Wesley Word-Oct. 20, 2021

Sonia Baker   -  

Sunday, October 24, 2021 

Experiencing Grace

Exploring Truth

Job: Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

Many people know the story of Job, or at least know that there is a story of Job. However, not as many people have actually read the Book of Job in the Bible. This is because the Book of Job is long, 42 chapters, and most of it is dense Hebrew poetry full of ancient imagery.

During the sermon this Sunday, I will be summarizing the story of Job and showing how it answers one of our deepest human questions, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”. Right now, I want to give you an introduction and outline of the book of Job that may help you to read and better understand the book.

Job lived sometime during the lifetime of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. The book itself, as I said before, is Hebrew poetry and belongs to the wisdom literature section of the Bible along with Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. These books are full of great stuff, but they are a little wordier than we are used to these days and are full of some old images and metaphors, so they take some work to understand.

I encourage you to read chapters 1 and 2 in their entirety. They set the stage for the whole book and have most of the action. 

Chapters 3 through 37 are Job and his friends arguing back and forth in Hebrew poetry. Job’s friends are coming from the position that bad things do not happen to good people, so they say, “Job, you must have done something wrong to deserve all this, so just ‘fess up and maybe God will forgive you and heal you.” Meanwhile, Job keeps insisting that he had not done anything wrong. I would suggest you read some of these chapters to get the flavor, but feel free to skim them if you need to. Although Job and his friends are speaking from an incorrect premise, there is some wonderful wisdom in this book, if we are willing to dig for it. Toward the end of these chapters, Job’s patience is wearing thin and he begins to question God’s goodness and justice.

In chapters 38 through 41, God rebukes Job for questioning His goodness. In chapter 42 Job repents and is forgiven. Then, God turns and rebukes Job’s friends because they had not spoken the truth about God. They also repent and are forgiven. Finally, Job’s fortunes are restored to even greater than they were before.   

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. How do I answer the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” How does the story of Job inform this?

Expressing Love Family/Mission Activity: 

Exercising our Faith- Spend some time exercising as a family. You can see who can do the most push-ups or run the fastest. Talk about how exercising builds your muscles and makes you stronger. Sometimes when you exercise and you haven’t for a long time, or you work a new area of your body, it can be painful while your strength grows.

Explain to your children that trials are difficult times we experience and the hard things that happen in our lives. A trial can be loneliness, rejection, or bullying, but it can also be something like divorce, a parent losing a job, or someone we care about being sick. In the Bible, Job went through a lot of trials.

Trials from God help us grow and mature. Hard times can teach us to be faithful. Exercising can be hard and painful sometimes, but it also helps us develop stronger muscles. We can get stronger inside (like we do with exercise) when we go through trials and turn to Jesus for help. He will give us the strength we need to get through those times.

Challenge each other to exercise your muscles and to pray for one another when you face trials and have to do some exercise on the inside.

Announcements: 

  • WOW (Worship on Wednesdays) TONIGHT! 
    • 5:30-6:00 catered meal-baked potatoes from Avenue Subs
    • 6:00 Mid-week worship
    • 6:30-7:30 Small groups for kids, youth, and adults
  • Crafting for a Cause
    • Oct. 30th, 9 am-12 pm- We are looking for kids all the way through high school to supply crafts to support the Mississippi Valley Child Protection Center. Contact Sonia Baker to get your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, etc. signed up!
    • Oct. 25, 10:30 am-1 pm- Kids’ crafting day- kids in Muscatine don’t have school, so they are invited to make crafts for the event. Lunch and materials will be provided, but you need to let Sonia know if you plan to come so we have an appropriate amount!
  • Lay Leaders Needed: We have opportunities available for anyone interested in serving on Trustees or the Staff-Parish Relations Committee. If you are interested, please contact Pastor Brian.