Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 13--4th Quarter 2016--The Character of Job  (Read 1627 times)

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Wally

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Lesson 13 December 17–23




The Character of Job



So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 13--4th Quarter 2016--The Character of Job
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2016, 01:28:44 PM »
Sabbath Afternoon


(Commentary in Navy Blue)


Read for This Week’s Study: Job 1:1, 8; Job 29:8–17; Job 31:1–23; Exod. 20:17; Matt. 7:22–27; Matt. 5:16; Eph. 3:10.

Memory Text: “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?” James 2:22.

In the midst of all the major issues touched on in the book of Job, we mustn’t lose sight of another crucial theme: that of Job himself. Who was this man whom the Lord trusted so much that He challenged the devil over his faithfulness and integrity? Who was this man who did not understand why all this was happening to him, who knew that what was happening to him wasn’t fair, who expressed anger and frustration over it all, and yet stayed faithful right through to the end?

"Expressed anger"? At who? Who did he think was afflicting him? God. Then he was angry with God?  God did not charge him with anger at Himself. He said Job condemned Him that he might be righteous. He charged him with perverting His counsel (truth).

If he was angry with God, how can we say he "stayed faithful"  in the midst of sin? Was he not unfaithful in that he was serving Satan, and not God? 


While the essence of the book of Job dealt with Job after the calamities struck, from this story we can pick up information about Job’s earlier life.

No, "the essence of the Book" is  also found in the character of Job before he was tried. When God points to a man's character as He did with Job, it says something the world and the universe need to see. Most especially those seeking the truth about the gospel of grace. How many have bought into Satan's lie that man living in sinful flesh cannot keep God's law? How many make excuses for their sins saying they are saved when they sin a known sin?


And what we learn about Job’s past and the kind of man he was gives us a greater understanding of why Job stayed faithful to the Lord, even amid all the terrible suffering, even amid everything Satan did to try to turn him away from God.

It was quite a battle. Even though Job sinned, he did not curse God as Satan said he would.  Why did Job praise God even after losing all he had except for his fallen wife? Imagine the worst physical pain you have been in. Did you praise God? Did you glory in tribulation? We are still waiting for the lesson to quote this verse found in Romans five. How did Job develop such a character? Is it important that we know how he became such a godly man?


What was Job like, and what can we learn about how he lived that can help make us be more faithful followers of the Lord as we live our own lives?

Was how Job lived important to the development of his holy character? What does the Bible tell us we can do to have a character like Job's? In what ways do we have to be "perfect" in order to have eternal life, or will we enter heaven with our "defects of character"?



Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 13--4th Quarter 2016--The Character of Job
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2016, 01:30:06 PM »
Sunday December 18

The Man From Uz


Read Job 1:1 and Job 1:8.


 1:1   There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name [was] Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. 
 1:8   And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 


What does this tell us about the character of Job?

Though Job had been told all through the dialogues that he must have done something wrong in order for all this evil to come upon him, the opposite appears to be the case. It was his goodness, his faithfulness, that made him the special target of Satan.

It is true that Job's perfection of character allowed God to challenge the lie Satan had been spreading, not just in God's church, but throughout the universe. What is the lie and why did Satan make up the lie?

It is not truthful nor rational to say all of the charges made against Job by his four friends came about because of his goodness. When his three friends began attacking him, this was true, but Job did not continue in the same character as what we read in Job 1:1. How can we say when sinning, God would still say Job was "perfect"? One's definition of perfect cannot be in accord with what God says is "perfect" when attempting to ignore Job's fall. All four friends of Job understood what God and Elihu reproved Job of, he was self-righteous.

How good and how faithful was he?

He was "perfect". He was walking in all of the light God had given him. In the midst of great trial, he praised God. He was morally perfect, even though he had not perfect knowledge. But, being morally perfect does not mean there is no room for growth. As the seedling corn breaks through the ground, is it not perfect? Place it under a microscope and you will see perfection, no defects. But, it is not mature. At each stage of growth it will reveal the perfection God gave it. Finally when the full corn appears in the ear, it is mature. So it is in the spiritual realm. When one is converted, makes a full heart surrender holding nothing back, then he is perfect, morally perfect. The Holy Spirit indwells the repentant sinner and each one of the fruits of the Spirit are seen in the life, not one is missing. Many will hate this truth, it is not in accord with what they teach, or what they have been taught, nor is it in harmony with their experience. Instead of allow the Spirit to teach them, they resist the truth that God brings to them, that they might know what it means to be a converted Christian.
 
Then where does sanctification, the work of a lifetime come into play? Like the seedling corn plant, as it grows to maturity there are changes that can be seen. The baby convert has all of the fruits, but he cannot withstand what Job did. It is ok. God has promised He will not allow Satan to try him as He allowed him to afflict Job, not yet. Do we not have a promise in Scripture that speaks directly to this truth? Which verse?

