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Bible Study Guide for Sunday, October 10, 2021

October 7, 2021
  • Job 23:1-9, 16-17
  • Psalm 22:1-15
  • Hebrews 4:12-16
  • Mark 10:17-31

In last week’s passage from Job, Job accepts his sufferings.  While his wife encourages him to “Curse God and die” Job is determined to accept the bad parts of life along with the good and see them all as coming from the hand of God.  He is able to do that for a while, but not forever.  This week’s passage is twenty chapters later and Job has reached his breaking point.  He is no longer saying “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord” but instead yearns to argue his case before God and demand that God explain this situation.  Job is confident that if he were able to argue with God, Job himself would come away vindicated.  This is a remarkable position to take with the Almighty and represents a very different attitude than we saw at the beginning of Job’s story.

At various times I have heard people refer to “the patience of Job” and figured they just didn’t know what they were talking about.  They must be referring to the Job we see at the beginning, just not realizing that Job is patiently accepting for about two chapters and outright furious for about thirty.  Then I found out that phrase comes from the Epistle of James.  In encouraging the early Christians to endure persecution, James says “You have heard of the endurance [other translations use “patience” instead of “endurance”] of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” James 5:11.  Presumably James was familiar with the entire book!

The “patience of Job” then cannot just refer to the acceptance we saw in last week’s reading.  The “patience of Job” also encompasses anger and outrage.  Throughout the book Job’s friends try to explain the situation away and Job will have none of it.  He doesn’t deny his anger, nor does he slink away to suffer in isolation, but brings his full fury to God.  He doesn’t think that God will answer him but still Job keeps trying, keeps praying his anguished, angry prayers.  We will see next week that God can handle Job’s anger.  This painfully honest faith is what James holds up as a model of endurance.  – Kristen Filipic

  • Have there been times when you were able to accept suffering for a season, until it all became too much?  How did you relate to God during those times?
  • What does it look like to be both faithful and angry?
  • How do we endure in times of suffering?


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