Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2016
Texts: Job 3:1–10; John 11:11–14; Job 6:1–3; 7:1–11; James 4:14; Job 7:17–21; Psalm 8:4–6
The popular television show involved hiding cameras and filming ordinary people being placed in unusual circumstances. For instance, a gas attendant was asked to fill a car with gas and didn’t realize it had been outfitted with a large extra gas tank. After dispensing a huge amount of gasoline, the customer finally revealed the gag and told the attendant, “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera!”
The American comedy reality show Candid Camera first began as The Candid Microphone on June 28, 1947. Created by Allen Funt, the practical joke of hiding a camera hit television in 1948 and ran for 38 seasons with over 1,000 episodes. It spun off a British, Australian, and German version of the show.1
A turning point in most situations being filmed was when the ordinary individual discovers he or she has been set up. The “light” goes on and often the person laughs along with everyone else.
If that were only the case with Job. It’s easy for us reading this story of injustice because we are able to peer behind the scenes. But Job was in the camera lens. He had no knowledge of the great cosmic battle between Christ and Satan. He didn’t know how his tragedy was being viewed by the universe. And he didn’t realize how things would turn out. He only had faith in God.
This week’s Sabbath school lesson looks at the challenge Job faced in trying to understand his suffering. His incredible losses are unfathomable to us. The tragedies he faced were no joke. It would have been nice to stop the camera and step up to the bewildered man and say, “Smile, none of this really happened. It was just a prank. Everything will be fine.”
The truth is that we have all tasted, at some level, the bitter drink of human suffering. In ways that vary, each of us has felt the keen pain of loss, of injustice, of humiliation, of pain and grief. We too might be tempted to sit in the ashes with Job and look up into the sky and cry, “Lord, what were You thinking?”
Have you faced such devastating losses that you wished you had never been born? Have you ever looked at the face of a deceased loved one and wondered why it was them and not you? Have you been so troubled by injustice, fear, failure, or sickness that you are tempted to curse God? Have a seat next to Job. He knows just how you feel.
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