God will allow trials to come, and this has been left out of the lessons. It is through our trials that we mature or regress. We either abide in Christ or we develop a character in the wrong direction. Each day God measures a trial for each of us. When we are abiding in Christ, we reveal this in obedience to all that we know to do. As we grow in grace, the fruits of the Spirit, while already in the life, will become more abundant. This is a law that is easily seen in the world. The baby Christian is patient, but after being successfully tried, he will be more patient, able to endure more of a trial. We see this in the life of Christ, do we not? And, which Bible verse tells us this to be true?


First, the text tells us that he was “perfect.” This word does not have to mean “sinless,” as was Jesus. It comes, instead, with the idea of completeness, integrity, sincerity, but in a relative sense.

We an agree with this, even though the term "sinless" can mean without sin (not sinning), not just "sinless" as in having holy flesh. Sanctification comes at conversion, but is a progressive truth, as one becomes more knowledgeable, and stronger in bearing more abundance of the fruit of the Spirit.


The person who is “perfect” in the sight of God is the person who has reached the degree of development that Heaven expects of him or her at any given time. The Hebrew word for “perfect,” tam, “is equivalent to the Greek word teleios, which is often translated ‘perfect’ in the [New Testament] but which is better translated ‘full grown’ or ‘mature.’ ”—The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3, p. 499. Job’s later experiences revealed that he had not reached the ultimate perfection of character. Though faithful and upright, he was still growing.

We have expressed the truth about growing in sanctification, but feel the need to present the truth again in light of the first sentence in this statement.  There is a perfection at conversion wherein it has nothing to do with maturity. All must possess a holy heart, a holy mind, in order to enter heaven. The thief on the cross had his heart cleansed when he made a full surrender to Christ. He was holy, perfect, and undefiled then, when first converted. The natural mind is a carnal mind, so with the heart. They are made new when the Spirit takes possession of them. The true convert is morally perfect, just as was Job when he repented, and just as was Moses when he went into the grave, and just as was Elijah when God sent the chariot of fire to fetch him.

The blade of corn as it breaks through the soil represents the moral perfection we speak of. What has changed at conversion? The heart and mind. The motives of the one truly converted are pure, holy, and undefiled. He does not understand all. He may eat the wrong food, wear the wrong clothes, and keep the wrong day,  because he does not understand, but he is holy in that his heart is perfect towards God and his neighbor.


Second, the text says he was “upright.” The word means “straight,” “level,” “just,” “right.” Job lived in a way that he could be called “a good citizen.”

He lived in a way that rebuked those not converted, in the same manner Christ did. It is not just our words that bring conviction to others, but more important is our behavior, from a heart given fully to Christ.


Third, the text says he “feared God.” Though the Old Testament portrays the idea of “fearing” God as part of what being a faithful Israelite was all about, the phrase was also used in the New Testament for Gentiles who faithfully served the God of Israel (see Acts 10:2, 22).

Finally, Job “eschewed,” or shunned, evil. This characterization of Job was affirmed by the Lord Himself, when He said to Satan, “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” (Job 1:8 ).

In the end, Job was a man of God whose faith was revealed by the kind of life he lived; and thus, he truly bore witness “to angels, and to men” (1 Cor. 4:9) about what a person can be in Christ.

And so it will be with us. We too, may reflect Christ if we will abide in Him and He in us. We are to be witnesses to the world that there is a God who can change sinners into saints. When the church is converted, the the world will know there is a God, a God of love and great power. Church members need to become familiar with Ezekiel chapter 36, verses 22 and 23. 
"Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not [this] for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes." The world notices when the grace of God transforms the character.

If the book of Job were about you, how would the opening line read? “There was a ____ in the land of ____ who was _____ and _____ and who _____ God and _____ evil.”

The way we fill out this statement will depend greatly on whose truth we believe. Do we put our trust in the Bible or in the wisdom of man? If we will love the Lord God with all of  the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the mind, and with all of our strength, then God will say of us what He said of Job, we may be "perfect" and hate evil. We do not have to be mature, bearing the same development of character as had Job. But, we may have a holy and undefiled heart.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 13--4th Quarter 2016--The Character of Job
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2016, 05:51:24 PM »
Sunday December 18

The Man From Uz




Then where does sanctification, the work of a lifetime come into play? Like the seedling corn plant, as it grows to maturity there are changes that can be seen. The baby convert has all of the fruits, but he cannot withstand what Job did. It is ok. God has promised He will not allow Satan to try him as He allowed him to afflict Job, not yet. Do we not have a promise in Scripture that speaks directly to this truth? Which verse?

God will allow trials to come, and this has been left out of the lessons. It is through our trials that we mature or regress. We either abide in Christ or we develop a character in the wrong direction. Each day God measures a trial for each of us. When we are abiding in Christ, we reveal this in obedience to all that we know to do. As we grow in grace, the fruits of the Spirit, while already in the life, will become more abundant. This is a law that is easily seen in the world. The baby Christian is patient, but after being successfully tried, he will be more patient, able to endure more of a trial. We see this in the life of Christ, do we not? And, which Bible verse tells us this to be true?


