Presentation on theme: "A Theology of Suffering Job 1:13-22 2 Corinthians 12:6-10."— Presentation transcript:
A Theology of Suffering Job 1:13-22 2 Corinthians 12:6-10
Suffering Pat Robertson and Haiti (2010) Pretty Unbelievable Not loving Untrue? Psalm 1 “Righteous prosper, the Wicked suffer” Is the reverse true? “The one who prospers is righteous; the one who suffers is wicked”
Suffering of Job Story of Job has an answer Job’s Story Satan before God God boasts about Job Satan challenges Satan attacks Job persists Satan before God again Satan Attacks again
Suffering of Job So we’ve covered 3 of 42 chapters Before we see the rest of Job’s story There is a place for Lament/Sadness/Being Upset Job tears his robe and shaves his head (1:20) Yet it says that Job did not sin (first hint at our answer)
Suffering of Job Most Job deals with his “Consoling” friends Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar with an appearance from Elihu They start out well, sitting with him 7 days (2:13) Giving him space, just being there Job does finally open up, and Laments his birth The flood gates open and the “advice” flows They go back and forth for 28 chapters Then Elihu criticizes everyone for a few more
Suffering of Job A few chapter headers to highlight Zophar Speaks: You Deserve Worse (11) Eliphaz Speaks: Job’s Wickedness is Great (22) The kind of friends we all hope for right? So the crux of their argument is that Job sinned Since he sinned, he is now being punished
Suffering of Job It was commonly believed that Suffering meant Punishment for sin Blessing meant God is happy with you So since Job suffered he needs to confess Imagine hearing that when you’re suffering Not mention Job hadn’t done anything wrong Does this bring any group to mind? Prosperity Gospel?
God Makes Himself Known God eventually shows up to answer Job God rebukes Job He asks a series of questions (Where you there when?) Leviathan and Behemoth He tells the friends He’s mad they misrepresented Him I’ve always been a little confused, is God mad and Job for questioning and if so why does Job get everything back?
God Makes Himself Known God not upset at being questioned Job in self pity claims God unjust So God answering reveals that He ultimately can not be understood Isaiah 55:8 “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.”
God Makes Himself Known God is mad at Job’s friends though “My anger burns against you…for you have not spoken of me what is right…” (42:7) Putting to bed the idea of suffering = Punishment God does want to bless the righteous Suffering can play a different role altogether Sometimes that role is revealed to us
Paul and His Thorn 2 Corinthians 12:6-10 6 though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul and His Thorn Let’s have a look at Paul’s example What was the thorn? First things, notice Paul prayed 3 times Again it’s ok to be troubled an seek relief No need to be defeatist We all know of miracle healings So what role does suffering play here?
Paul and His Thorn We are blessed to be used by God Trouble is people sometimes take credit Paul might have “boasted” in his success (did before) So the thorn was a reminder for him, probably others Paul’s acceptance and struggle spoke to others
1 Corinthians 10:13 Meant as an encouragement Believers struggling with idol worship My own interaction with passage New outlook, Do you see the difficult aspect of the passage? “beyond your ability” “beyond what you can bear” (NIV)
Our Suffering Ask yourself How much can I bear? What am I being asked to handle? Two other examples Foxe’s Book of Martyrs Grandpa Seabrook
Final Thoughts and Encouragement God loves all of us, most righteous to biggest sinner He has a plan You may never know it, but your suffering is speaking to someone We get to pray for comfort, remember that a no doesn’t mean punishment or lack of love