16 October 2017

Job, the man whose integrity God tested

Theme: Integrity under fire

  • Job 1:13-22
  • Job 2:1-10
  • Job 27:1-6
  • Job 31:5-8
  • Job 38:1-7
  • Job 42:1-6

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: Job maintained his integrity while going through great pain and adversity.
Think: Condition my thinking to respond to every difficulty with faith and integrity.
Do: Strengthen my walk with Christ daily so my relationship with Him will grow during times of testing.

Notes and questions:
B1 Job’s character
C1 Blameless
C2 Upright
C3 Fears God
C4 Avoids evil
C5 Blessed with wife, daughters, sons, and riches.
B2 Job 1
C1 Job 1:6-7, MEV Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Adversary also came among them. 7 And the Lord said to the Adversary, “From where have you come?” Then the Adversary answered the Lord, saying, “From roaming on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.”
D1 Sons of God are angels. The Adversary (satan) was also there. This is the satan who was the guardian angel before he sinned.
D2 Was God ignorant of where satan has been, and what he was doing?
D3 What is the adversary doing while he is roaming the earth? 1 Peter 5:8 NKJV  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
C2 Job 1:8-11, Why did satan accuse Job of being protected? Why was he accusing God of protecting Job? Did satan really think that Job would sin without this protection?
C3 Job 1:12, Does satan need permission to harass us, tempt us, prosecute us?
C4 Job 1:13-19, What did Job lose? Could any of us live through such a thing?
C5 Stress may cause:
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Boredom
  • Guilt
C6 Which may lead to:
  • Angry outbursts
  • Constant worrying
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Carelessness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty getting along with others
  • Lack of energy
  • An inclination toward mistakes
  • Withdrawal from others
  • Thoughts about death and suicide
  • Hiding from responsibilities
C7 Job 1:20-22, What was Job’s response?
B3 Job 2:1-10,
C1 Again the satan comes, and God asks him, “What have been doing?” Sassily, he answers God. Are there people who spoke to Jesus like that? Are there people with that attitude today? Where do they get that attitude?
C2  God then gives permission for further testing--this time against Job’s body.
C3 What does the devil hope to get from all this sorrow? What is God teaching us through this history of Job?
C4 Mrs. Job,  His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die.” Job 2:9, MEV. What has happened to Job’s wife?
B4 Job 27:1-6,
C1 Who does Job blame for all his problems? Who does Adam blame for his problems? Genesis 3:12 NRSV  The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate." Who gets the most blame for disasters in society and personal life today? Why do we do that?
C2 Why do Job’s friends insist that Job has sinned? Why do they insist that Job is not telling the truth?
C3 Job, under persecution, maintains his integrity. He will not lie to receive their friendship. How do the saints maintain integrity under persecution?
C4 What causes people to lose their faith today?
C5 Do you know someone who has lost their faith? How would you counsel?
D1 Perhaps there is more to god than meets the eye. I lost my love and trust in god just by looking around and seeing all the pain and suffering good people endure. The injustice, the senseless violence, the sexual slavery, the illnesses. All because god allows it. How could I EVER have faith in such an evil, heinous and despicable entity. he won't be there for you either.
D2 Accidents kill and maim people every day. I remember an instance where a beautiful little 2 year old girl fell into a sewer and drowned in excrement. It broke my heart. Multiply this by thousands and you can see we have a god that revels in the pain and suffering of all his creatures, and all the while pretends to love us.
It doesn't make sense to me. They say God has a plan for everyone, so he has planned for us to do everything. Which would mean we have no free will. Just the illusion of freewill, if everything is pre planned. Furthermore, why would God be upset with us for sinning, IF HE PLANNED IT TO HAPPEN?! The same with Judeus! HE WAS MEANT TO BETRAY JESUS! WHY WAS HE PUNISHED, FOR FOLLOWING GOD'S PLAN?
Another thing is this. How can I trust a God, if that God killed millions of people because they simply pissed him or her off? They say everything in the bible is true, so god DELIBERATELY FLOODED THE EARTH BECAUSE PEOPLE WERE ANNOYING HIM, EVEN THOUGH HE PLANNED THEM TO DO JUST THAT?! How do I know he won't kill me?
My prayers, even when I needed God most, even when I had severe anxiety attacks and had to stay at home for a month to adjust to medication, when I prayed, nothing happened. NOTHING. My prayers weren't answered. I just bought medication. That fixed the problem. Prayers have never helped me. Ever. The odd time could be when I prayed to find lost things, but even then I would have found them regardless after looking for a bit longer. If I need something done, I feel as though no amount of praying will help me. I need to solve my problems myself.
I personally feel as though God has flawed logic, and is unreliable. Who knows, maybe he'll kill me for writing this, but then again, he PLANNED me to write this. Right?
C6 Knowing what Job faced, how would you answer the above 3 people and their complaints about God?
C7 How do the following verses apply to suffering?
D1 Matthew 5:10-12 NRSV  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  (11)  "Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  (12)  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
D2 1 Peter 4:12-16 NRSV  Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  (13)  But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ's sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed.  (14)  If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you.  (15)  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, a criminal, or even as a mischief maker.  (16)  Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name.
D3 Luke 8:11-15 NKJV  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.  (12)  Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.  (13)  But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.  (14)  Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.  (15)  But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.
C8 Why did these continue in the faith?