I appreciated the lesson as we are studying it here. The answer to the first paragraph's last question is such an encouraging promise--that the trial will not exceed the grace God gives us to bear it, and so a trail that we could bear in a year will not be allowed today. Let us read it here:

1 Corinthians 10:13: "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

The fact that Jesus also experienced the growth of character perfection through trials, in answer to the last question, is found in Hebrews:

Hebrews 5
8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.


When we behold Jesus continually, and surrender to Him constantly, we will be enabled to overcome as He also overcame--because He will work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. Let us rejoice that God is faithful to complete what He has begun in us! Let us give God the praise!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 13--4th Quarter 2016--The Character of Job
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2016, 08:11:42 AM »
Amen! A Seventh-day Adventist pastor which knows not only his Bible, but the power of grace to transform the life. Evidence that God is leading His church. Revival and reformation is happening! Jesus is preparing a people to be His witnesses throughout eternity.

Pastor Sean is right, there is only one power in all of the universe to enable man to resist the temptation to sin. It is God's grace. It surrounds us as thick as the air we breathe. But, we must see it, we must drink it in if we are to be saved by it. We must behold the loveliness of Jesus in order to be transformed in character.

If we want to see the result of doing so, look at Job before he fell. What a character!!  Jesus wants to do the same for us all. And, as the pastor pointed out, He promises He will finish the work he began in us. Again, look at the life of Job. God was not finished with Job after chapter two. No, there was more patience for Job to learn. And, God was faithful to help Job gain a better character than he had in chapter two. Job was indeed perfect, and what patience he had. But, the fruit could become more abundant, for we see that there was a point where Job did not continue in patient endurance. He saw his sin and repented in dust and ashes. Why? Because he saw his sin and hated it. He remembered all that God had done for him despite his unloveliness, his unlikeness to God. Grace brought Job to repentance and then God blessed him more than before.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 13--4th Quarter 2016--The Character of Job
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2016, 08:14:38 AM »
Monday December 19

Steps Bathed in Cream


As Job struggled to come to terms with the calamity that befell him, he did think about his past life and how good it had been for him and how he had lived. Talking about the earlier days, Job said that in this time “I washed my steps with butter” (Job 29:6).

For instance, in Job 29:2, Job talked about the time that “[when] God preserved me”. The Hebrew word for “watched over” comes from a common word used all through the Old Testament to talk about God’s watchcare for His people (see Ps. 91:11, Num. 6:24). Beyond question, Job had the good life. The important thing, too, was that he knew that he had the good life.
 
It is true that Job is speaking of how people looked up to him. Why is this "the good life"?  When people say how "good" someone is, or how high his position is, does this work towards helping one become more Christlike? And, when Job continues on expressing how "good" he was, what does this say about Job? Is Job giving honor and glory to God?  What is self righteousness?

Many have a hard time in understanding why God would reprove Job for being self righteous, they do not recognize it in these chapters. Why not? And, when Job's three friends saw he was self righteous, they ceased arguing with him. And, when Elihu reproved Job of being self righteous, Job did not argue with him. Why not? There is much to be reconciled in the Book of Job.

So, Job had the "good life." Well....from experience I know that when God blesses it is a blessing. But, if we think living in this world, no matter how great the blessings, is the good life, we are in trouble. The world is full of evil beginning with me when I am not abiding in Christ and He in me. We stay here because God has a plan for us to help others, but if we want to stay here because we have the "good life" we don't see clearly. John understood, and he warns us: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1 John 2:15.

Job knew better, he had just lost touch with reality and was defending himself instead of God. He repented in dust and ashes.


Job had been greatly tried before God pointed to him above every other man and said
"there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil." Before Job could become righteous, he had to learn about his own nature, then he had to recognize he had no ability to change his nature. Then he had to learn that Christ could keep him from falling, He could cleanse his heart from all sin, but not his flesh. He had to learn of his complete dependence upon God to do any good thing. It is a long and hard process of coming to the place where Job was when he was God's evidence that Satan was a liar.

Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered (Hebrews 5:8 ), and so did Job. The Bible does not tell us of Job's suffering prior to God pointing to him, but it is an unfailing principle found in Scripture. It is why Jesus tells us,
"if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. " Matthew 16:24. Character such as Job's is only developed through strong battles with self and sin. It can only come when the heart is fully surrendered to Jesus. And, when it is not, we learn how sinful we are. It may take some time to understand we are evil by nature.

Read Job 29:8–17.

29:8   The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, [and] stood up. 
 29:9   The princes refrained talking, and laid [their] hand on their mouth. 
 29:10   The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth. 
 29:11   When the ear heard [me], then it blessed me; and when the eye saw [me], it gave witness to me: 
 29:12   Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and [him that had] none to help him. 
 29:13   The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. 
 29:14   I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment [was] as a robe and a diadem. 
 29:15   I was eyes to the blind, and feet [was] I to the lame. 
 29:16   I [was] a father to the poor: and the cause [which] I knew not I searched out. 
 29:17   And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth. 


What do these verses tell us about how others had viewed Job and how he treated those who were struggling?

