Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Hearing God in the Darkness,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is the fifth part of our series, “Finding God in the Darkness,” from the book of Job. This week we looked at Job 38:1-42:6.
- Have you ever felt completely out of your depth in a situation? What did you do to handle the situation? How did you respond?
- This weekend we continue our series, “Finding God in the Darkness,” this weekend by looking at Job 38:1-42:6. Whether you are on your own or with a small group, begin your study in prayer, and then read that portion of Job aloud.
- Background: After arguing with his three friends about his suffering and then hearing from young Elihu, Job finally meets God and has a conversation with Him about the suffering he has endured. God’s words with Job form two speeches found in 38:1-40:2 and 40:6-41:34.
- Both of God’s speeches indicate that God is speaking “out of the storm” (38:1; 42:6). The storm referred to here is usually a sign both of God’s power and judgment (see Psalm 29; Jeremiah 25:30:32; Nahum 1:3-6). Why do you think that God is speaking “out of the storm” to Job?
- The first speech (38:1-40:2) conveys God’s power in creating, sustaining and ordering all of creation. What are some of the main images or examples you see of God’s powerful hand in creation here?
- Job offers a brief response in 40:3-5. How would you characterize the tone of Job’s response?
- God’s second speech (40:6-41:34) shows God’s power over the most violent and unmanageable creatures we could see or imagine. While there has been much ink spilled over what specific animals “Behemoth” and “Leviathan” represent, the point of the passage is clear: no human – including Job – has power over this sort of creature (see 41:33-34). As you reflect on the power of God in the created world, what other natural aspects of creation cause humility in the hearts and minds of humans?
- Job has asked for a hearing with God (Job 9:33-35; 31:35), but when he finally has it, God takes Job into a different direction than he had hoped. God does not give Job a direct answer, but instead puts questions to Job (38:2-3). What does this tell us about encountering God?
- Job’s final response is humility and repentance before God (42:1-6). Why is Job humbled? If Job is blameless in God’s eyes at the beginning of the book (2:3), why do you think that Job chooses to repent? What is he repenting of?
- What is one specific thing that God is speaking to you through this study? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and then take extended time to pray about what you share. If you are studying on your own, write it down, pray about it, and share this with someone during the next few days.