As Kevin Miller writes in his blog article about Job “Job is a book of tragedy, foolish counsel, mourning, but also great strength.” For us it can be counted as such a real romantic film: Job begins and ends happy and cheery, but in-between we get drama of high calibre. By the end of the very first chapter, all of Job’s kids were dead, his animals had been killed and/or stolen, almost of of his servants were dead, and he had completely crushed. Than his health was taken away and by the end of Job 2, we found this (once) wealthy, healthy, man of integrity sitting on a pile of ashes scraping his gaping wounds with broken pieces of pottery. As so often happens by humans is that his friends also started to accuse him of all sorts of bad things. People love it to find the evil by an other, but do not want to see “the beam” in their own eyes. “In Job 8:4, Job’s good old buddy, Bildad, even has the audacity to accuse Job of hidden sin! As if Job were to blame for his suffering! That’s a sad misconception that is sometimes even taught from pulpits today: hidden sin is causing your suffering. ” writes Miller rightly. We have to be careful not to fall in that trap or pitfall.
We also may not accept the latest theologies: Poverty theology and prosperity theology. The first considering those who are poor to be more righteous than those who are rich. It considers a matter of greed to become more wealthy than others and it honours those who choose to live in poverty as particularly devoted to God. Conversely, prosperity theology considers those who are rich to be more righteous than those who are poor; it honours those who are affluent as being rewarded by God because of their faith. In fact, both poverty and prosperity theology can be half-truths but are not depicting the full picture of Gods handling people.
Instead of clinging our hears to false teachers we do better to take Gods Words to our heart. As Arlin Sorensen says: “God has spoken to us clearly through His Word – the Bible is His first communication to us. But more than that – God continues to speak to us as well. The Holy Spirit lives in us to communicate God’s Truth to our hearts. God may speak to us through a dream or a vision. There is no shortage of God speaking to us and giving us direction for life. ” (About Job 33) Even without any book we could and should hear the words from God, because God is talking to us continually through creation, His Word, and the Spirit that lives in us. In the Book of Job as in many other Books of the Bible God lifts up a veil and is shown up as the Most Almighty, Omnipotent, Most Wise and Creator of all things and of all beings. The problem is that most of us do not want to read the Bible and as such hear the Words of God. They prefer to listen to the most popular speakers. But they are not always the wise speakers. On the other hand we also often fail as listeners because we have certain ideas to which we want to keep fast. Most listeners are already preparing their response before the ones to whom they listen ever finish what they have to say. We saw a glimpse of how we want to win the argument, like Elihu who thought he had all the answers. A lot of persons also think the Bible is just an old book and they forget that this Book of Books, the Best-seller of all times can change their life.
Because we want things our way, we prefer the answers who go in our direction of thinking and we dare to feel unjustified when something does happen not like we want it. Often it is our pride which hinders us to think straight and worse, makes it impossible to hear the answers from God. I do hope that in Arlin Sorensen’s Thoughts on Scripture the writer means not with ” It does keep us from hearing God’s response – because there isn’t one. ” that there is no answer for us, because even if we have haughtiness or arrogance God has everybody given the chance to put his or her pride aside and to take up His Word of Wisdom in their hands to learn from it. He is right to say that God opposes the proud. Scripture tells us that over and over. But that God doesn’t hear well – if at all – when pride is our defining character we cannot find right, because God listens to everything what happens and to what people say. He knows and sees everything. Nothing can escape His eye or ear. He doesn’t despise any. Jehovah is not going to look down upon with contempt just because a person can have some bad characteristics as pride. Yes He detest excessive self-esteem but He does see through our eyes and heart and knows were our attitude comes from. If we are honestly willing to hear God He shall come close to us. God shows no partiality to mankind (Job 34:19) and He has always His answer ready for everybody, who wants to hear it. Though it may not always come at the time we would think appropriate. It is up to God to decide to whom He gives answer when. God is always in control of everything. God is powerful and mighty because His righteous judgement and wisdom. Elihu showed us in chapter 36 how God gives some answers to the world, though they may not be like they would like to hear them. (Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37) Nothing can be “thwarted” from God (NIV) no purpose of Him can be restrained. (Job 42:2) Nothing is to difficult for God (Genesis 18:14; Isaiah 43:13; Jeremiah 32:17; Matthew 19:26) When we are in agony, like Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, we can pray to Him and ask Him for things which seem impossible, because He can do everything (Mark 14:36) which shall always be more than any human being (Luke 18:27). God wants to be heard (Job 33:16) and use also people to let His voice been heard (2 Kings 17:13). By showing the people the results of their doings, the crimes caused by their pride, God gives answers to them (Job 36:9). To hear God we sometimes have to be willing to stand still and to be prepared to listen (Job 37:14). To stop or “stand still”: “Stand still and see the salvation of God” (Exodus 14:13; 2 Chronicles 20:17). “Stand still and hear God’s commandments” (Numbers 9:8). “Stand still that I may show you the word of God” (1 Samuel 9:27). “Stand still that I may reason with you” (1 Samuel 12:7).
“Behold, God is mighty, and despises not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom. He preserves not the life of the wicked: but gives right to the poor. He withdraws not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings are they on the throne; yes, he does establish them forever, and they are exalted. And if they are bound in fetters, and are held in cords of affliction; Then he shows them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded. He opens also their ear to discipline, and commands that they return from iniquity.” You can read here how God answers them and which advice He give those people who got a higher position but could not keep it right. ” If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures. But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge. But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath: they cry not when he binds them. They die in youth, and their life is among the unclean.” (Job 36:5-14 KJBPNV)
“He delivers the poor in his affliction, and opens their ears in oppression. Even so would he have removed you out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no narrow place; and that which should be set on your table should be full of fatness.” (Job 36:15-16 KJBPNV)
“Behold, God exalts by his power: who teaches like him?” (Job 36:22 KJBPNV)
“He seals up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work.” (Job 37:7 KJBPNV)
“Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict. Men do therefore fear him: he respects not any that are wise of heart.” (Job 37:23-24 KJBPNV)
“Gird up your loins now like a man: I will demand of you, and declare you unto me.” (Job 40:7 KJBPNV)
“Then will I also confess to you that your own right hand can save you.” (Job 40:14 KJBPNV)
“I know that you can do every thing, and that no thought can be withheld from you. Who is he that hides counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.” (Job 42:2-3 KJBPNV)
Also people who do not believe in God shall at certain times, decided by God, be able to hear God saying things to them. Because God’s desire is that we move away from sin and move to righteousness. He opens our ears to know His commands (Job 36:10).
In Job 37:19 Elihu seems to have taunted Job asking him to teach them (Elihu and the three friends) how they should understand how to speak with God. Our brother Robert Prins wrote: “Elihu began by looking up. Maybe we should do the same as we gaze at the vastness of the heavens, the ethereal blue of the sky, the beauty of the sunrise and the sunset – new pictures painted by God for us to marvel at every day. We can see the expanse of his power as we look up into space and see the millions of stars he has created in glorious beauty, shining in the blackness on the night sky. And when we see clouds we can be impressed by the sheer volume and weight of water that God suspends above the earth. Who has not failed to be impressed by the thunder and lightening of a storm – thunder that can be heard all over the land, and lightening that lights up the whole earth with one almighty flash. And what about the rain, the snow or the hot sun and the way that God can disrupt the whole of man’s affairs by floods, snowstorm, earthquake or heatwave…
May our hearts also pound and leap from their places as we stop to consider God’s wonders.”
We have to reflect on what happens in the world and how God works on it. we have to try to understand God’s involvement in the way that things work in the natural world. Looking around us we can “see” and “hear” a lot of answers to our questions. Other people can sensitise others, like us, to get to know more about the Creator deity. They also can let us see that trials we often go through are not only for us, but for those around us as well and for people far away, who often have nothing to do with what caused their problem either.
As God broke His silence to Job (Job 38:1-) (Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42) He employed a series of more than 70 questions to show Job and humankind, his ignorance and God’s greatness. As long as everything goes all right nobody seems to worry about God, but as soon as something terrible happens ‘everybody’ wants to blame God for it. Suddenly everybody has than criticism on the Creator. Speaking with great irony and personifying His other creations God want putting men right in front of it, and having them to face the facts. did not God confront Job with mysteries of the animal kingdom in order to make him more aware of his ignorance and thus of his inability to be a competent judge of the works of God?
We get to see the other point about what the Book of Job is about. When people criticizes the way things happen in the world and blame God for it, they are trying to usurp God’s position as Master or Governor of this world (Job 40:6-14).
Normally God has not to justify Himself before us, but God addressed the issue of His own justice and Job his futile attempt at self-justification (Job 40:8-14). God questions man if he would condemn the Creator or discredit His justice to justify man himself (Job 40:8 )
In this world many want to have modern gods, people to whom they can look up. Some of those men and women would not mind taking on the appearance of deity. God challenges those people (Job 40:10) King David knew his place and wanted to honour God, but hoped that the adversaries and accusers would be clothed with disgrace and wrapped in shame as in a cloak (Psalm 109:29).