George Wagner, of Emmerich, was apprehended at Munich, in Bavaria, on account of four articles of the faith. First, That the priest cannot forgive sins. Secondly, That he does not believe that a man can bring down God from heaven. Thirdly, That he does not believe that God or Christ is bodily in the bread which the priest has upon the altar; but that it is the bread of the Lord. Fourthly, That he did not hold to the belief that water baptism possessed any saving power. As he would not renounce these articles, he was most severely tormented, so that the prince felt great compassion for him, and personally came to him in the prison, and earnestly admonished him thereto, promising that he would call him his friend all his life time. Thus also the tutor of the prince, earnestly admonished him to recant, and likewise made him many promises. Ultimately his wife and child were brought before him in prison in order, on this wise to move him to recant. But neither was he to be moved in this way; for he said that though his wife and child were so dear to him that the prince could not buy them with all his dominion, yet he would not forsake his God and Lord on their account. Many priests and others also came to him, to persuade him; but he was steadfast and immovable in that which God had given him to know. Hence he was finally sentenced to the fire and death.
Having been delivered into the hands of the executioner, and led into the middle of the city, he said: "Today I will confess my God before all the world." He had such joy in Christ Jesus, that his face did not pale, nor his eyes show fear; but he went smilingly to the fire, where the executioner bound him on the ladder, and tied a little bag of powder to his neck, at which he said: "Be it done in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost;" and having smilingly bid farewell to a Christian, who was there, he was thrust into the fire by the executioner, and happily offered up his spirit, on the eighth day of February, A. D. 1527. The sheriff, however, surnamed Eisenreich von Landsberg, while returning home from the place!!of execution, traveling on horseback; purposing to apprehend others of the brethren, died suddenly in the night, and was found dead in his bed in the morning, having thus been removed through the wrath of God.

On the 15th of November, 1527, Weynken, daughter of Claes, was brought prisoner from the castle of Woerden to the Hague, whither on the 17th day of the same month, came also the count of Hooghstraten, Governor in Holland. On the 18th, the aforesaid Weynken was arraigned before the governor and the full council of Holland. There a woman asked her
"Have you well considered the things which my lords proposed to you?"
Am. "I abide by what I have said."
Ques. "If you do not speak differently, and turn from your error, you will be subjected to an intolerable death." '
Am. "If power is given you from above I am ready to suffer." John 19:11.
Ques. "Do you then, not fear death, which you have never tasted?"
Am. "This is true; but I shall never taste death, for Christ says: `If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.' (John 8:51) The rich man tasted death, and shall taste it forever." (Luke 16:23)
Ques. "What do you hold concerning the sacrament?"
Am. "I hold your sacrament to be bread and flour, and if you hold it as God, I say that it is your devil."
Ques. "What do you hold concerning the saints?"
Am. "I know no other Mediator than Christ." (I John 2:19)
Ques. "You must die, if you abide by this."
Am. "I am already dead." (Gal. 2:19)
Ques. "If you are dead, how can you speak?"
Ans. "The spirit lives in me; the Lord is in me, and I am in Him." (John 14:20)
Ques. "Will you have 'a confessor, or not?"
Am. "I have Christ, to Him I confess; nevertheless, if I have offended any, I would willingly ask them to forgive me."
Ques. "Who has taught you this opinion, and how did you come to it?"
Am. "The Lord, who calls all men to Him; I am also one of His sheep; therefore I hear His voice." (John 10:27)
Ques. "Are you alone called?"
Am. "No; for the Lord calls to Him all that are heavy laden." (Matt. 28:11)
After many like words Weynken was led back to prison. During the two following days she was entreated and tempted by various persons, namely by monks, priests, women, and her nearest friends.

