2016 4th Quarter
Lesson 11, December 3-9, Out of the Whirlwind
Sabbath, December 3
“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding?” KJV, Job 38:4.
The story of Job’s trials begins with a disastrous array of events involving the loss of all of his flocks and herds, the death of all his servants shy three to bear the news of enemy attacks and the falling fire of God, and then the fourth servant who tells of a great wind coming from the wilderness to sweep all of his children into the arms of death. Job has no clue as to the reason why this has all happened in one calamitous day. As a sign of mourning, he tears his mantle, shaves his head, falls to the ground, and worships God. He puts his trust in God, even as he did while sacrificing on behalf of his children.
Just when one would hope that things don’t get worse, Job gets the most painful episode of boils imaginable. He appears to be on the verge of death, which his wife thinks is too much. So she tempts him to curse God and die.
Then three of his friends come to visit. They are miserable comforters, unconsciously acting the part of Satan’s agents as they engage in concerned accusations of Job’s apparent indiscretions. Job defends his integrity as though it originated with himself, and casts doubts on God’s integrity for allowing these events to happen to him without cause.
Elihu reprimands all four men for their varied positions of opinion. He sternly reminds them, “Far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity. For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways. Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.” KJV, Job 34:10-12. In this expression, we see the Psalmist in agreement. “For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He liveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” KJV, Psalm 33:4-6.
This week, we will be studying how God joins the conversation, concealed in a whirlwind. In a seamless transition from Elihu’s remarks, He will challenge Job to reconsider his position in the proper scheme of, and relationship with, his Creator.
“In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears…. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.” KJV, Psalm 18:6, 9-11.