As we came to chapter 42 of the Book of Job the contest with the satan, i.e. the accuser is now over and Job became restored. Job repented for the presumptuous words he spoke to the Most High, his Creator(Job 42:6). We got to see that Jehovah does not want people to suffer for no reason. God could not be impressed with the words of Jobs friends. He found it time that the friends of Job were put on their place and that Job could enjoy again happiness. This last one put away his pride and rebellion and finds contentment in the knowledge that he has God’s fellowship. We also should already be pleased that God wants to be with us, though we do not understand all His ways with us and with the world around us.
Knowing that God is in control of everything but that He has given men the right to clear all things themselves, it is up to take our own responsibility. After the fall Adam and Eve and all their next generations could prove they could manage the creation. So lets tackle it according to our best means, knowing that we all received everything around us in loan from the Creator Jehovah our God, the Most High and omnipotent.
As a Christian, we should lovingly and sincerely have concern for many people and their many circumstances. We should see what happens in the world and should look for the underlying causes. First of all should we always remember that God has given men a free will. The Creator has given men the possibility to choose and to have many choices. So we should be aware which way several people wanted to go, what they did and what consequences they and not God, brought to other human beings and to the rest of the creation of God. As children of God our hearts should ache for the pain and trouble that other creatures experience in life. This concern should compel us to react wisely and to come unto their help. To people we should speak truth into their life, which can include everything from pointing out sin to giving wise counsel, and intercede for them before God in prayer. We also have to stay aware of our limitations. We never can “play for God”. As finite beings, there is only so much we can do and we must discern whom God has called us to help and how God has called us to help them. We have to make choices how and how much we can help and have to put priorities first. Whatever happens we should carry first whatever load God has allowed to come over us, but not blaming Him for it. Than we should see how God still stays with us and helps us to carry that load or burden. As brothers and sisters in Christ we can help each other to make the burden lighter. Out of love we should try to do everything to make the problems less.
“Bear you one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of the Messiah. For if a man thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.” (Galatians 6:2-5 KJBPNV)
Let us be humble enough to accept that the Creator of all things has a good Plan which He is going to bring to a good end in due time. Although we cannot fully understand or appreciate Him, we can love, trust, respect Him and acknowledge that God alone can save us. Jehovah is our strength and He is the only underived and self-sustaining existence in the universe. All other forms of life are but incorporations of the life which is in Him — so many subdivisions of the stream which issues from the great fountainhead. God, as the antecedent, eternal power of the universe, has elaborated all things out of Himself. The testimony before us is, that the God of gods did not hide from the wilderness Israelites, for in the startling familiarity they had every proof that He was with them in the shining face of Moses and the tables of stone. There were rules in abundance on how to worship, but even that did not make obedient children. God’s life instruction and every provision of over reaching care, made little difference to the Israelites. Having the opportunity to read all the stories what happened to the people of God we should know better and take care not “to follow the world”. We should choose to follow the man God had sent to the earth to save the world. And we should follow the teachings of that son of God, called Yeshua or Jesus, the Nazarene, also called the Messiah.
In case we are not so happy with our life, let us look how we can make it better and easier to bear. Our disappointment is in itself a sign that we hunger for something better, and whatever our suffering situation and disappointment with the outcome, that we will regain a better outlook. All sufferers can have Hope. God especially cares and provides for all men — He is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16,17). The disappointment, with God’s answer, can be overwhelming, but God’s disappointment with us and God’s rejection of us are worse. We may never know the purpose of our suffering, but we need to rest assured that God has one. None of His should ever risk rejection.
If God leaves room for doubts and doubters, and we know He does, He also leaves room for the faithless, and in our disappointment, even for us. So God wants to give everybody His answer and His Help. The God who is positive has not only measures and rules for us but also promises.That we always have our ears and eyes open to see God ways and hear His answers and follow His instructions. That we have our eyes fixed on Gods Hope and that we hope in Him and in His son.
“The final chapters of this remarkable book, one of the first on record, brings the drama to a wonderful conclusion. The questions with which it opened by the quest of the Satan, are now answered, and Job finds his experiences have developed his character and understanding. As a wonderful type of the Lord Jesus, Job is vindicated by Yahweh, and becomes a mediator for his friends. He is again commended as Yahweh’s ‘righteous servant’ and is restored and honoured sevenfold. The last speech of the Deity is in Job 41, in which is revealed the power of the flesh in the great leviathan, and the way in which the Almighty Creator permits His creation to display greater spiritual principles. So the record continues as the mighty leviathan is presented as the final picture of Yahweh’s omnipotence.  Its untamable ferocity: Job 41:1-9.  Its terrifying appearance: Job 41:10-24.  Its power in attack: Job 41:25-32.  Its incontestable supremacy: Job 41:33,34” (GEM).