Among others, a woman came to her, prompted by sincerity, who commiserated her after this manner
"Dear mother, can you not think what you please, and keep it to yourself? then you will not die."
Weynken replied: "Dear sister; I am commanded to speak, and am.constrained to do so; hence I cannot remain silent about it."
Wom. "Then, ' I am afraid, they, will put you to death."
Ans. "Though they burn me tomorrow, or put me into a bag, I care not; as the Lord has ordained it, so, it must be, and not otherwise; I will adhere to the Lord."
Wom. "If you have done nothing else, I hope you will not die."
Ans. "As for me; it matters not; but when I come down from the hall, I cry bitterly; and it grieves me to see that these good men are all so blinded. I will pray the Lord for them."
Two Dominican friars also came to her, the one as a confessor, and the other as an instructor. The latter showed her the crucifix, saying, "See, here is your Lord and your God."
She answered, "This is not my God; the cross by which I have been redeemed, is adifierent one. This is a wooden god; throw him into the fire, and warm yourselves with him."
The other asked her in the morning of the day when she was to die, whether she would not receive the sacrament, adding that he would willingly administer it to her. She said: "What God would you give me? one that is perishable, and is sold for a farthing?"
And to the priest or monk, who rejoiced that he had read mass that day, she said that he had crucified God anew. He said, "It appears to me that you have fallen unto error."
Weynken replied: "I cannot help it, my Lord and my God, to whom be eternal honor, praise, and thanksgiving (Rev. 4:11), has thus given it unto me."
Ques. " What do you hold concerning the holy oil?"
Ans. "Oil is good for salad, or to oil your shoes with." I Tim. 4:4.
In the middle of the week she was brought before the Court, and when she came into the hall, the monk went up to her, and held the crucifix before her face, saying, "Do recant before sentence is passed." But Weynken turned from the crucifix, saying, "I adhere to my Lord and God; neither death nor life shall separate me from Him." (Rom. 8:39.)
As she stood before the judge, the monk whispered into her ear, "Fall down upon monk knees, and ask the Lord for pardon." She replied, "Be still. Did I not tell you, that you should not draw me from my Lord."
The Dean of Naeldwijck, subcommissary and inquisitor, read the sentence in Latin, from a document, and repeating it in Dutch, said briefly, that she was found to be in error with regard to the sacrament, and that she immovably adhered to it. Hence, he decided that she was a heretic, and delivered Weynken to the secular arm, with the protest that he did not consent to her death. He then retired from the council, together with his two associate ecclesiastics.
The chancellor immediately read, that she, as reported, had been found obstinate, which could not be passed by without punishment, and that she should be burnt to ashes; and all her property be confiscated. '
Then Weynken said,  "Has all been done now? I beg you all, that if I have harmed or offended any, you will forgive me."
The monk then said to her, "Now for once kiss your Lord and God."
She answered, "This is not my Lord."
As they were leaving the council chamber, the monk said to her that she should call upon our Lady to intercede for her.
She replied, "Our Lady, is well content in God."
Monk: "Call upon her."
Weynken: "We have Christ, who sitteth on the right hand of His Father. He prays for us," (Romans 8:34).'
On her way from the hall to the scaffold or place of execution, the monk said, "Behold for once your Lord, who died for you."
Weynken: "This is not my Lord and my God; my Lord God is in me, and I in Him."
Monk: "Consider! will you condemn all these lambs, and are they all condemned?"
Weynken: "Not all; judgment belongs unto God." (Heb. 10:30).
Monk: "Do you not fear the severe judgment of God?"
Weynken: "God comes not to condemn sinners, but to give them peace." (Luke 9:56.)
Monk: "Do you not, fear the sentence which you must suffer in the fire?"
Weynken: "No, for I know how I stand with my Lord."

On the scaffold there stood one who said to Weynken, `Mother, turn to the people, and ask them to forgive you, if you have offended any." This she did. Then she assisted the executioners to put the powder into her bosom. Here the monk again tempted her with the cross; but she pushed it away with her hand, turned around, and said, "How you tempt me? My Lord and my God is above." She then went gladly, as though she were going to a marriage; and her face did not once betoken fear of the fire.
The monk said, "Will you not always and firmly adhere to God?"
Weynken said, "Yes, indeed."
Monk: "Now you will have to go into the fire; do recant."
Weynken: "I am well content; the Lord's will must be done."

Monk: "This is not the will of the Lord; the will of God is your sanctification."
The executioner said, "Mother, cleave to God and do not suffer yourself to be drawn away from Him."
In the meantime this pious heroine went alone undauntedly to the bench, and stationed herself at the stake at which she was to be burned, saying,
"Is the bench firm; will I not fall?"
The executioner then made ready the ropes with which he was to strangle her. The woman took off her neckerchief or veil, and put the strap around her neck.
Then the monk exclaimed: "Mother Weynken, will you gladly die as a Christian?"
Ans. "Yes, I will."
Ques. "Do you renounce all heresy?"
Ans. "I do."

Monk: "This is well. Are you also sorry that you have erred?"

Ans. "I formerly did err indeed, and for that I am sorry; this however is no error, but the true way, and I adhere to God."

When she had said this, the executioner began to strangle her, which when she felt it, she cast down her eyes and closed them, as though she had fallen into a sleep, and gave up the ghost, on the twentieth day of November, A. D. 1527.
B5 Job 38:1-7,
C1 Job 38:1-7 NKJV  Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:  (2)  "Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge?  (3)  Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.  (4)  "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.  (5)  Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?  (6)  To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone,  (7)  When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
C2 What did Job have to learn?
B6 Job 42:1-6,
C1 Job 42:1-6 NKJV  Then Job answered the LORD and said:  (2)  "I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.  (3)  You asked, 'Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.  (4)  Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, 'I will question you, and you shall answer Me.'  (5)  "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.  (6)  Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes."
C2 Did Job learn what God wanted him to?
C3 Why did Job keep the faith when many do not?
C4 Will we keep the faith?
C5 Let’s always pray and encourage each other.
B7 Next week:
C1 Joseph, the faithful man who saw tomorrow
C2 Theme: Integrity in temptation
C3 Scriptures:
Genesis 39:1-23
Genesis 45:1-28
Genesis 50:22-26

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