We are sure it is true, all Job said about himself. Instead of asking what it tells us about "others", we need to see what it says about Job, and his then mindset.


We can see here just how much Job was respected. The phrase about his taking his “ ‘seat in the open square’ ” (Job 29:7, NKJV) brings in the idea of some sort of local governance, of which Job was obviously a part. Such seats would usually be given to the senior and respected members of the society, and among them Job was highly esteemed.

Yes, he is telling his three friends he held the highest seat.


But we can see that even the “lowest” members of the society loved and respected him. The poor, the perishing, the blind, the widow, the fatherless, the lame, and the blind—those who had not been blessed as Job had been blessed were the very ones to whom he gave aid and comfort.

“God has given in His word a picture of a prosperous man—one whose life was in the truest sense a success, a man whom both heaven and earth delighted to honor.” — Ellen G. White, Education, p. 142.

Amen! And Job is not bashful to remind his friends of who he was.


Verses like these and others (as we will see) show us why Job had been a very successful person in every way, both in the sight of men and of God.

It’s easy to be kind and respectful to the rich and the powerful and the famous. How, though, do you treat those who have nothing to offer you at all?

Many are having a problem seeing Job's sin. If it were not for God's rebuke of him, taking up the last five chapters in the Book of Job, even fewer would believe Job really did sin. I will admit it is not strange seeing men and women speaking of the great things they have done.  It even happens in the church. Men and women receive awards, commendations, and even trophies for their good works. Does the Bible have anything to say about such things? It does indeed. Maybe it is a lack of Bible education that presents us with the problem in not recognizing Job's sins, especially the sin of self righteousness.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 13--4th Quarter 2016--The Character of Job
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2016, 05:40:55 AM »
Tuesday December 20

Heart and Eyes


At first glance, in the texts below, it could sound as if Job were bragging, as if Job were parading his holiness and virtue and good conduct before others. This attitude, of course, is precisely the kind that the Bible condemns (see Matthew 23). But that’s not what was happening here with Job. Again, it is crucial to remember the context: he’s being told that his past life, a life assumed to have been pretty evil, is the cause of his suffering. Job, meanwhile, knows that this simply cannot be true and that nothing he had done made him deserve what had come upon him. So, he spends this time recounting the kind of life he lived and the kind of person he was.

There could be truth in what is being taught. There are two problems that reveal what the author says is not true. First, we know that Job knew God. He did not develop a perfect character that was able to praise God when he lost everything and was in great physical pain. When I say he knew God, I don't mean like you and I know God. He walked with God as Moses, Elijah, and Enoch knew God. Maybe not ready for translation, but pretty close. So, he understood what sinful flesh was and had overcome by the power of an indwelling Savior. It was the Spirit of God that gave Job power to praise God amid his great trials.

Knowing himself, and knowing God, he knew what self righteousness was. Daily he had to resist the desire to be prideful. Daily he praised God and hated sin. He loved not the things of the world, but he loved God supremely. He offered sacrifices daily for his family, knowing the power of the evil within and the need for a continual connection with Christ. Job could say he did not sin, this was true until he fell. Thus, his friends were wrong in the beginning. But, speaking the truth is one thing, defending one's character is another. Speaking of one's accomplishments in defense of self is not good. The Bible says we ought to let others do that.

Here is a statement that reveals where Job's heart was when defending self when his three friends were sinning.


Avoid anything in look or gesture, word or tone, that savors of pride or self-sufficiency. Guard yourself against a word or look that would exalt yourself, or place your goodness and righteousness in contrast with their failings. Beware of the most distant approach to disdain, overbearing, or contempt. With care avoid every appearance of anger; and though you use plainness of speech, let there be no reproach, no railing accusation, no token of warmth but that of earnest love. Above all, let there be no shadow of hate or ill will, no bitterness or sourness of expression. Nothing but kindness and gentleness can flow from a heart of love. Yet all these precious fruits need not hinder you from speaking in the most serious, solemn manner, as though angels were directing their eyes upon you, and you were acting in reference to the coming judgment. Bear in mind that the success of reproof depends greatly upon the spirit in which it is given. Do not neglect earnest prayer that you may possess a lowly mind, and that angels of God may go before you to work upon the hearts you are trying to reach, and so soften them by heavenly impressions that your efforts may avail. If any good is accomplished, take no credit to yourself. God alone should be exalted. God alone has done it all.  2T 52. 


Secondly, when Elihu reproved Job, he remained quiet. He did not argue because he knew he had not glorified God. When God rebuked Job for his self righteousness, Job repented in dust and ashes. Then, let us not defend Job's self righteousness. There is no reason to go against the Word of God. For then we would be guilty of just what Job had done, darkening God's counsel.

Read Job 31:1–23.

