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October 19, 2014
Job 24:1, 9-12, 19-25; Psalm 55:16
PDF Lesson Print Out is now Located at the Bottom of the Lesson. Please Scroll Down, Click and Enjoy! Blessings.
(Please Note: All lesson verses and titles are based on International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series ©2010 by the Lesson Committee, but all content/commentary written within is original to wordforlifesays.com unless properly quoted/cited)
Troubles have a way of making the strongest of men to bow the knee and question, “Why?” “Why is this happening?” “Why am I treated so unfairly when all I tried to do was good?” “Why does it seem the enemy and the sinners seem to get away with so much while we suffer?”
Questioning is nothing new. Pouring out one’s heart before ask in honest humility, seeking answers is nothing new. It’s an almost natural inclination of humanity to ask “why?” when life just doesn’t seem to add up the way we think it should.
By now we are very familiar with the verbal attacks that Job has suffered during the hardest times of his life. In last week’s lesson we saw, despite the verbal abuse of his friends, Job’s confidence that My Redeemer Lives. Shortly after that, Job’s friends remained adamant that he (Job) was wrong. They backed their ideas up with phrases such as: “Is not thy wickedness great? and thine iniquities infinite?” (Job 22:5), said Eliphaz. While Zophar, classifying Job with the wicked, assumed to know his (Job’s) state by saying, “That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment. . . When the wicked is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating,” (Job 20:5, 23).
Job, tiring of hearing it was provoked to respond once again out of the depths of his pain. He stated, “Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning. Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!” (Job 23:2-3). He wanted to take his concerns to God.
Job is not the only one in the Bible to seek to bring their “complaints” or sorrows and hurts about life to the Lord in prayer. David spoke in Psalm 55 and said, “Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me,” (1-3, emphasis mine).
Though this psalm is said to have Messianic tones to it, it also expresses David’s experiences of also having his friend turn against him. David said, “For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me (the same thing Job accused his friends of in last week’s lesson); then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance,” (Psalm 55:12-13, emphasis mine).
With these two stories as a backdrop to our lesson “Hope Complains” let’s pick back up with Job and listen in on his discourse as he pours out his heart, seeking answers to life’s hurting questions and asking, “Why?”
Job 24:1 “Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days?”
Have you ever had someone aggressively ride your bumper, treat you unfairly in traffic or speed past you at an enormous rate? Now, how many times have you wished to turn the corner and hope to see with your own eyes a police officer get them? There’s a niggling, I believe, that goes on on the inside of humans that when injustice pokes its troublesome head, we want to see justice served. We want to witness with our own eyes that punishment was dished to him who deserved to eat it.
To Job, it seems that the wicked are getting away with everything though he knows that “times are not hidden from the Almighty.” Job wants to see God’s justice play out (like we want to see the cop catch and ticket the bad driver). Job has devoted his life to serving God, to “know him,” and he pours out his desire to “see his days;” to see the day of the Lord, when the injustices of this world will receive its just desserts.
Oh, that Job could hear the reassurances of Paul when he spoke and declared, “He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead,” (Acts 17:31).
It may feel to Job that his troubles have the final say. But, in the end God shall speak through the judgment of Jesus Christ and He will have the final say: “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel,” (Romans 2:16).
No need to witness the “cop and the ticket.” God sees all and knows all and “All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do,” (Hebrews 4:13b; see also Psalms 33:13 and Proverbs 5:21).
Job 24:9-12 “They pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor. They cause him to go naked without clothing, and they take away the sheaf from the hungry; Which make oil within their walls, and tread their winepresses, and suffer thirst. Men groan from out of the city, and the soul of the wounded crieth out: yet God layeth not folly to them.”
Job continues with his complaint of the injustices he witnesses around him. To him it seems the wicked mistreat and abuse people at their will but side-step retribution of their evil ways. Some people are so greedy for gain they prey on the weakest of society such as the “fatherless” and the “poor.”
