One would think that after experiencing the passover, the exodus, and the crossing of the Red Sea that the end of the story for Israel would be, “and they lived happily ever after.” This is not the way that the story ends. In fact, the story is still going on even today. How come the people of God did not find their full rest in the promised land? How come they did not find their full joy and contentment in the Lord? Does the Lord deprive His people of something or is the problem even deeper? Is there something that applies to us today?
Job’s friends came together with the purpose to rally around him and encourage him. Eliphaz has not done a great job of helping Job as Eliphaz implied that Job deserved this suffering. Now, it is time for the second counselor to try. Will Bildad encourage Job? Is there something we can glean from Bildad as he tries to encourage Job?
Exodus 15 gives us a picture of a Sabbath celebration. Moses and the Israelites join together in praising God for the manifestation of His redemption. We can understand Israel joining together in this victory chorus because this is the conclusion of their 400 some years of enslavement and suffering. What does this celebration say about the Lord and his provision? What is the ultimate hope that we see by God delivering His people? How is this hope very relevant for us today?
Job’s friends, the counselors, are now beginning to interact with Job. They grieved with Job, they failed to recognize their friend, and Eliphaz has interacted with Job’s speech or attitude. Job questioned the wisdom of God, and Eliphaz questioned whether Job really understands God. How will Job respond? We noted that the counselor was not consistent with the Lord’s wisdom. Will Job finally see through this trial and clearly see the Lord?
The ridiculous claim that the Lord made was that Israel was going to plunder the Egyptians. This sounds ridiculous because how can a people who are in slavery, have been in slavery for centuries, and are still very much in slavery when the Lord finds them going to triumph over their slave masters? Our understanding is rather simple: if a people have been enslaved for centuries then it is very likely they will remain in slavery. However, the Lord promised that the Lord would deliver his people with a mighty hand. Is the Lord really able to do such a thing? What does this deliverance-exodus teach us about God’s redemption?
We heard Job’s frustration of his life in this age. He is one who does not see the value or the purpose of his life right now. His speech is asking the Lord to blot him out of existence. This is not something that is appropriate or correct, and how are his friends going to encourage this man? We would think and hope that they would provide a counter point to Job’s previous speech. Eliphaz speaks up, he challenges Job’s speech, and is laying out his view of suffering. Is this view correct?
Job finally breaks the 7 day silence to express his perception of things. Job does not see the purpose of his life. Why is this so wrong and how does this show that we too need redefine meaning in terms of the Lord’s bigger picture? How does Job’s speech fail to see the bigger purpose of life that we might fail to perceive?
There is little doubt that Pharaoh claiming not to know the Lord is basically Pharaoh saying that the Lord of Israel is no match for him. The reality is that the Egyptians have held the Israelites for 400 some years and their God has not acted on their behalf so what can their God really do? Pharaoh heard the Lord’s warning through Moses, and should know that God means business. So, how much business does the Lord really mean? Is the Lord really ready to deliver his people from the Egyptian bondage? What can such a message declare about the Lord’s Sabbath rest?
The Lord has promised that His people will dwell in the land of Canaan. There have been a few problems along the way. First, the couple that God called to build His Sabbath people were a barren couple. How is the Lord going to continue the biological seed of the woman? Second, Jacob fleeing to Laban and leaving the land. How can a divided family unite to bring in the promised heir? Third, the immorality and the strife in Jacob’s family. Now, fourth, we arrive at the problem of God’s people being enslaved in Egypt. Can the Lord deliver His people from such an empire?
The Adversary, or Satan, had his chance to remove Job’s hedge that sheltered him from the heat of life under the sun. Satan is not happy with the result because Job did not, “curse God to His face.” Is Satan going to drop his accusation against God at this point? Will the Lord allow further testing to show Satan that the new humanity does love God because of God?