 31:1   I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? 
 31:2   For what portion of God [is there] from above? and [what] inheritance of the Almighty from on high? 
 31:3   [Is] not destruction to the wicked? and a strange [punishment] to the workers of iniquity? 
 31:4   Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps? 
 31:5   If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; 
 31:6   Let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know mine integrity. 
 31:7   If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands; 
 31:8   [Then] let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out. 
 31:9   If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or [if] I have laid wait at my neighbour's door; 
 31:10   [Then] let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her. 
 31:11   For this [is] an heinous crime; yea, it [is] an iniquity [to be punished by] the judges. 
 31:12   For it [is] a fire [that] consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase. 
 31:13   If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me; 
 31:14   What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? 
 31:15   Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb? 
 31:16   If I have withheld the poor from [their] desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail; 
 31:17   Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; 
 31:18   (For from my youth he was brought up with me, as [with] a father, and I have guided her from my mother's womb;) 
 31:19   If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering; 
 31:20   If his loins have not blessed me, and [if] he were [not] warmed with the fleece of my sheep; 
 31:21   If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate: 
 31:22   [Then] let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone. 
 31:23   For destruction [from] God [was] a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure. 


Poor Job. Where does he give the glory to God in this whole chapter? He has not given the glory to God, but to himself. Poor erring mortals, so blind in what is pride.


What else does Job say about how he lived before the calamities?

Notice, too, that Job wasn’t dealing only with his outward actions. The text “mine heart walked after mine eyes” (Job 31:7) shows that Job understood the deeper meaning of holiness, the deeper meaning of right and wrong and of God’s law. Job apparently knew that God cares about the heart, about our thoughts, as well as our actions (see 1 Sam. 16:7, Exod. 20:17, Matt. 5:28). Job knew that it was wrong to lust after a woman and not just to commit adultery with her. (Again, what powerful evidence for the fact that knowledge of the true God had existed even before the Lord called the nation of Israel to be His covenant people and a witness of Him.)

Amen! Job knew more about God and His ways than most today. He was not "miserable, wretched, and poor, and blind, and naked" until he separated from God. Unlike the Laodiceans of today, he had learned the lesson of his evil nature and his blindness was seen and repented of when reproved by God.


Read what Job said in Job 31:13–15. Why is this message so crucial?

Job understood God had changed him. He knew the power of grace to transform the life. He knew he had been good. This goodness, many deny today. They do not see the need to be transformed in nature as Job had been. There is such a thing as holiness. We know when we are walking with God. We have love and joy and peace. Job had not love, joy, and peace when speaking of his good works. He did not glorify God. The good works in helping others, his three friends, was missing. At the end of chapter 31, even Job's three friends could see that Job was self righteous. "So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes." Job 32:1. Sinners have no problem in seeing the sin in others.

Here Job shows an amazing understanding, especially for his time (any time, really) about the basic equality of all human beings. The ancient world was not a place where concepts of universal rights and universal laws were understood or followed. People groups thought of themselves as greater than and superior to others, and at times thought nothing of denying basic dignity and rights to others. Here, though, Job shows just how much he understands about human rights and that these rights originate in the God who made us. In some ways, Job was ahead of not only his time but ours, as well.

Amen! Job understood the difference between those who love God supremely and those who do not. It is the same today. Cultures and religions are not all the same, no matter how Satan has tried to repress true religion and exalt false religion and evil cultures. Job had been taught of God, but when one separates from God, he may still have understanding, but he then lacks God's righteousness. Self was waxing strong.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 13--4th Quarter 2016--The Character of Job
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2016, 11:22:08 PM »
Wednesday December 21

A House on the Rock

Read Job 31:24–34. What else can we learn about Job?

No wonder the Lord said what He did about the life and character of Job. This is a man who clearly lived out his faith, a man whose works revealed the reality of his relationship with God. This, of course, made his complaint all the more bitter: Why was this happening to me? And, of course, it made the arguments of his friends as vain and hollow as they were.

Actually, because of his three friends attack on Job's character, they made it a self fulfilling prophecy. Job did fall and became self righteous. And, Job's fourth friend's argument came from God and was not hollow at all. Job was self righteous as Elihu said.


But there’s a deeper and more important message that we can take from the reality of Job’s faithful and obedient life. Notice how closely the life he lived in the past was tied to how he responded to the tragedies that befell him later. It was not by chance, or luck, or sheer willpower that Job refused to “ ‘curse God, and die’ ” (Job 2:9). No, it was because all those years of faithfulness and obedience to God gave him the faith and character that enabled him to trust in the Lord, regardless of what happened to him.

Yes, and no. It was indeed his character that kept him from cursing God. But, any good thing that came from the heart of Job, came because of his connection with Christ. When he fell from grace, self was alive and well. But, he still did not curse God. When Moses struck the Rock, self was alive. His connection with Christ had been broken. But, he did not murder anyone. But, was angry with His brother without a cause. We need to be very clear on our teaching.
 

Read Matthew 7:22–27.

7:22   Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 
 7:23   And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 
 7:24   Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 
 7:25   And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 
 7:26   And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 
 7:27   And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 


What is found in these verses that reveals the reason Job stayed faithful?