Evil always likes to take advantage of the weak. In the verses prior to this, Job noted the injustices he has seen and that “some remove landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed thereof,” [Taking property that doesn’t belong in their possession by moving boundary markers.] (vs. 2); “take the widow’s ox for a pledge,” [Gouging the weak with charges so heavy that she is forced to give her last source of profit to the creditors and such.] (vs. 3); and “they cause the naked to lodge without clothing,” [No concern or care for the wellbeing of others. Making the money is all that matters to these wicked whom Job refers to.] (vs. 7).
Like vultures, the wicked swoop down and take what little bit those who are less fortunate have. Today we would note those individuals as “lowlifes” because they seem to operate without morals or care to others around them. They live to satisfy their hunger for more and if it means taking away somebody’s last – then, that’s what they will do.
Job said, “despite groan from out of the city, and the soul of the wounded crieth out” he felt that justice was not being served. He said, “yet God layeth not folly to them.” Job felt that God was letting them get away with all the atrocities that were being committed; right down to plucking “the fatherless from the breast,” or taking the babe from the widow to pay a debt. This was and is reprehensible behavior indeed which deserved punishment.
Job 24:19-20 “Drought and heat consume the snow waters: so doth the grave those which have sinned. The womb shall forget him; the worm shall feed sweetly on him; he shall be no more remembered; and wickedness shall be broken as a tree.”
After going deeper into his view of “those that rebel against the light,” (vs. 13), Job’s lament of the injustices he sees begins to change. We see here he knows the plight of these evil perpetrators. He knows that their days are few. He understands they “shall be broken as a tree” due to their weak state and lack of godly foundation that would keep them rooted uprightly.
Their days were as vapor that rises into nothing. The “grave” waits for them, to devour them as the “drought and heat consume the snow waters.” Job previously accused them of the evil of plucking “the fatherless from the breast;” now in their end “the womb shall forget him . . . he shall be no more remembered.”
It’s one thing to see death and suffer but it’s a totally different thing to go through it and nobody cares. Their lack of concern for others will show its head again at their own demise. They cared for no one and no one will remember them. When one passes they want to be thought of fondly and with great care and concern. No so with these offenders. Nobody cares that they are gone. They are but vapor. Psalm 34:16 reminds us, “The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.”
Job 24:21-25 “He evil entreateth the barren that beareth not: and doeth not good to the widow. He draweth also the mighty with his power: he riseth up, and no man is sure of life. Though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he resteth; yet his eyes are upon their ways. They are exalted for a little while, but are gone and brought low; they are taken out of the way as all other, and cut off as the tops of the ears of corn. And if it be not so now, who will make me a liar, and make my speech nothing worth?”
They may attack the “barren” and they may attack the “widow” but God will have the final say. “They are exalted for a little while, but are gone and brought low.” Why? Because God will not tolerate nor condone what they do. In fact, Malachi 4:1 shows just the opposite. “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” At the beginning of the lesson, Job longed to see God’s justice. Here in Malachi God speaks that it will happen.
“His eyes are upon their ways.” “The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men,” (Psalm 11:4; see also Psalms 33:13). God sees and knows everything about everybody. The wicked think they are passing by judgment. Job may think they are getting away with their unjust lifestyles. But, God is taking notes. “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God,” (Romans 14:12). God was and is attentive to the deeds of humanity.
They will be “cut off as the tops of the ears of corn.” When something is “cut off” it is separated from its life source. It dies. That means there is no more growth and no more prosperity; there is no more life. Their story will end here. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness,” (Romans 1:18). “But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned,” (Hebrews 6:8).
“And if it be not so now, who will make me a liar, and make my speech nothing worth?” With all the suppositions and accusations they have thrown at Job, Job speaks back to them to disprove all that he has stated.
Psalm 55:16 “As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.”
Oh, if David and Job could sit down and have a one on one, what would they say to each other seeing both had complaints against the injustice of the wicked? David handled his concerns by taking them to the Lord in prayer. His confidence stood in God because he knew that He held his times in his hands. David knew with an assurance that when He petitions God, God will “save.”
As a matter of fact, later in this same Psalm David told what one should do with his burdens. He said, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved,” (Psalm 55:22). God will uphold the righteous and in the following verse he speaks of the demise of the wicked: “But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee,” (Psalm 55:23).
