“Unit 22: Day 3, Job 38–42,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)
“Unit 22: Day 3,” Old Testament Study Guide
The Lord responded to Job’s pleas and reminded him that He is all-knowing and all-powerful. Job replied humbly and was instructed further about the Lord’s power. The Lord chastised Job’s friends, accepted Job’s repentance, and made the remaining part of Job’s life more prosperous than it was at the beginning.
Roll up a sheet of paper, making a tube. Look through one end of the tube with one eye while closing the other eye. Consider what difficulties you might experience if you went about your daily activities with your vision limited in this way.
Read the following statement by Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, looking for some things that limit our perspective in life: “From the limited perspective of those who do not have knowledge, understanding, or faith in the Father’s plan—who look at the world only through the lens of mortality with its wars, violence, disease, and evil—this life can seem depressing, chaotic, unfair, and meaningless. Church leaders have compared this perspective with someone walking into the middle of a three-act play. Those without knowledge of the Father’s plan do not understand what happened in the first act, or the premortal existence, and the purposes established there; nor do they understand the clarification and resolution that come in the third act, which is the glorious fulfillment of the Father’s plan” (“The Songs They Could Not Sing,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 104).
What are some other examples of challenges or trials that may be especially difficult to experience without understanding or having faith in Heavenly Father’s plan?
How are these challenges similar to some of the trials Job experienced?
As you study Job 38–42, look for truths that can help you strengthen your faith in Heavenly Father and expand your vision of His plan in order to better meet the challenges you may experience.
After Job and his friends discussed possible reasons for his suffering, the Lord spoke directly to Job. Read Job 38:1–3, looking for what the Lord said. (The phrase “I will demand of thee” in verse 3 means that the Lord was going to ask something of Job.)
Read Job 38:4–7, looking for some of the questions the Lord asked Job to answer.
Who do you think are the “sons of God” mentioned in verse 7?
Read the following statement by President Thomas S. Monson, looking for who he said were among the “sons of God” who “shouted for joy” (Job 38:7): “We lived before our birth into mortality. In our premortal state, we were doubtless among the sons and daughters of God who shouted for joy because of the opportunity to come to this challenging yet necessary mortal existence. We knew that our purpose was to gain a physical body, to overcome trials, and to prove that we would keep the commandments of God” (“He Is Risen!” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 88).
According to President Monson, why did we shout for joy?
You may want to write the following truth in the margin of your scriptures near Job 38:7: Before we were born on earth, we lived with Heavenly Father and rejoiced in His plan of happiness.
- Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: When we face challenges, why might it be helpful to remember that we rejoiced at the opportunity to experience life on earth?
In Job 38–41 we read about how the Lord illustrated His knowledge and power by asking Job many questions about how He created and still directs the earth, emphasizing the limited knowledge and power of mortal mankind.
Ponder why it is important to have a testimony of this truth—particularly during times when we face challenges.
Read Job 42:5–6, looking for how Job felt as he learned more about the Lord.
When Job said, “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6), he was humbly acknowledging his weaknesses, sins, and limitations before the Lord.
The Lord then spoke to Job’s friends, who had misjudged Job and tried to convince him that he did not deserve the Lord’s mercy.
Consider a time in your life when you may have been misjudged by a friend (or friends). Why can it be hurtful if we are misjudged by friends? How might we be tempted to react to our friends when they misjudge us?
Notice in Job 42:8 what the Lord told Job’s friends that Job would do for them, even though they had misjudged him. What principle can we learn from this?
- Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: Why do you think the Lord wants us to pray for those who misjudge us?
Read Job 42:10–17, looking for what Job experienced during the remainder of his life.
What blessings did the Lord give Job after he remained faithful and endured such great trials?
Based on what you learned by studying Job’s experience, complete the following principle: If we remain to the Lord in our trials, then He will us abundantly according to His will.
- In your scripture study journal, list some blessings we can receive as we remain faithful to the Lord during our trials.
To help you understand ways the Lord may bless you as you remain faithful during your trials, read the following statement by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.
“One of the blessings of the gospel is the knowledge that when the curtain of death signals the end of our mortal lives, life will continue on the other side of the veil. There we will be given new opportunities. Not even death can take from us the eternal blessings promised by a loving Heavenly Father” (“Come What May, and Love It,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 28).
If possible you may want to watch a short clip from Elder Wirthlin’s talk entitled “Come What May, and Love It.” If you do so, look for ways the Lord may bless those who are faithful to Him during their trials.
- Complete one or both of the following activities in your scripture study journal:
Write your testimony of how you have been blessed as you have remained faithful to the Lord during your trials.
Explain what you will do to remain faithful to the Lord during your trials.
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Job 38–42 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: