Scripture Reference: Job 1-2; 16:1-5; 38-42
Suggested Emphasis: We can trust God when we are suffering.
We have included the story of Job in this term’s curriculum even though scholars do not all agree on the time the book was written or at what point in history the story took place. We can be sure that Job’s story is one that is true for all time! The Lord had such confidence in Job’s faith that He allowed Satan to test him. Satan took away Job’s wealth, children, and health. Job’s wife and friends were not much help because they tried to convince him that he probably deserved the things that were happening to him. Despite all of his suffering, Job refused to give up his faith in the Lord. Satan was proved wrong and, in the end, the Lord blessed Job with even greater health, wealth, and family than he had before. Through a series of questions and revelations from the Lord, Job learned that God knows more than any human does and sometimes we may not know why things happen. We just need to trust God because he does know.
Job is described as a man who was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil (Job 1:1). He was ever conscious of God. He is referred to throughout the Bible as a righteous man. In Ezekiel, he is named along with Noah and Daniel as men who were righteous before God (Ezekiel 14:14, 20), and in the book of James, he is praised for his patience (James 5:10-11). Job was a man who trusted God in spite of all the bad things that had happened to him.
The story of Job is familiar. Job served as a test case to prove to Satan that if God’s blessings were taken away from a faithful person, that person would not turn from God. God permitted the testing, and Job proved Satan wrong. Job knew his own heart. So when Job’s friends insisted he must have sinned terribly (Job 22), Job could say confidently, “I will come forth as gold” (23:10) and Job did!
Even though Job knew he was blameless, he did not turn against God when everything went wrong. Job did have questions, but when the Lord spoke to him, Job immediately recognized his own smallness in relation to God’s greatness (Job 40:4). Job’s high view of God’s character shaped Job’s attitude. That’s why he could submit to God’s perfect ways even when everything Job had was taken from him.
Job didn’t see God, but he saw a “storm” and heard God’s voice coming from it (Job 38:1-2). God didn’t explain why Job had so much trouble. Instead, He pointed out the many other things that Job didn’t understand.
First, God asked Job what he knew about the making of the world (Job 38:4-5). Of course, Job didn’t know anything except what God had stated. Job did know how to build a house. He would begin by using a measuring line to mark off the place. But he didn’t know how God had begun to make the earth.
Job 38-41 tells of many things Job knew something about but couldn’t explain and neither can we. These verses name phenomena that children also know something about—rain and lightning, wisdom and knowledge, clouds and birds (Job 38:34-38; 39:26-27). Like Job, however, children have to admit that there are limits to their understanding.
Job had known all along that God can do all things, but it seemed even more wonderful after he had listened to God and considered all the things he himself did not know and could not do (Job 42:1-6). In Job’s final speech to God, Job repented for his pride in maintaining his innocence. Then he praised God for His power and wisdom.
God had asked who in the discussion had been making His purpose unclear (Job 38:1-2). Job conceded that he was the one. But now he was able to conclude that since the world was full of things he couldn’t understand, it was reasonable to accept the fact that he could not explain his suffering.
Job realized that no human has the right to demand that God explain how He works. Like Job, we must trust in our knowledge of God and believe that His ways are best. As we come before God in prayer, we should have Job’s attitude of thankfulness and submission—even when bad things happen to us.
Way to Introduce the Story:
Bring some nature items to class today (tree bark, bugs, different types of rocks, feathers, sea shells, sand, etc.) Spend time examining the objects. A magnifying glass or microscope would be ideal to use. Just lead the discussion in the direction of the awesomeness of God. Example: “Look at the feather. See how fine it is. Isn’t God amazing that He knew to make the feather so light? God is so smart!” This will lead to today’s lesson concerning Job and how he learned more about God.
Even though we cannot see angels, the Lord can. Once, angels came before the Lord and Satan came with them. Satan thought that he was smarter than God. He wanted everyone in the world to be bad. He could not believe that people loved God and wanted to be good.
The Lord told him that a man named Job was a very good man. God said that Job always wanted to do right and that he loved God very much.
Satan knew about Job. Job lived in the land of Uz. He loved God very much and God had blessed him in his life. Job had seven sons and three daughters. He had great herds of livestock; 7000 sheep; 3000 camels; 500 yokes of oxen; 500 donkeys; and lots more. He was the greatest man in the land of the East.
Job’s children loved each other and loved him. They grew up and had their own houses but they still liked to visit Job. Sometimes they would go to each other’s houses and visit with one other.
“Job only loves you because you have given him all of these good things. If he did not have riches and family and his health then he would curse you in your face and hate you,” Satan sneered to God.
“All right, you accuser, I will show you that Job is a good man and that he will always try to be good,” answered the Lord. “I will allow you to test Job.”
Then Satan caused terrible things to happen to Job. A messenger came to Job and said that enemies had attacked Job’s flocks and stole his oxen and donkeys and killed his servants. Job was just thinking about how terrible this was when another messenger came and said that lightning had struck and burned up all his sheep. Then another messenger came and said that more enemies had raided the camp where all of Job’s camels were. All of the camels were gone and the servants who had been watching after them were dead.
