Job In The Bible: The Book Of Life In The Bible

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The existential question of suffering has plagued humankind for millennia. Numerous philosophies and theologies have attempted to explain the reality of suffering in the world. Answers range from there being no meaning to suffering to those who see suffering as having redemptive value. The book of Job in the Bible recognizes God’s sovereignty and justice in the midst of suffering. For the Christian, the question of the question suffering becomes particularly difficult: why would God allow suffering?
Orthodox Christianity recognizes that God is both all-powerful and good. The challenge presented to Christianity, however, is if God is both omnipotent and upright, why would he allow evil and suffering in the world? David Hume succinctly writes,
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Arnold and Beyer (2015) explain that Job deals “with undeserved suffering and the attendant problem of theodicy…[that is] the attempt to justify God’s ways in the world” (p. 270). Job and his friends hold a theology of retribution: blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience (Deuteronomy 28). Consequently, as they correctly believe that God is righteous and just, Job’s friends blame Job himself for his sufferings. Elihu summarizes their beliefs, “It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice. He repays a man for what he has done; he brings upon him what his conduct deserves” (Job 34:12 & 11, New International Version). God refutes this retributive theology, and that Job’s sin caused his suffering when He says that Job’s friends “have not spoken of me what is right” (Job 42:7, NIV). God’s answer to Job is life changing: God reveals that He is in control, He is just (Job 38:1-42:6), and that Job’s suffering is not a result of his sin. Consequently, the book of Job answers Hume’s challenge; it does not answer, however, the question of “why”: why does God allow suffering in the…show more content…
Jesus gives us a clue in John chapter nine when he encountered a man who had been born blind. After clarifying that neither the man’s sin nor his parent’s sin was the cause of the blindness, Jesus explains, “this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” John (9:3, NIV). Suffering is a result of sin in the world, whether our own, others, the fallen nature of the world, or Satan’s strategies. By working to reverse the effects of sin through His redemptive and restorative work, God’s glory is further revealed. Sacrificing His life shows that He is good and loving beyond any reasonable doubt. God’s creation of the world proves He is all-powerful and the restoration that He will ultimately bring when He returns will only display His glory and power even more. God saves people from the effects of sin; He does not cause suffering and evil in the world. If anyone deserved an answer to the question of why God allows individual suffering, it was Job. Job never received an answer to why, but he did encounter God. Why God continues to allow suffering may not be known in this lifetime. One thing is certain, however, God will not allow suffering to continue forever: “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4,
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