Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2016
Texts: Job 1; Job 2; 1 Corinthians 4:9; Genesis 3:1–8; Philippians 4:11–13; Matthew 4:1–11; Philippians 2:5–8
He was the last person ever hanged in the Cardiff prison in Wales. Mahmood Hussein Mattan was in the right place at the wrong time. After arriving in Wales in 1952, Mattan was wrongfully accused of killing a woman. Even though many testimonies were given that he wasn’t the criminal, some of the evidence was twisted and used against him. Forty years later, in 1998, he was exonerated and his family was compensated, which has never before happened.
In 1959, a Canadian student named Steven Truscott was accused of murdering a classmate. He was the youngest person ever placed on death row, but a temporary reprieve postponed his execution. Eventually his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. In 1976, his conviction was overturned. Fifty years later Truscott was not only acquitted but given $6.5 million in compensation.1
In this week’s Sabbath school lesson we consider false accusations that were once made against God by Satan in the courts of heaven. Before representatives of the universe, the devil made false statements about God’s character. His damaging slander accused the Lord of protecting Job from harm and disaster. God called Job blameless and upright, though disaster fell on Job’s household.
Satan responded to the Lord, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” (Job 2:4, 5). The Lord replied, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life” (verse 6).
What appears to be an attack against Job is really defamation of God’s character. As Sunday’s lesson points out, the suggestion is that “God had all but bribed Job into being faithful to Him. Thus, he claimed, Job served God not out of love for God but out of his own selfish motives.”
The story of Job portrays a much larger picture of a cosmic fight between good and evil. The greater battle, which Job finds himself in the middle, is between God and Satan. Job is really a type of Christ for it was Jesus who took the calamities of sin hurled by the devil. Just as Job continued to trust in God through all of the unjust acts of Satan, so Jesus’ loyalty to heaven all the way to the cross revealed that the accusations of the enemy were indeed false.
Job’s faithfulness despite his sufferings helped to exonerate God’s character. What picture of the Lord do we present to the world as we face our own trials?
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