Job was very sad. All of his riches were gone! At least he had his family! Job knew that all of his children were visiting his oldest son’s house. They were all together and they were safe. Then, a terrible thing happened. Another messenger came rushing up to Job’s house with more bad news.
“Your sons and daughters were feasting at their oldest brother’s house when a very strong wind came up and knocked over the four corners of the house. The whole house fell down and crushed everyone in it. All of your children are dead!”
Job was so upset that he tore his robe, shaved his head, fell down on the ground and began to pray. But he did not hate God like Satan said he would. He prayed to God and worshipped Him.
When Satan came before the Lord again, he told the Lord that Job would curse God if he did not have his health. Satan wanted to test Job again. The Lord knew that Job would pass the test so He allowed Satan to make Job sick.
Big sores appeared all over Job’s body. Even the soles of his feet and the top of his head had sores on them. The sores hurt and they itched. Job used to use bits of broken pottery to scratch his itchy sores. Even though Job hurt he still did not curse God. He did not understand why these things were happening to him but He did not hate God for it.
Job’s wife told him that he should just give up. He should curse God and die. Job’s friends came and visited him. They thought he must have been doing bad things for all of these bad things to happen to him. Job knew he always tried to do what was right. He told them that but they did not believe him. Everything was going wrong. Job loved God but he did not understand God. He began to ask God ‘why?” “Why was I ever born?” “Why didn’t I just die when I was a baby?” “Why am I alive?”
Finally, the Lord spoke to Job. He told Job that He should always trust God . . . even when he did not understand God. After all, how can anyone understand everything about God? No one can know as much as God. God knows everything! People may know about birds but God knows how to make birds fly. People may know about the sun but God causes the sun to come up and go down each day! People may know about animals but God made the largest animals and can control them!
Job learned an important lesson about God. He already knew God and loved Him. Now He knew that God is wiser and stronger than anything on earth. Job knew that he could trust God.
God caused all of Satan’s wickedness toward Job to be stopped. He gave Job twice as much as he had before his suffering came upon him. He also had other children—seven more sons and three more daughters. Job had 14,000 sheep, 6000 camels, 1000 yoke of oxen, and 1000 donkeys. Job lived to be a very old man and he was always happy and loved and trusted the Lord.
Ways to Tell the Story:
This story can be told using a variety of methods. Always remain true to the facts found in the Bible but help children connect to its meaning by using drama, visual aids, voice inflection, student interaction and/or emotion.
Click here for visual aids and story-telling methods.
Click here to download these illustrations and slideshow. Be selective. Each teacher is unique, so only use the illustrations that best relate to how YOU tell the story in THIS lesson. Too many illustrations can be confusing, so eliminate any that cover other stories or details you do not wish to emphasise in this lesson.
- Who did God tell Satan was the most righteous man alive? Job
- What happened to all of Job’s animals? They were stolen or died by lightning.
- What happened to Job’s children? The house they were in was struck by strong wind and collapsed and killed them.
- What did Job learn about God? God knows more than any man and we can trust Him
- How did God bless Job in the end? A family and twice as much wealth.
- Books of the Old Testament Song
- My God is So Big Song
- Refer to the Song Page on this website for more options.
Learning Activities and Crafts:
- Read portions of Job 36:22-30; chapters 37-41 and let the children draw their own interpretations of some of the things found in these verses.
- Be sure to review the memory verse from week 2 of this term—Philippians 4:11
- Bring National Geographic or any science magazine or book to class. Discuss some amazing facts about nature. Scientists know a lot but they have their limits. Talk about the things that scientists do NOT know.
- Write the word TRUST along the side of the chalkboard/whiteboard or on a piece of paper. Let the children make an acrostic about God. (T-ruth, R-ight, U-nderstanding, etc.)
- Have the children sit in a circle and pass a soft object (stuffed toy or a bean bag) around the circle. The teacher (or a student you choose) can close her eyes and then clap her hands. Whoever is holding the object when the teacher claps her hands should tell one thing the Lord knows that we don’t. Continue as many rounds as you want. Examples might be: God knows what we are thinking; God knows how many stars there are.
Check the Teaching Ideas page on this website for ideas that are adaptable to any lesson.
Other Online Resources:
- Colouring page Job fears God & puzzle worksheets (Calvary Curriculum)
- Colouring page Job’s first test & puzzle worksheets (Calvary Curriculum)
- Colouring page Job’s second test & puzzle worksheets (Calvary Curriculum)
- Colouring page Job and his friends & puzzle worksheets (Calvary Curriculum)
- Colouring page Elihu contradicts & puzzle worksheets (Calvary Curriculum)
- Colouring page The Lord speaks & puzzle worksheets (Calvary Curriculum)
- Colouring page Job is blessed & puzzle worksheets (Calvary Curriculum)
- Colouring page “Behemoth” (Christian Answers)
- Other: Various lesson ideas (Sunday School Sources)
- Other: “Behemoth” in Job 40 (Christian Answers)
- Other: Questions and Answers about dinosaurs (Christian Answers)
- Other: The Great Dinosaur Mystery discussion (Christian Answers)