive. Yet even when God is silent as you endure serious problems, He has a plan for your life, which you'll discover as you continue to trust Him.
RESPOND: What did Job recognize about people's condition in relation to God? (See 9:2 note.) How did Job view God's power and personality (4:12)? Though Job knew that no one is innocent before God, did he think he'd done anything wrong in this situation (9:21ff)? Why or why not? What seemed to confuse Job most about his suffering? (See 9:17 note.) Is it more difficult to deal with a crisis if you know the cause or if you have no idea of the reason, and why? Why does God sometimes allow us to go through difficulties where He seems distant and unresponsive? (See 9:17 note.) How does Job's longing for a mediator between him and God point to the work of Jesus Christ? (See 9:33 note.) How does Jesus bridge the gap between God and people? Though it seemed to Job that God was not pleased with him, how can you tell that Job still trusted God? (See 10:1 note.) Did Job seem concerned about physical healing? Why or why not? What appeared to be Job's main concern? (See 10:2 note.) What misperceptions are apparent in Zophar's argument, particularly regarding suffering? (See 11:1 note.) How had Zophar misunderstood Job's comments and motives? (See 11:5 note.) Why must we be careful in giving advice in difficult situations?
PRAY: Give God thanks for His power and righteousness, and for mercifully making these things available to you. Thank Him for His constant presence, whether you feel He's there or not. Thank Jesus for bridging the relationship gap between you and God the Father.
ACT: Work to build a bridge of relationship with someone who doesn't know Jesus, so you can influence this person for Christ. If you can, visit someone who is sick or shut-in. If you can't visit in person, make a call.
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