Note to leader, especially if you are using this in Sunday School: Be sensitive to group members who may not have read or are not participating in the reading plan. Make sure you use the summary to help them get their bearings, and use the Scripture references in the parentheses so everyone can look up the passage.
This week’s reading covered Creation and the Fall (Day 1). Day 2 showed the increasing spread of sin throughout the world, culminating in God’s destruction of the world. God showed favor (grace in the KJV) to Noah, saving him and his family, along with two of every kind of animal, and thus preserving life. On Day 3, the flood recedes and God makes a covenant with Noah commanding him to “be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth” (Genesis 9:7). Humans do two out of three. Genesis 10 shows how they multiplied, but they failed to fill the earth, opting instead to make a name for themselves by building a tower in one place. So God confuses their language and they scatter to the ends of the earth. Genesis 11 ends with focusing on the family tree of Shem, culminating in the birth of Abram (Fun fact: this is where the term “Semitic” comes from).
Day 4 switches over to Job. If you have the technology in your meeting place, you may want to watch this overview together.
Job 1-2 introduce the central theme of Job, which is “Why do good things happen to bad people?” Job 3 is Job’s opening complaint. For the rest of this week’s reading, we see the pattern that most of the rest of the book will follow:
- A friend responds (Eliphaz, Day 4; Bildad, Day 5; Zophar, Day 6)
- Job responds to the friend
- Repeat (Eliphaz again on Day 7)
You’ll notice as we go through the friends’ speeches they get progressively more confrontational with Job as they go on.
As you went through the reading this week, what stood out to you? Is there anything you noticed that you had not seen before ?
Note to leader: This will be your first question every week. Allow group to share their highlights, but resist the temptation to comment, answer questions, or open it up for discussion. You want the group to get comfortable sharing their thoughts, without looking to you to be the expert on everything.
The following questions span the whole week’s reading. You probably will not have time to deal with all of them. Highlight the ones that are most interesting to you. As you listen to the group’s highlights, put a star next to any of the questions that address what stood out to someone in the group. Make sure you always ask Questions 9 and 10.
- How do you see God’s grace to Adam and Eve, even after they sinned? (Invite someone to read Genesis 3:21-24)
- How could Cain know murdering Abel was wrong (4:14) if God hadn’t given the Ten Commandments yet?
- Why did God choose Noah to build the ark? (see Genesis 6:8-9)
- Why do you think humans did not want to be scattered throughout the earth, even though that was part of God’s command? (see Genesis 9:7; compare 11:4) How do we resist change today?
- What was your initial reaction to jumping from Genesis to Job?
- How does the author of Job describe Job (1:1-5)? Why is this important to understanding everything that happens next?
- Imagine God wanted to use you as an example for faithfulness in the midst of suffering. How do you think you would do if God said “Have you considered my servant [your name]?” (see Job 2:3)
- How do you respond to people when they are grieving? What did Job’s friends do right? (see Job 2:11-13)
- As we wrap up, are there any questions you had about anything you read that we haven’t addressed? (Don’t stress if you don’t know the answer. For some questions, there may not be an answer! You can toss the question to the whole group, give your opinion, or promise to research before next week. And always encourage them to post questions in our Facebook group. Pastor James or someone else may have an insight or an answer).
- What action steps or changes do you sense the Lord is leading you to do next week as a result of this study?
Close in prayer.