Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Book Of Job And The Problem Of Evil

          Job was regarded as the holiest man on earth in his day (Job 1:1; 8). He even performed sacrifices for his sons daily (Job 1:4-7), showing his obedience and loyalty to God. Despite his piety, God allowed very terrible things to happen to that man. Job ended up getting a bunch of sores and later lost everything that he owned to storms, including his family. In the end, however, God blessed Him with much more riches and also another family. While we are not promised full restitution of our losses in this life, they will be granted to us in eternity (Revelation 21:4).

          This trial of faith showed that Job was indeed a righteous man. He clung to God, despite losing everything. Job's world was turned upside down. In the end, Satan was proven wrong and saw that he was, in truth, a faithful man. God was proven correct in His moral assessment of Job. While suffering, his three closest earthly companions did the natural thing of trying to comfort him by giving possible explanations for all of the mishaps taking place in his life. They suggested that his problems were possibly a result of committing a wrongful action or having a sinful lifestyle. 

          Surely, they thought, Job must have done something worthy of divine retribution in order for his life to be made such a nightmare. All of this, however, would be utterly unsatisfactory to him. He would have none of their reasoning. Job knew in his heart that such claims were false. He knew from his own experience that he was innocent. He was, in fact, a righteous man in the sight of God. His ways were blameless or without fault. Thus, Job maintained the integrity of his ways by not calling into question the goodness of God.

          Job began to question and ponder why God would allow him to undergo all the pain that he was made to endure. He complained to God about his predicaments and pointed to the fact that he had done nothing worthy of condemnation (Job 31). What happened to him did not seem right or fair, and understandably so. Job demanded answers, but God gave no specific explanation for Him not preventing that man's suffering. Nor are we. Undoubtedly, he was confused and anguished.

          Job continually placed his trust in his Creator. In response to his plea, God reminded Job about the fact that He is infinitely superior to mankind in every way. After all, He created life. He would understand how it works. Job was but a small creation in a vast solar system. How could he even begin to understand fully its inner workings? This brings to light the deficiencies that human perception carries with it. Job could not even conquer the beasts of the sea. Who was Job to put God on trial and make Him answer for His decisions? What is earthly suffering compared to the bliss of eternity?

          Job was simply not able to understand how God works. All that could be done on the part of Job was for him to firmly rely on God. This story is very much relatable to us in the modern world. God's control over nature and His ultimate purposes are to be trusted no matter where they seem to take us. This story emphasizes the importance of trusting in God. His wisdom knows no bounds. Our will should be that His will be done. We are not promised a life without problems. Our troubles have their ultimate answers in God.

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