Pain & Providence in the Book of Job
The Ground of All Reasonable Hope
May 10, 2020 • Steve Bateman
The book of Job concludes with a perfect resolution that is unrealistic in most circumstances. Real life simply does not work like this for most people who trust in the Lord. Yet in God's sovereign plan, Job's extraordinary experience of prosperity and adversity, becomes a template for our own lives in an unexpected way.
To Understand Suffering, Study Science
April 26, 2020 • Steve Bateman
Throughout his suffering Job grows bolder in demanding an explanation from God, even suggesting that God has been unjust. Thus far, God has been silent, allowing everyone to enter their opinions into the public written record for all time. But now, God speaks and surprisingly answers Job’s questions with questions of his own that invite Job to study science.
The Problem of Pandemics
March 29, 2020 • Steve Bateman
The pain and suffering already caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) naturally raises questions we would like to ask of God. Why this? Why now? Why here? Why us? In other words, we want God to explain himself. Many in this season will doubt God's love, ability, knowledge, or even his existence. But these questions are not unique to our generation. Every generation has had to wrestle with these three truths affirmed in Scripture: 1. God is strong. 2. God is smart. 3. God is good.
"Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways. . ."
February 23, 2020 • Matt Dubach
Control means that God has the power to direct the whole course of nature and history as he pleases. Authority means that God has a right to do that. Presence means that God is with his creatures to bless and to judge in terms of the standard of his covenant. (John Frame, "Systematic Theology")
First Cycle of Dispute: Job's Friends vs. Job
January 26, 2020 • Steve Bateman
Job's friends not only believe THAT God ultimately ordained this pain in Job's life (which is true), but also believe they know WHY God ordained this pain in Job's life (which is false). They operate on an airtight rule that the wicked suffer and the righteous are rewarded. Since Job is suffering, he must be hiding wickedness. . . . Job's friends compliment themselves by criticizing Job. ("We are not suffering, therefore we are righteous.")