The Book of Job serves more as a critique of theodicy than a source of theodicy. In this Bible story from the book of Job, there is a wealthy man named Job residing in an area called Uz with his extended family and vast flocks. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. The Bible tells us that one day Satan presented himself before God and God asked Satan what he thought of Job. The date of the book is unknown. For you write down bitter things against me and make me reap the sins of my youth. (Read the story in the book of Job, before Psalms.) He is “blameless” and “upright,” constantly mindful to live in a righteous manner (Job 1:1). This story helps us understand why suffering exists. Surely, God, you have worn me out; you have devastated my entire household. Though the text does not directly identify its setting, internal clues indicate that “Only a few years will pass before I take the path of no return. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”, At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. In this way, problems may be used by God’s grace to bring a person to saving faith in Christ. “How long will you torment me and crush me with words? The book of Job is Narrative History. Hear now my argument; listen to the pleas of my lips. Then he fell to the ground in worship, and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”. Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar defended God’s justice, often with very logical arguments and rational reasoning, and yet, God said of them in the end, “you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has” (Job 42:7). Job Was Righteous and a Gentile. He had ten children and was a man of great wealth. In the story of Job, the Lord reveals His omnipotence in contrast to Job’s finite understanding and powerless as a created being. The first raiding party are “Sabeans” (Job … “When Satan stretched forth its hand to afflict the bones of Job, Job fell into its clutches, without the means to escape or the strength to resist. Then summon me and I will answer, or let me speak, and you reply to me. The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”, Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? If indeed you would exalt yourselves above me and use my humiliation against me. “Though I cry, ‘Violence!’ I get no response; though I call for help, there is no justice. Ultimately, the Book of Job and the Old Testament Wisdom Books simply call readers to submit to the Lord humbly. For this reason, despite the counsel of his three “friends,” Job cries out to God himself for a suitable explanation (Job 31:35). Therefore, God uses evil and suffering to facilitate the believer’s moral and spiritual maturity. 25 New Year Bible Verses to Renew Our Hope and Faith. While Christians should be cautious about claiming to identify God’s purposes behind specific incidents of injustice and suffering, the Bible does reveal insight into how God uses evil and suffering. You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”. Will your long-winded speeches never end? The Lord’s answer to Job out of the whirlwind was. Salem Media Group. “He has alienated my family from me; my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. Would not his splendor terrify you? 20 Bible Quotes about Strength: Be Strong and Courageous! lamentation literature. These verses also tell us that Job was the greatest of all “the people of the East” who lived in the land of Uz. His wife urges him to denounce God and to give up and die, but Job protests, trying to endure his inflictions. Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. The question Job faces is this: “Will Job serve the Lord for nothing when evil comes upon Him?” Job is never told why he is suffering or going through what he is — even by the Lord when He speaks to Job. He did not know why all these things were happening to him. My wife is having difficulty finding out who Job's parents were as well as when he was born. Job is one of the most famous people in Scripture, yet he is rarely listed as a favorite Bible character. Proud member The Old Testament book of Job can be mysterious, exhausting, and frustrating. It is possible that Job is the oldest of any book of the Bible written approximately 2100-1800 B.C. It is found in the third section of the biblical canon known as the Ketuvim (“Writings”). Whether during pain, suffering, or agony, the Lord will sustain His people through it all for His purposes and glory. Job’s story is the ultimate test of faith and example of perseverance in the Bible. Job in The Bible was a good, rich and religious man. God saw all of this, and he was very pleased with Job. But I desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God. “Who is this that darkens counsel,” he asks, “by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2). I also could speak like you, if you were in my place; I could make fine speeches against you and shake my head at you. He assumes that wisdom is concealed from humans, but he decides to persevere in seeking wisdom by fearing God and evading evil. He eagerly sought to please Jehovah, much as his distant relatives Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph had done. Over the time of one day, Job is given four reports, each informing him that his sheep, servants, and ten children have all died due to thieving intruders or natural disasters. Job’s affliction served as a discipline and worked to transform him into an even more righteous man. Ten times now you have reproached me; shamelessly you attack me. My relatives