Job

Job is an interesting book of the Bible where many aren’t sure that it is fact, but it is more of a myth. BUT the message of this story is still there and still very important to learn from. Throughout this story Job and his friends are trying to unpack what is happening to him. All the while God is dropping some knowledge on Job. Let’s look at the first part of Job starting at vs. 6 about how Job got into this.

One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”
Does it seem odd that God is “playing a game” with Job?

In God’s sovereign wisdom, He knows things we don’t know. He can see events unfold in the future that we could have never even imagined. Also, God rarely does things for one singular reason. Often times, God will achieve many things with just one event, and He may have 1,000 purposes that He accomplishes with it.

God probably didn’t care so much what Satan thought, but in His wisdom, God knew Job would remain faithful and that his story would inspire millions of faithful Christians to persevere in their trials throughout the ages.

Job 1:31-21

Job was a rich man who was very well off, with many kids. One day he lost everything, possessions, family, and health. Imagine losing all of these things in a short amount of time, like the time it takes for an Angel to speak to you. I think of some material items that I have, that I would be upset if I lost them, but then to think of even more than that being gone is tough to think about. Job lost his farm, his possessions, his family, and his health! I think that I could relate to Job on wanting to start all over, but it’s crazy to think that he fell and worshiped God!

After mourning for 7 days, Job finally spoke to his friends. They didn’t really offer any good advice to him. In tough times it’s hard to know what to say to those who are struggling.

What has helped you in hard times?

Job’s circumstances were so large to him. Think about things like breakups or fights with your child’s friends. These can feel really detrimental too. Our job as adults is to not minimize those struggles but to help youth through them.

Questions to discuss with your child?

– When have you experienced something that didn’t make sense in your faith?

– How do you recover when life seems stacked against you?

– Can you relate to Job?

There’s a Psalm for That

The Psalms contain 150 prayers, songs, and poems, but they are so much more than just the format they are written in. The Psalms all evoke different emotions experiences in relation to being human. Kind David (yes David from David and Goliath) has been attributed to writing much of the Psalms.

The Psalms were written over a long period of time, so there was a lot of life that happened while the Psalmists were writing. There were people in exile, captivity, good times, and sad times. This is a good look at the life that the Israelites lived.

The Psalms can give us language for worship and prayers, when we don’t know what to say. Think about our lives and how there are good times and bad. Times where we feel hopeless. Whether you are feeling happy or sad and looking for a way to pray or the words? Simply look in the book of Psalms. Last night students filled out a card that says “all the feels” as students were looking through Psalms they were able to write down Psalms that spoke to them.

At the times of struggle or sadness we don’t always know where to turn or feel we can’t take it to God. First off, God is big enough for us to take our sorrows and joys to. He also wants to hear from us, his beloved people. The Psalmists wrote some really sad songs, poems, and prayers to God about how bad life was. That is ok, we can go to God with those and God will be there with us. The beautiful part of the Psalms of sadness or desperation is that they are still worshiping God and looking to God.

There are also Psalms about people who are thanking God for creation or praising God for the blessings they have. As stated earlier, the Psalms engage many of the emotions.

I know that in tough times, it is hard to see where God is or to even worship God. We want to run and not be in God’s presence. I challenge that though, prayer works and talking with God can help in these tough times.

The Psalms are great example of what a life of faith can look like. The Psalms aren’t a guide on how to live. These Psalms are a great example of worship and prayer.

Know too that in tough times part of God being with us is through our peers. Your small group leaders, pastors, and I are available to talk and pray through tough times.  God is always with us

Questions:

What emotions do you wish Psalms included?

What Psalms speak to you now?

Can this ancient poetry still speak to us?

How can the Psalms provide comfort?

 

God’s Voice On Earth

Prophets were a huge part of the Old Testament and also and integral part for preparing of the coming of Jesus and Jesus’ life. There were so many prophets in the Old Testament, that we had to just pick a few to talk about. We talking about the first prophet being called as the Israelites were desiring one after Moses.

There is so much to think about when we talk about prophets, and our questions are ones that I’m sure the Israelites would ask too. How do we know this prophet is real? Do we know they are saying what God wants them to say? Well from Deuteronomy 18 we learned that God will pick them and speak through them. If what the Prophets says happens, then they know it is from God if it doesn’t well, the prophet presumed wrong.

We also looked at our views on us being prophets or living that life. What would it be like to work all the time for nothing (literally $0) and face angry crowds? This doesn’t sound like a desirable job? Well it’d be one for God to call us to that’s for sure!

What’s the journey that a prophet would go through to become one?

Called: They are called by God to become a prophet. (Isaiah 6:5-9) This call for them was very clear to them or God made it very clear. Think of the times that God has called us to something or made it clear. It’s tough to ignore God as he is persistent at getting to our hearts.

Content: Prophets are tasked with tough messages to share, but know God will be with them. (Jeremiah 16:14-18, 29:10-14, 31:1-7) They become more ok, or at least more obedient to the message God is tasking them to share.

Community: Prophets were called to speak to communities in which they belonged. (Ezekiel 3:1-11) This is a blessing and a curse, think bout the possibility of speaking out against family and friends or worse having to leave them due to persecution.

Consequences: Delivering tough messages to powerful people can lead to some negative consequences and rejection. (Daniel 6:3-12; 14-26)

As you can see the life of a prophet wasn’t super easy, but they were doing what God called them to do.

Questions to Ponder:

How do we know God is speaking to us?

What is God calling you to do?

What do you think of that call?

What is God calling St. Mark to do?

What makes you uncomfortable about sharing God’s message?

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