The key to Job’s major victory here was found in all the “smaller” victories he had before (see also Luke 16:10). It was his faithful adherence to right, without being willing to compromise, that made Job what he was. What we see in Job is an example of what the book of James says about the role of works in a life of faith: “Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?” (James 2:22, NKJV). What an important principle of the Christian life is revealed in this text. In the story of Job we see this principle played out in a powerful way. Job was made of the same flesh and bone as all of us; yet, through the grace of God and his own diligent effort he lived a life of faithful obedience to God.

Yes, Job was faithful. But, to not include his sins in the discussion is very misleading. His faith did not hold fast through his trials. He fell. So, we need to discuss why he did not curse God. Yet, it was not until God rebuked Job that he prayed for his three friends. Was King David faithful? Yes, he was. But, that does not mean he did not fall.


What choices do you need to make in order to live as faithfully as did Job?

We need to be reconciled to God and maintain that conversion experience. What must we do in order to be converted, and how do we keep that connections with Christ?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

ejclark

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 13--4th Quarter 2016--The Character of Job
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2016, 07:02:34 PM »
Wednesday December 21

A House on the Rock


Yes, Job was faithful. But, to not include his sins in the discussion is very misleading. His faith did not hold fast through his trials. He fell.



From Education Ch. 16-Bible Biographies pg.155
Quote
Seemingly forsaken of heaven and earth, yet holding fast his faith in God and his consciousness of integrity, in anguish and perplexity he cried:....
Pg.156
Quote
By his patient endurance he vindicated his own character, and thus the character of Him whose representative he was.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 13--4th Quarter 2016--The Character of Job
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2016, 07:38:01 PM »
Thursday December 22

The Manifold Wisdom of God


Earlier in the book of Job, amid the back and forth between the characters, Eliphaz the Temanite said to Job: “Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect?” (Job 22:3). That’s a very ironic question, given what we know about what was happening behind the scenes in heaven. Yes, it is a pleasure to God if Job was righteous, and it was gain to Him if Job lived blamelessly. And this is true not just with Job—the same goes for all of those who claim to be followers of the Lord.

Read Matthew 5:16: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

How do those words help answer the question that Eliphaz threw at Job?

God purposed that Job would bring Him glory by His character--but Job could not give glory to God when Job himself focused upon his own "righteousness" rather than upon the righteousness of God. This verse needs to be seen as a call to continual trust in God to do any good thing--for we are liable to pride and self-righteousness if we take our eyes off Jesus or allow our minds to wander away from Him.

The immediate issue in the book of Job was, would Job be faithful? Satan said he wouldn’t; God said he would. Job’s faithfulness then was definitely to God’s advantage, at least in this specific battle with Satan.

This story, though, is just a microcosm of bigger issues. The first angel’s message tells us, in part, to “give glory” to God (Rev. 14:7), and Jesus explained in Matthew 5:16 that by our good works we can bring glory to God. This is what Job did; this is what we can do, too.

Job glorified God as long as he was abiding in Christ and bearing witness of God's goodness in the midst of the trials he was facing. But when Job allowed his mind to wander to himself and to the accusations of his three friends, rather than talking to God about it in prayer and opening his heart to Jesus as a friend, we understand that Job fell, and became self-righteous. That is why God could utter such a clear rebuke (always in love) to Job to lead him to see his continual need of Jesus to do any good thing. Job 38:1-2 "Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?" Job's repentance was quick and deep, and he saw what he had done in misrepresenting God's character by his sin of self-righteousness. "Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:6). God would not have us point to ourselves, but to Him! "Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips" (Proverbs 27:2). Even Jesus followed this principle, and allowed the Father to bear witness of Him: "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true." (John 5:30-31). Hence, it becomes clear why these words of Job were clearly out of place: "My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live." (Job 27:2). Only when we are willing to give glory to God in our tribulation do we truly represent Him in character, and thus glorify Him!

Romans 5:1-5
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Read Ephesians 3:10: "To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God." How was the principle expressed here revealed in the book of Job, but on a smaller scale?

We see in Job's experience the need to glorify God in trials. That is what Christian character building is all about. Job was one man who was a part of God's church on earth. He had formed a righteous character--but that character was not impervious to the assaults of temptation when Job lost sight of his continual need of Jesus to do any good thing. We need to learn the lesson. We need to realize that God measures the trials we face, and that He will not allow the trial to exceed the grace given us to bear it when we are abiding in Him. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10:13). Is this our experience? If it is not, then we need to come to Jesus just as we are--sinful, helpless, dependent, and ask Him to transform our hearts and minds to be filled with His Spirit. We will desire such a transformation as we take our eyes off of ourselves by looking to Jesus, for it is by beholding that we become changed. The mind will gradually adapt itself to the subjects which it is accustomed to love and reverence. That is why it would be so well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ--especially the closing scenes. As we see the great love of God for us in Christ, we shall learn also to glory in tribulation, and to see and experience our continual need of Him, whereby every trial shall be harmless to lead us to separate from His yoke of love and service. So powerful is the grace of God! 

