29 October 2010

Question of the Week:
What About Job?

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.


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)


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)


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.
Image source:


  1. Thanks Anne, big question to tackle.

    Shall the clay ask the potter why have you made me such?

    God is good - the devil is bad. We trust His heart even when we can't see His hand.

  2. There have certainly been times I've uttered what I did not understand.

    And how did I miss the leviathan?

    Thanks for this. I plan to come back to read it again. Job 1 has spoken to me during several periods of my life.

    ~ Wendy

  3. Bless you for sharing this sis.

  4. uh-oh. well, here goes. for month's since arriving here, i've been avoiding this dance, if you will. although i'm in a better place now and parts of it are easier to accept...there's still something that i know (without any question whatsoever!) that i know our Father wants me to see and gain and understanding in Job. HE keeps bringing me back to this and after reading this i wondered. it's one thing when satan the father of lies...tells you things. but what if it's true????

    there's another three points in your references.

    self love and self preservation are powerful in the hearts of men.

    and satan accuses Job of being wholly selfish and minding nothing but his own ease and safety.

    and children of pride.

    there's a couple of these that seem like they fit like a glove on me. maybe that's what has to get out of the way in order to have an understanding what He is trying to reveal to me. i don't know but HE is without any doubt whatsoever trying to teach or give me an understanding or a revelation of Him in it.

    this just continues to pop up the trail and to such an extent that i must face it with Him.

    thank you Anne and Wendy.

    showdown....how appropriate

  5. btw. in regards to that last sentence. hope it doesn't convey any negative "attitude." i just need to gain a better understanding.

  6. My heart has often gone out to Job's wife. People say how awful she was, and yet, how many of us have walked through what she did -- right along with her husband -- the loss of her 10 children, the loss of all the servants [some of whom may have been dearly loved], the loss of all their belongings, and then seeing her husband in this horrific physical state. Would grief not cause many of us to plead in approximately the same way that this all come to an end b/c of the hard hand of God -- not knowing the truth, YET? I wonder how things came to pass for her... that's not ever mentioned. Did they reconcile? Did she return to the Lord? Were the following batch of kids hers? Unless I've missed something, Chapter 42 doesn't clarify that. So, anyhow, that's my toss into the mix.

  7. okay...i'm back but not remove anthing. only to say there might have beeen a bit of residue clinging to that last line. residue being in the form of anger. guess there's still a bit of attitude on this end. will leave these posts alone today too. to ensure that, i won't be back. (today)

  8. I realized I wrote "hard hand of God" ... that's not to indicate is WAS the hard hand of God... just that she probably looked at it that way. Just wanted to make sure the thinking didn't seem strange and unkind to my Father.

  9. Doug ~

    We trust His heart even when we can't see His hand.

    A Spurling Silver classic.

    I've no idea why, but I read that and immediately had a visual image of God holding His cards close to the vest, holding a winning hand on our behalf.

  10. Wendy ~

    How I'd love to do Job as a biblical novel! When Elihu makes his appearance at Job 32, I see his prophecy being played out before the eyes of Job and the three friends. His six chapter monologue draws to a close with a storm building. Elihu knows well he is only giving the Almighty His introduction.

    Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind ...

    Can you see the tornado? F-5 maybe? The Lord peppers Job with questions, but Job's answer at the end of 39 isn't quite sufficient. So the Lord speaks of behemoth (chapter 40), the largest land animal ever He created. The not-quite extinct dinosaur (another discussion! :D) makes his appearance to punctuate the Lord's remarks. Then the Lord closes by discussing leviathan, the fire-breathing dragon more fierce than any other creature, indestructible by humans. I picture the leviathan rising up above Job about the time the Lord calls the creature "king over all the children of pride."

    Whatever error Job has made, leviathan shall not be his king. His remaining spirit is broken; his repentance is full.

    At least that's the way I'll depict it if given the chance. : )

  11. Denise ~

    It's not about our circumstances, love. It's about our response and God's glory.

  12. Bud ~

    ... being wholly selfish and minding nothing but his own ease and safety ...

    Now that is an accusation that does stand, isn't it? The devil does speak some truth, but only so we don't detect the lie.

    Keep searching, Bud. You're doing well.

  13. Caryjo ~

    Though she became the devil's mouthpiece, I don't condemn Job's wife for her human response as I observe it. I don't think she's done anything atypical. I happen to think even Christians are all too often used by the enemy to speak his condemnation and criticism and vile accusations.

    Which is why we need to take the lesson from Job, and be willing to praise God rather than complain, speak Jesus to other people, and be His skin to touch and deeply love them, rather than condemn.

  14. I wasn't thinking of "you" condemning Job's wife. Mostly, my reaction was b/c so many people either do, or they take her so lightly, in terms of what she was going through, and my heart has gone out to her for years. So few of us have gone through so much; consequently, in many ways, we understand so little. But, the day may come...

  15. quote:

    ...Now that is an accusation that does stand, isn't it? The devil does speak some truth, but only so we don't detect the lie.

    yes. it does stand. but not for much longer. HE holds the winning Hand and i know it. plus i see/know the lie...now.

  16. For me the biggest lesson in Job is to realize the Lord IS in control even when it's seemingly not so. Well done Anne! I look forward to more of this. =)

  17. Carryjo ~

    The Lord has done a great deal with me this last year in learning greater empathy for women in certain ways. Though the counseling I've done has been sympathetic over many year, I've come to appreciate a whole new level of how deeply the suffering can go. And "with the comfort we receive we comfort others." Though I noted that her husband's suffering was also hers, I take your point about going beyond not condemning, and appreciating how deeply women suffer through what their husbands go through. I'm glad to have you bring it out as clearly as you have. Thank you.

  18. Bud ~

    The devil's purpose is to inflict as much collateral damage as possible on his way down. He might be less effective if words did not hold so much power. He is an enemy worthy of our respect, not for him, but for how seriously we fight him. We need only fear his lies if we don't sufficiently counter them with truth.

  19. T ~

    Thanks for the feedback. And yes, I suppose seeing human free will at work can give one pause about how much control God retains. Like our novels, the characters may take off in an unwise or unanticipated direction, but we eventually steer them toward the intended end.