Thoughts on Job
Whew!!! We did it. Tomorrow, Job will encounter God. After all the discussion about the age old problem of why do the righteous suffer, God will reveal Himself in majesty and power.
Job tries to justify himself, his three counselors charge him with sin, and Elihu’s explanations also falls short of the answer. So in Job how do we address the question of Why do the righteous suffer? What implications can we find?
After looking through a few commentaries on Job, I blended together the following thoughts:
Many people wonder why they should undergo affliction, why they should experience tragedy, heartache, and adversity. For anyone, suffering is hard to comprehend, but especially so when it strikes the undeserving. When pain does not seem to be punishment for wrongdoing, it is puzzling.
The Book of Job addresses the mystery of unmerited misery, showing that in adversity God may have other purposes besides retribution for wrongdoing.
This book also addresses the problem of attitudes in affliction. Job’s experience demonstrates that a believer, while undergoing intense agony, need not renounce God. Question Him, yes; but not deny Him.
Like Job, he may long for an explanation of his experience; but being unable to comprehend the cause of his calamity, he need not curse God. Though Job came close to doing so, he did not actually denounce God as Satan had predicted.
The Book of Job also teaches that to ask why, as Job did (3:11- 12, 16, 20), is not wrong. But to demand that God answer why, as Job also did (13:22; 19:7; 31:15), is wrong. To insist that God explain one’s adversities is inappropriate for it places man above God and challenges God’s sovereignty.
It was not until God revealed Himself in His majesty and power (chapters 38- 41) that Job, “perfect and upright” though he was, turned from his own goodness and confessed:”Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (42:6).
Then it was that, having seen himself to be worse than anything he had ever done, Job emerged from suffering into blessing and restoration.
Hope this helps – Jim