Bible Study on the Breath of the Almighty Gives Me Life

By Staff
Dec 15, 2009

Bible Study Guide

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Job 33:4

Teacher Notes

This is a suggested Bible study for any size group. The accompanying sermon notes (“The Breath of the Almighty Gives Me Life”) serve as resources as you prepare to teach and then lead this Bible study. Answers are provided with the questions when appropriate, but do not be too quick to give the answers. Allow the participants time to talk about the questions among themselves and offer their own answers.

Bible Study Instruction

Create Learning Readiness: Mention some story in the news about the devaluation of life, especially one related to abortion or euthanasia.

Say: Some people would consider these lives unworthy of life.

Ask: How would you define life? Let the members give their definitions of life. Post them for all to see.

Ask: As you look at this list, how could we combine some of these answers to come to a more complete definition of life? Allow members to make suggestions.

Say: I am giving each of you a pencil and a piece of paper. Please take about 5 minutes and write out what you believe would be a comprehensive definition of life. Before we share our definitions, let’s see how the Bible defines life.

Read Job 33:4. Share some background about Elihu. If necessary, refer to the Context portion of this guide for some background.

Say: In this brief statement, Elihu reveals three truths that should affect our own understanding of the definition of life.

Ask: Does some of the language in this verse sound familiar to you? Elihu has in mind the account of creation in Genesis 1 and 2. (Read Job 33:4 again, then ask two other study members to read Genesis 1:26-27 and Genesis 2:7.)

Ask: How are these passages alike? They talk of God’s impartation of life.

Say: Elihu used two different names for God in this one verse. In the first part of the verse, he used the name El which is the root of the name Elohim. This name of God refers to several aspects of His nature. Among them are His creativity and governing power. This word is used 44 times in Genesis 1 and 2 where we find the account of creation. It is this creative nature of God that Elihu pointed to as the source of his own existence.

Ask: Where did Elihu say that his life came from? Elihu said that his life came from God.

Ask: Can you see any reason in this passage or the Genesis passages we read that explain why God made man? No reason is given.

Ask: If humans didn’t do anything to obligate God to create them, how should we understand our lives? As a gift from a loving God.

Say: Elihu used another name for God in the second part of the verse. He called God “Shaddai.” This name is used more often in Job than in any other book of the Bible (48 times). Commentators are uncertain about the meaning of the word. The name is usually translated “Almighty.” The ancient rabbis believed the name was a compound of two words, which when combined meant “the one who is self-sufficient.” Some scholars believe the word is derived from a word that means “to nourish,” “satisfy,” “or supply.” This seems to fit the context of several passages, including this one.

Ask: As you think about God as the giver and sustainer of life, what does the name Shaddai cause you to think about him? Allow members to give and discuss their answers. Refer to the second point of the Sermon and Bible Study Notes section of this guide for a discussion of the meaning of this name.

Ask: Can you think of ways in which God has nourished you? What about satisfying you? What about supplying your needs? (Ask members to think of specifics in each area of their own personal lives—not just general answers that could apply to anyone.)

Ask: Does God do this for everyone? Ask members to think of some Bible passages that speak of God’s provision for all people. The fact that all people do not have enough is not God’s failure. It is the result of the failure of some human beings to use the resources God has supplied or to share their resources adequately with others.

Say: Look at the last phrase of verse 4. Elihu said that God gave him life. The word that he used indicates both completeness and an intensity of life.

Ask: When you think about life being full and intense, what does it cause you to think about God’s gift of life? It is special. This might be illustrated by saying, “God didn’t just give us life, He REALLY gave us life.” It is life in full measure.

Say: Now, let’s take the three truths we saw in this passage and think about the definitions of life that we wrote earlier. Let’s come up with a definition of life. Let the members come up with a definition they can all agree to.

Ask: Now, is there anybody on the face of the earth for whom that definition does not apply? No

Ask: How should this definition cause us to think about other people? We should see them as people of great value.

Ask: Shouldn’t we be involved in helping to protect all human life as a result? What could we do this week that would help honor all human life?

Say: Very good. Let’s try some of these ideas this week and share some of the results next week.

What Can One Person Do?

  1. Volunteer at a Crisis Pregnancy Center in your area.
  2. Contact local, state, and federal legislators, asking them to support pro-life legislation in the areas of abortion and euthanasia.
  3. Register to vote. Then vote for pro-life candidates who are willing to take a stand for life.
  4. Become a foster parent to provide a home for a child in need of love and care.
  5. Contact your state’s Baptist office to find out if there is a Baptist Children’s Home in your state or one nearby. Work through them to adopt a child that needs a home.
  6. Write an article or letter to the editor of your local paper stating the pro-life message clearly.
  7. Ask your pastor to preach a pro-life message on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday in January.

Helpful Scripture

Bible verses about the Sanctity of Human Life:
Genesis 2: 7; Job 10: 8-12; Job 31: 15; Psalm 22: 9-10; Psalm 100: 3; Psalm 127: 3; Psalm 139: 13-16a; Jeremiah 1: 4-5.

Further Learning

Learn more about: Life,

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