have gone away; my closest friends have forgotten me. But that document was written at least 1,000 years after Moses wrote the book of Job and locating Uz that far east does not match with the information the Bible gives us. “Have pity on me, my friends, have pity, for the hand of God has struck me. Its author is unknown yet it is possible that Job himself wrote it. THE BOOK OF JOB. In the land of Uz there lived a man named Job; and he was blameless and upright, one who revered God and avoided evil. It is confusing to Job how a human can truly satisfy God’s justice as his ways are mysterious and exceeding human comprehension. Job received a reply, not to his question, “What is happening to me,” but an answer to the Who: God! of As C.S. Eliphaz concludes that Job’s pain must be due to some sin Job has acted, and he recommends Job to seek God’s favor. In fact, God Himself called Satan’s attention to Job. “I have sewed sackcloth over my skin and buried my brow in the dust. Bible Verses about Mothers: The Biblical Importance of Motherhood. What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. Job feared God and shunned evil, he stood witness for God during his trials, he earned God’s praise and blessings, and he lived out a worthy and meaningful life which is … Job was in terrible pain. 1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. If it is true that I have gone astray, my error remains my concern alone. We want to make sure that God knows because when He finds out, surely He’ll do something about it! Even so, the Lord never told him about why he was suffering. But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief. What is answered is God has His purposes for His children who are experiencing suffering. The suffering shows too much for Job, and he turns bitter, anxious, and scared. The first clues have to do with the raiders who destroy or steal Job’s herds and livestock. What Does it Mean That the Word of God Is Alive? You fasten my feet in shackles; you keep close watch on all my paths by putting marks on the soles of my feet. “If you say, ‘How we will hound him, since the root of the trouble lies in him, ’, you should fear the sword yourselves; for wrath will bring punishment by the sword, and then you will know that there is judgment. 1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. Job accuses God of being unjust and not operating the world according to principles of justice, and his friends believe that Job's sin caused his suffering. As God begins to question Job, He reveals Job’s ignorance and limitations of understanding: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38:4). He has blocked my way so I cannot pass; he has shrouded my paths in darkness. The book of Job takes place in an area called in the Bible "the land of Uz" (Job 1:1), which is believed to have been the area southeast of Israel on the Arabian border. gen 25:6 is a new one to me, I missed that somehow. Show me my offense and my sin. Only God and Job himself know the inside story and reasons here. Would not the dread of him fall on you? My breath is offensive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own family. God may use the results of evil and suffering to build the moral and spiritual character of His people or to express fatherly discipline (Romans 5:3; Hebrews 10:35; 12:4-11). His initial response was to rise up in shock, tear his clothes and shave his head. “In the land of Uz [modern day Saudi Arabia], there lived a man whose name was Job” ().Job was not an Israelite. “Earth, do not cover my blood; may my cry never be laid to rest! Yet, Job still worshipped Jehovah. God brags to Satan about Job’s virtue, but Satan contends that Job is only righteous because God has favored him generously. Will you chase after dry chaff? Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom. The anonymous author was almost certainly an Israelite, although he h… And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. Will you speak deceitfully for him? We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. The Lord’s speech to Job could be used to construct a theodicy based on the sovereignty of God; the clay has no right to question its potter (Romans 9:20-21). Satan arrives in heaven again, and God allows him another opportunity to test Job. All his brothers, sisters, and former acquaintances came to his house and dined with him in his house. The Book of Job is one of the literary masterpieces of all time, and provides a profound discussion on the suffering of a just man. Bible readers can inspect Job’s example and should conclude that justice prevailed in the end because God not only made restitution to Job, but he found himself more abundantly blessed than he had been before his suffering. God then restores Job’s health, granting him twice as much property as before, new children, and remarkably long life. This response pleases God, but he is upset with Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar for emitting lousy advice. God eventually intervenes, commanding Job to be brave and explains various detailed features of his creation. Job 42:10-17 “After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his prosperity and doubled his [previous] possessions. Job damns the day he was born, relating life and death to light and darkness. Will you show him partiality? Key personalities of this book include Job, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, Zophar the Naamathite, and Elihu the Buzite. Why do I put myself in jeopardy and take my life in my hands? Job reacts to each of these remarks, becoming so angry that he calls his sympathizers “worthless physicians” who “whitewash [their help] with lies” (Job 13:4). He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. For you, that would be wisdom. All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me. It was the three friends’ obsession with theodicy that rendered them “miserable comforters” to Job (Job 16:2). Amid our suffering, we look to Jesus, the author, and the finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). He deplores the injustice that God lets evil people thrive while he and many other honest people suffer. In the Bible, “the best-known wrestling with the problem of suffering comes to us in the book of Job.” (Ehrman, 2008, p. 162). Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; your defenses are defenses of clay. God rewards Job for his faithfulness and his endurance through such suffering. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Bible: The Old Testament and what it means. Satan wanted Job to suffer even more, so he caused sores to break out all over Job’s body. Some have identified it as a copy of Egyptian first Intermediate period to Hyksos era (2200B.C. Throughout the book, Job, his wife, and his friends speculate on why he, an upright man, suffers. 2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. ”, Breath of the Spirit Ministries - Barbie Breathitt, Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete), Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, Sermon on the Mount - Bible Story Verses & Meaning, The Prodigal Son Parable - Bible Story Verses & Meaning, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. The character Job appears in the 6th-century BCE Book of Ezekiel (although the book has later additions ) as a man of antiquity renowned for his righteousness, and the author of the Book of Job has apparently chosen this legendary hero for his parable. If we use this lens to examine the speeches of Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, it becomes evident why the Lord accuses them of speaking falsely. Above all, Job was a spiritual man. People open their mouths to jeer at me; they strike my cheek in scorn and unite together against me. “Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved; and if I refrain, it does not go away. Suffering exists because we live in a post-Genesis three world, where the Creation is cursed, and people are sinners by nature (Psalm 51), and choice (Romans 3:23; 6:23), and in need of the Lord who alone can save (Ephesians 2:8). Job was called a righteous man by Ezekiel (14:14), along with Noah and Daniel. Bildad supposes that Job’s children brought their deaths upon themselves. and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. Job wants to face God and protest, but cannot physically find God. Courage is forged only through facing one’s fears, just as steel must be refined by fire. He had seven sons and three daughters. It would be imprudent though to take this argument and use it to escape the command to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. How many wrongs and sins have I committed? Job desires for someone who can mediate between himself and God, or be sent to Sheol, the dark space of the dead. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”. The story of Job reveals what goes on behind the scenes in a believer’s life. Whenever the words “fear God” are mentioned, most people will think of the story of Job in the Bible. I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. One of the most overwhelming things about a severe trial can be the sense of isolation. In other words, pain (in this situation) led to the greater good. Job recognizes that he lacks the wisdom to make sense of his suffering but finds comfort in how the Lord’s ways are above his understanding. Lewis in The Problem of Pain so eloquently put it, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”. He has made me his target; his archers surround me. Christopher Ash about his book, Job: The Wisdom of the Cross (Crossway, 2014).. For those who are unfamiliar with it, briefly tell the story of Job. “His non-Israelite status explains the absence of many key theological elements in the book, including law, covenant, temple and reference to Yahweh,” according to the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible. Dave Jenkins is the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, and the Host of the Equipping You in Grace Podcast and Warriors of Grace Podcast. Christianity.com is a member of the Salem Web Network of sites including: Copyright © 2021, Christianity.com. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? The Story of Job Children's Bible. Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Bible Gateway interviewed Rev. By Mary Jane Chaignot. Will you torment a windblown leaf? Three of Job’s companions, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, arrive to comfort him, sitting with Job in silence for seven days out of reverence for his grieving. Furthermore, they hide behind their arguments as a means of avoiding the actual responsibility of a friend: Comforting the one who suffers. Overcome by the appearance of God, Job recognizes God’s infinite power and accepts the constraints of his human understanding. In His service, BibleAsk Team Job’s friends boast of knowledge and understanding, but do not have any, nor do they honestly understand why Job is suffering. There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”. 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