What we see in this text, and in the book of Job, are expressions of the fact that God is working in the lives of His followers to change them, for His glory, into His own image. “The very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity. The honor of God, the honor of Christ, is involved in the perfection of the character of His people.” — Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 671. The life of Job was an example of how human beings may reveal this principle, even though Job lived many thousands of years ago. God’s people in every age have the privilege of living their lives in the same way, as well.

Amen! But Job was not revealing the glory of God when he took his eyes off Christ and began to defend himself. Yet we see that Job's period of probation remained open. Job had the opportunity to repent--deeply--and when he did, Job again reflected the character of God as one who was selfless and pure in heart, one who was wiling to pray for his friends and glorify God. Then God could trust Job with even greater blessings, for his character was was "perfect" (Job 1:1), but in an even more mature, full sense. When we go through a trial and learn the lesson God intends for us in it, we are more like our Savior than before, even though through the entire experience God would have us perfect in Him by abiding in Christ through the Holy Spirit and bearing all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing. (Job fell in his experience, but by sincere repentance came to glorify God.) If we are not abiding in Christ, our focus will be on self or something other than Jesus. Hence our continual need of Jesus to do any good thing. Let us see from Job the value of trials to help us realize how much we need Jesus, and how character is built through suffering.

What in your life brings glory to God? What does your answer tell you about yourself and how you live and what you might need to change?

We need testimonies here. My testimony is not enough. I have experienced many trials, including losing both of my parents and seeing how God has ever been faithful to provide and prepare me to be a minister. Jesus is everything to me, and without Him I can do nothing good. He is the one in whom I glory. If my testimony focuses upon the great things "I have done" rather than upon the loveliness of Jesus, and the great sacrifice He has made for me, then it shows that I have fallen and allowed my mind to wander from Jesus. The answer we give to these questions will reveal whether we give glory to God by revealing the loveliness of Jesus and speaking of His love, or whether we bring attention to ourselves. But we will not desire to speak of and think of Jesus constantly if we are not spending time with Him daily in that "thoughtful hour" we so much need!  Let us see our constant need of Jesus to rightly represent Him, the evidence of such an experience being that all of the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in the life--not one will be missing. What is your testimony of the loveliness of Jesus? My testimony is that reading daily in a chapter of The Desire of Ages, and reflecting upon what HE HAS DONE to save us from ourselves, has helped me to more fully realize and experience the loveliness of Jesus. Will you join us? It is an amazing experience!!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 13--4th Quarter 2016--The Character of Job
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2016, 06:19:31 AM »
If we do not see the "present truth" in the Book of Job, then what good has it been to study it? Pastor Sean has pointed us to the issue at hand. "The great controversy" is involved in the perfection of character of His people. There are lessons for us to learn from the Book of Job. The author of the lesson has not understood what plan God has put into operation that He may have a church rightly representing Him today, and tomorrow when probation closes and there is no Mediator between God and man. If the character has not been formed beyond the character of Job, then what? "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." Revelation 22:11.

We are not here to argue over what is written, but to enlighten a Laodicean church. Some are seeking truth. It is to these we present the truth. Too often our own experience colors the truth so that it is not understood. If we have not perfected a mature character such as Job had, then it may be harder to see what God had done in Job when God said he was perfect. If we have never been converted, then can we understand the power of grace to transform character at conversion? It is true that one's character cannot be as Job when first converted, but it can be perfect in that the heart has been purified, the motives are pure and holy. But, then many have been deceived on this point. So, then it is hard to understand the truth of the power of grace to cleanse from all unrighteousness at conversion. Thus, the gospel message is misunderstood. Yes, means no, and no means yes. Satan exults that he has deceived so many in God's last day church.

If we do not understand that to be self righteous is sin, then where does this leave us? If we do not understand, that repentance is sorrow for a sin, then what can we say? Moses was faithful, David was faithful, Elijah was faithful, but this does not mean they did not sin. When we study the great sin of Moses at the end of his life, some will not acknowledge Moses sinned a great sin. Why not? Because it does not fit with their "gospel". If Moses was guilty of sin, then their "gospel" does not work. They cannot allow Moses to be separated from God when his sin was not "willful". Thus, the rejection of the truth that when reconciled with God, we do not sin. When converted we manifest all of the fruits of His Spirit, not one is missing.

We do not possess a character such as Job when after he lost all he had, he praised God, even when thinking God had taken it all. But, this is what God wants from us. He wants us to be fully surrendered that we can give glory to Him when in the midst of great trial.