Job 42: “The picture moves to the exaltation of Job:  Job humbles himself before Yahweh: Job 42:1-6.  Divine rebuke of Job’s accusers: Job 42:7-9.  Job restored and honoured: Job 42:10-17. The type is before us in the record of Job; the antitype will shortly be revealed in the return of Yahshua the Anointed, and the elevation of his true family. Then great blessing will come to the whole world, in fulfilment of the Abrahamic covenant” (GEM).
“Trouble (so far from being evidence of desertion) is a means employed in His hands to lay the foundation of future joy and blessedness. Let His children then be comforted and strengthened to endure even the deepest and most inexplicable affliction. Let them learn to see God in the darkness and to feel His hand in the tempest. Let them beware of the folly of Job’s three friends rebuked of God. Let them know that this time of our pilgrimage is the night, and that though weeping may endure for a night, joy cometh in the morning and that joy a joy prepared by the weeping. Let them apply the consolation Christ has given them: ‘Blessed are ye that weep now, for ye shall be comforted’ [Matthew 5:4]” (WP 83).
Epilogue of the Book of Job
The Deliverance of Job
Job 42 (New Century Version)
7 After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not said what is right about me, as my servant Job did. 8 Now take seven bulls and seven male sheep, and go to my servant Job, and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will listen to his prayer. Then I will not punish you for being foolish. You have not said what is right about me, as my servant Job did.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite did as the Lord said, and the Lord listened to Job’s prayer. 10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord gave him success again. The Lord gave Job twice as much as he had owned before. 11 Job’s brothers and sisters came to his house, along with everyone who had known him before, and they all ate with him there. They comforted him and made him feel better about the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave Job a piece of silver and a gold ring. 12 The Lord blessed the last part of Job’s life even more than the first part. Job had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand teams of oxen, and a thousand female donkeys. 13 Job also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 He named the first daughter Jemimah, the second daughter Keziah, and the third daughter Keren-Happuch. 15 There were no other women in all the land as beautiful as Job’s daughters. And their father Job gave them land to own along with their brothers. 16 After this, Job lived one hundred forty years. He lived to see his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. 17 Then Job died; he was old and had lived many years.
The LXX adds, as footnote: “And it is written that he shall rise up again, with those whom the LORD shall raise up.”
Please do find more about Suffering on our main website:
Related please do read:
- About suffering
- Disappointed with God
- Gods design in the creation of the world
- Gods instruction about joy and suffering
- Gods promises
- Gods measure not our measure
- Gods non answer
- Gods promises to us in our suffering
- Gods hope and our hope
- Gods salvation
- Hope for the future
- Importuning for suffering hearts
- Looking for blessed hope
- Miracles in our time of suffering
- Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
- Promise of comforter
- Seems no future in suffering
- Suffering – through the apparent silence of God
- Suffering continues
- Suffering leading to joy
- Surprised by time in joys & sufferings
- Words from God about suffering
- Working of the hope
- Self inflicted misery #1 The root by man (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
- According to some Job (davidscommonplacebook.wordpress.com) receives from God a response more than a little unsatisfying. According to those writers God does not tell Job why he has suffered. God puts Job in his place by showing him how little Job actually knows and when you read the story good you can find a lot of answers in the discussions that went on.
- Surviving and Learning from the Book of Job (richardburkey.wordpress.com) let us rightly know that God’s plans are bigger than our plans. God’s view of the world is bigger then our view. The book of Job challenges our reading as God “corrects” the 3 friends and their theology. In many ways, they sum up what most believe about God. They state what the obvious should be, how most situations work, or in most case “rules of thumb” when it comes to understanding how the world works. One problem, they are proven wrong. Put God in a box, and the lid shuts tight usually either snapping at a finger or leaving you on the outside.
Job throughout the book has pleaded for a hearing before God. Job wants to know why (don’t we all?). Yet God simply, powerfully, eloquently declares who He is. He is God, beyond Job in his day, and beyond us in our day.
- Fragments from the Book of Job #2: chapters 12-20 (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
- Fragments from the Book of Job #3: chapters 21-26 (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
- Fragments from the Book of Job #4: chapters 27-31 (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
- Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37 (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
- Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42 (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
- Fragments from the Book of Job #7 Epilogue (christadelphians.wordpress.com)