2016 4th Quarter
Lesson 11, December 3-9, Out of the Whirlwind
Thursday, December 8
When considering how God answered Job out of the whirlwind, we ought to keep this Scripture refreshed in our minds: “Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth
unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” KJV, Psalm 25:8-10.
When asking questions of Job, God was teaching him “in the way.” In Job 42:5, Job confesses that his experience had been based upon the teachings of others in his life–parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. His education and faith were established by godly ancestors through the process of oral history.
Now that God had personally revealed Himself to Job–for the first time, it appears–Job’s faith is greatly strengthened. He recognizes that his doubts expressed to his friends are sinful in their influence. While he had reiterated how he would have treated his friends differently if their circumstances were reversed, he also recognized that his knowledge of God through the exhibits of nature had been dwarfed and darkened.
What we should take away from this week’s study is that God will often work to win souls in a manner in which we do not understand. Souls have been won to God through the suffering and deaths of His saints. Just as God saw value in the city of Nineveh, and sent Jonah there–via the belly of a fish, and looking all strange because of that experience–to minister to those who were seeking a better life, God saw value in Job’s three friends. The best way to teach them was to allow trouble to a man more righteous than they.
In one sense, Job is a type of Christ. He didn’t deserve these punishments. He was righteous in God’s sight. But when in conversation with the Devil, God didn’t mention Job’s three friends as righteous! They were more deserving of punishment than Job. Now, Job didn’t suffer their punishment in their place. But, whenever we see someone suffering–whether from their sinful lifestyle choices or not–we need to recognize that but for the grace of God we would suffer those same judgments mingled with mercy. We would do more to win the suffering souls to God by strengthening their faith in a compassionate God who hears our cries in our distress, and heals all our diseases.
“The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. 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.” Psalm 18:4-6.