The road to heaven is not wide. It is narrow. Many will say "then, who can be saved?" The answer is all may be saved, if they will come to Jesus just as they are. If we will learn of Him, if we will drink His blood and eat His flesh, then we shall be saved. God's grace is powerful to transform a sinner into a saint. It is by beholding His character that we are changed into His image (character). "We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:18.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 13--4th Quarter 2016--The Character of Job
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2016, 07:10:04 AM »
Friday December 23

Further Thought: The Protestant Reformation reclaimed the great truth of salvation by faith alone. This truth was first intimated in the Word back in Eden itself (see Gen. 3:15) and then given fuller expression in the life of Abraham (see Gen. 15:6, Rom. 4:3) before being successively revealed in Scripture up through Paul. Yet, the truth of salvation by faith alone always included the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer, not as the means of salvation but as the expression of it. In the life and character of Job we find a great example of what this work looks like. Theologians sometimes call this work “sanctification,” which means basically “holiness.” It is so significant in Scripture that we are told to strive for the "holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). The basic meaning of sanctification is “set apart for holy use,” an idea seen, for example, when the Lord said to His covenant people, “Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.” Lev. 19:2. Though the word and concept appears in various ways in both the Old and New Testament, it deals with what God does in us. It can be seen as a moral growth in goodness and toward goodness. It is “a progressive process of moral change by the power of the Holy Spirit in cooperation with the human will.”—Handbook of SDA Theology, p. 296. Though this work is something that only God can accomplish in us, we are not forced into sanctification any more than we are forced into justification. We give ourselves to the Lord, and the same Lord who justifies us by faith will also sanctify us as well, molding us, as He did with Job, into the image of God, at least to whatever degree is possible this side of eternity. So, Paul writes: “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” (Gal. 4:19), and Ellen G. White writes: “Christ is our pattern, the perfect and holy example that has been given us to follow. We can never equal the Pattern, but we may imitate and resemble it according to our ability.” — That I May Know Him, p. 265.

Yes, and the sanctification that takes place at conversion continues on, for it is the work of a lifetime. We see this in Job, he could not retain his sanctification when sinning. But, let us not buy into the deception that one is not "sanctified" when first converted. One is not just set aside, one is made holy at conversion. The righteousness of Christ has been both imputed and imparted to the truly repentant sinner. There is moral perfection of character. The heart has been made perfect, the motives are pure and holy. The true convert has the Spirit of God sitting on the throne of the heart, and thus the repentant sinner is a partaker of God's divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

Discussion Questions:

    What choices can we make that will influence the degree to which the Lord can work in us? We know that only God can change the heart, but we must cooperate. What does that cooperation look like? How is it manifested?

There is only one choice that we can make that will determine the degree to which God can work in us. We must be fully surrendered to Him. We must love the Lord our God with all of the heart. If you hold anything back, then you are not converted. You must love God "with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." Matt. 22:37. Then you are holy, sanctified, past tense.

    Colossians 2:6 reads: “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, [so] walk ye in him." How do these words help us understand what it means to live in faith and obedience?

Instead of leaving options to sin and still be converted, let us close that door. We may understand what it means to be fully surrendered to Christ.

 8:1   [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 
 8:2   For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 
 8:3   For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 
 8:4   That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 
 8:5   For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 
 8:6   For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. 
 8:7   Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 
 8:8   So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 
 8:9   But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 
 8:10   And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness. 
 8:11   But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 
 8:12   Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 
 8:13   For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 
 8:14   For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 


    How can we as a church, not just as individuals, bring glory to the Lord before humans and before angels?

We must have revival and reformation in the church. This requires the conversion of individuals. A Laodicean church does not bring glory to God. What does it mean to give glory to God? Look at Job when God said he was perfect, and when he repented. This is what it means to give glory to God.

     Wherever there is union with Christ there is love. Whatever other fruits we may bear, if love be missing, they profit nothing. Love to God and our neighbor is the very essence of our religion. No one can love Christ and not love His children. When we are united to Christ, we have the mind of Christ. Purity and love shine forth in the character, meekness and truth control the life. The very expression of the countenance is changed. Christ abiding in the soul exerts a transforming power, and the outward aspect bears witness to the peace and joy that reign within. We drink in the love of Christ, as the branch draws nourishment from the vine. If we are grafted in Christ, if fiber by fiber we have been united with the Living Vine, we shall give evidence of the fact by bearing rich clusters of living fruit. If we are connected with the Light, we shall be channels of light, and in our words and works we shall reflect light to the world. Those who are truly Christians are bound with the chain of love which links earth to heaven, which binds finite man to the infinite God. The light that shines in the face of Jesus Christ shines in the hearts of His followers, to the glory of God. 
     By beholding we are to become changed; and as we meditate upon the perfections of the divine Model, we shall desire to become wholly transformed, and renewed in the image of His purity. It is by faith in the Son of God that transformation takes place in the character, and the child of wrath becomes the child of God. He passes from death unto life; he becomes spiritual and discerns spiritual things. The wisdom of God enlightens his mind, and he beholds wondrous things out of His law. As a man is converted by the truth, the work of transformation of character goes on. He has an increased measure of understanding. In becoming a man of obedience to God, he has the mind of Christ, and the will of God becomes his will.   
     He who places himself unreservedly under the guidance of the Spirit of God, will find that his mind expands and develops. He obtains an education in the service of God which is not one-sided and deficient, developing a one-sided character, but one which results in symmetry and completeness. Weaknesses that have been manifested in a vacillating will and powerless character, are overcome, for continual devotion and piety bring the man in such close relation to Christ that he has the mind of Christ.   1SM, pg 338.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.