Step 1: Opening and Introduction to the lesson – Personal Testimonies and or any Reflections? If it is true that to spare the rod is to spoil the child, how did you make it through your childhood: a) By the skin of your teeth? b) With flying colors and a sore bottom? c) Counting your blessings? d) Spoiled and thankful? Would you discipline your children (if any), differently than you were punished and rewarded? How so?
Step 2: Hear – Read: Job 36: 1- 33. Elihu continues.
Step 3: Explore – Discover the Passage
- Is Elihu being virtuous or presumptuous in claiming to speak for God, and to speak for him so perfectly (vv. 2-4)? Upon what grounds does he defend God? Why is he striving to prove God innocent?
- From Elihu’s perspective (vv. 5-21), why is humanity endowed with the divine rights f kings? Why are we treated as captains of our own fate, getting exactly what we deserve, even what we choose? Elihu says that the righteous are rewarded and sinners are punished (vv. 11-12). How does that contrast with what Job has been claiming?
- What are the benefits of God’s discipline? What is the fate of those who respond positively to God’s correction? Likewise, to those who ignore God’s correction? What new reason, hope and warning with regard to suffering does Elihu introduce in this section (vv. 16-21)? What does Elihu say here that distinguishes him from the other three friends who have given up on Job? What does he say here that contradicts God’s view of Job (see 1:8; 2:3?
- In verses 22-33, what does Elihu say about God that is true and worthy of full acceptance?
Step 4: Connect – Apply the Passage:
- Is the discipline of Job at all like the discipline of other believers, as in Hebrews 12:7-13? How do you see that NT passage relating to Job’s situation? If Job is being disciplined, what does that suggest about his value in God’s eyes?
- When have you been in a situation where you have felt stretched by God in order to learn something from him? What were the circumstances and what did you learn? Was the pain worth the gain?
- Why doesn’t God just tell you what he wanted you to know and leave the agony to those who aren’t listening anyway? Can you know a person well enough to judge him justly?
Step 5: Reflect: He does not take his eyes off the righteous…and exalts them forever.