by Anne Lang Bundy
I wonder about the whole showdown with Job ...
~ Wendy Paine Miller
Set in the post-flood era, the book of Job evokes a picture of chess game between God and the devil, in which humans are pawns with wills of their own.
This book offers fascinating depictions of our God's personality, the devil, heavenly sparring, human suffering, philosophy, creationism, and far more—fodder for an entire book series. We'll peek at just three points.
RESPONSE TO SUFFERING
Job represents epitome of suffering in every area of life, regardless of doing what's right.
Job holds the honor of Billy Graham and the riches of Bill Gates. Then he loses all—family, wealth, health, reputation. What he has left brings him only grief—an embittered wife's nagging, three accusatory "friends," and a despised life.
Job sowed goodness and reaps adversity.
Though he will be rebuked for calling God to account and complaining "not fair," Job's response to suffering itself has inspired humanity throughout the ages:
...[Job] fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said:
"Naked I came from my mother's womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the LORD."
In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.
~ Job 1:20-22 (NKJV)
RESPONSE TO THE DEVIL
Job's wife provokes her husband using the exact words spoken in Heaven by God and the devil. (Compare Job 2:3 and 2:5 with Job 2:9.) We may deduce that her share in Job's losses has brought bitterness, making her vulnerable to accepting the devil's suggestions, which in turn enables the devil to use her as his mouthpiece.
God desires to be praised. The devil desires to see God cursed.
Job will curse his life. He will question God. He will complain at length, which is dangerously close to cursing God. Yet Job sets an example of rebuking the devil's words:
[Job] said to [his wife], "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
~ Job 2:10 (NKJV)
RESPONSE TO GOD
Job curses his birth, cries "not fair," and seeks and audience with God to question Him. God gives Job an audience, but turns the questions on him with a reference to "children of pride."
Job is treated to a raw display of the Lord's power in lightning storm, tornado, and the possibly present behemoth and leviathan (likely a dinosaur and dragon).
Job already feared God. Now he is terrified. Realizing Whom he attempted to call into account, Job recants, calls himself vile, and repents. He thought he wanted God to justify His actions. But now Job justifies having trust in Almighty God's purposes, though we cannot comprehend them:
"I know that You can do everything,
And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You...
I have uttered what I did not understand,
Things too wonderful [incomprehensible] for me, which I did not know."
~ Job 42:1-3 (NKJV)
What questions do you have about Christianity or the Bible? You're invited to leave them in the comments below (anonymous questions welcome), or email buildingHisbody [plus] @ gmail.com.
© 2010 Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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