Discussion Guide for Job 35
Let’s start this week’s discussion by reading Psalm 84.
- What does this Psalm say about the character of God?
- Why do you think the Psalmist wants to dwell with God?
- Why do you think that God is pleased by the heart that wants to dwell near him?
- Is God Himself enough of a blessing to the man who worships God?
In Job 35 we begin to circle back around to the original problem of the book.
Job’s suffering isn’t a punishment for wickedness. It is a test to prove that God is worthy of Job’s praise no matter what.
Elihu rebukes for accusing God of injustice and unwittingly suggesting that God is not worthy of praise.
Elihu believes Job is wrong because:
- it doesn’t affect God when we rebel, it affects us,
- God responds to worship, not pain, and
- we are not omniscient and can’t possibly know whether God is executing justice in ways that we cannot see.
In his grand rebuke, there is one place where Elihu really misses the mark.
Surely God does not hear an empty cry, nor does the Almighty regard it.
Elihu says that God isn’t interested in helping people just because they cry out in pain. In this statement, he completely misunderstands the attribute of God known as mercy.
When the Psalmists speak of dwelling in the house of God, they refer to far more than simply doing the right things. Righteousness is certainly a part, but proximity to God also carries the idea of intimacy.
A worshipper desires to know the heart of God. But, God also desires to hear the inmost thoughts of the worshipper.
Sometimes a man’s inmost thoughts are joyful praise. Other times we cry from the soul with an expression of deep pain, sorrow, or even anger. Over and over, the Psalms tell us these are still cries of faith that find a listening ear with God.
Elihu ends the chapter with a call to humility.
We can’t always know the entire story of what God is doing. We shouldn’t claim to be smarter than God or think for even one minute that obedience to God isn’t worth it.
Even if obedience hurts now, by faith we can know that God has some blessing planned for the future.
- Do you think that God is offended when we tell him how much we are hurting?
- Why do you believe we have permission to be completely honest with God?
- Have you ever had a painful experience when you felt like you were waiting on God to do something good?
- What was the most difficult part of that experience?
- Did you come away with a greater appreciation for God and His wisdom?
- How were you tempted to disobey God during that time?
- Could disobedience in the midst of waiting yield negative consequences for your life?
Pray for Our Missionaries
Please remember to pray for God’s work among the nations. Lift up the name of a wonderful man of God, Bishnu, who is spending his life carrying the Gospel and training churches to share the Gospel in remote mountain regions of Nepal.