Discussion Guide for Job 3-7Read Job at BibleGateway.
Job has endured unspeakable calamity in chapters 1 & 2.
I say unspeakable, because Job does not speak for a long period of time after his friends arrive on the scene. His friends come to mourn with him, and they follow the cultural protocol and wait until Job opens his mouth before they open theirs.
When Job finally speaks in chapter 3, his first words are very difficult to hear. Job is basically wishing away his own existence! Job is not suicidal as his wife has urged him to be. He is simply in so much physical, mental, and spiritual anguish that he wishes he could have never been born to experience what he is feeling.
- Have you ever been in such a bad experience that you would wish away your existence?
- How is this different from being suicidal or cursing God?
- Do you think it was proper for Job to say the things he says in Job 3?
- Have you ever identified with any of Job’s thoughts in chapter 3?
Job’s friend, Eliphaz, gives a speech in chapters 4-5. This begins the long lesson in how NOT to minister to people who are suffering.
Eliphaz is full of presumption and self-righteousness. He sounds an awful lot like a person who loves religion, but has no compassion or understanding for people who are hurting.
- What things does Eliphaz say that reflect poorly on his character?
- Have you ever had the experience of putting your foot in your mouth?
- How did you realize you had said the wrong thing?
- How did you feel after that?
In Chapter 6, Job tells Eliphaz that these words are only adding to his pain and misery. In Chapter 7, Job reiterates his own blamelessness and questions why God would put him through this suffering.
- What has been said to Job that has done more harm than good?
- How does Job indicate that he is angry or disappointed with God?
- Have you ever identified with any of the thoughts Job has spoken in chapters 6-7?