You can take your concerns to God because He does care. Not only does He care; He sees and knows what you are going through. Nothing escapes His eyes of justice and in due time He will deliver.
(Click here for lesson print out PDF: Hope Complains Sunday School Lesson, or simply click the print button below. Enjoy!)
Below are activities to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
Draw the Scene: Hope Complains Draw the Scene
Job Paper Bag Puppet: PDF: Job Paper Bag Puppet and of course your students can draw clothes and decorate their puppet. Enjoy!
Memory Verse Pennant Flag: PDF: Psalm 55 16 Flag Activity Sheet decorate your flag and tape to a dowel rod, upside on a clothes hanger or use a bamboo cooking skewer as I did below. Then, stick it anywhere to remember the wonderful news of Psalm 55:16. Enjoy!
Memory Verse Activity: PDF: Psalm 55 16 Activity Sheet Simply cut out the zig-zag pattern verse and use it as a template on any color construction paper. Then, cut out the figure and do the same (the figure can be made to look like your students. Last, cut out and attach the memory verse. For little ones, you may want to pre-cut all the pieces and allow them to glue and decorate. Too much trouble? You can also use the sheet as is. Enjoy!
Below are more Activities/Links/Resources to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
Activities for Psalm 55:
Previous Lesson’s Job’s Activities:
Prayer Activities for Kids from previous lesson (which falls in line with pouring our complaints out before God):
“Prayer Chain Craft” (A simple, easy and affordable project to throw together for your students. A prayer chain becomes an easy, take home reminder of different request students can pray for one another about. Example below. Enjoy!)
“Prayer Pocket” from Ehow.com
“Prayer” from Msss (several options to choose from)
“Prayer” from Kids Sunday School (several options to choose from)
“My Prayer Book” from Toddleractivitiesathome.com (This cute prayer book is made in the shape of praying hands – wonderful idea!)
“Prayer Garden” from Two Shades of Pink (Very creative use of paper and popsicle sticks to make a prayer garden!) Mssscrafts also has a printable Flower and Vase that you can use for the same concept. Enjoy!
“The Jelly Bean Prayer” from Church House Collection (Very easy coloring page that also teaches colors. Extra bonus of a treat if you can find real jelly beans this time of year to go with it. Enjoy!)
“How 2 Pray” Coloring Page from Ministry to Children
“Connect the Dots Praying Hands” from Kids Sunday School
“The 5 Ws of Prayer” from Sermons4kids
“God’s Cell Phone” from Sermons4kids
“Prayer Pail” from Lubirdbaby.com (This is a wonderful and easy way to help kids to remember to pray for different family members and situations. Very creative!)
“Prayer Mats” (Students can make their own prayer mats with remnants if carpet or fabric and markers to decorate. Sometimes the local dollar store will have square patches/mats to use. Enjoy!)
“God Can Hear Me” (You’ve got a good, old fashioned game with prayer relevance for today’s lesson. Two cans or cups and long string and you have a wonderful way students can explore their prayer life with God. Enjoy!)
“Prayer Sticks” (Popsicle sticks become inspiration for prayers. Write different prayer request on each sticks and use them as prayer prompts. Visit site for more details. Enjoy!)
“Jesus Pillow Craft” (Decorate a bedtime pillow case in a way that will remind the students to pray for others. Sometimes cheap pillow cases can even be found at your local dollar store. Click here for more details. I would like to try this one with my class. Enjoy!)
“Why Pray?” Object lessons and activities.
“Prayer Jars” (Go to this site and click until you get to slide #4. There you will see this wonderful idea of creating prayers jars titled: “From Me to Jesus” and another one “From Jesus to Me.” I absolutely agree with the sentiments of this site host: how awesome it would be for every Sunday School class to have a row of prayer jars lined up in it. Enjoy!)
“Hope” Activities for Kids:
“Hope” Coloring Page from Hellokids
“Everything Will Be Okay” Great Coloring Sheet for Older Children. Really Beautiful from Beauty That Moves