The FENX and the First Book: The Question of Job

Posted: February 29, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Reading through the Book of Job again, as I was two years ago when I first wrote what follows, we’ll see if my thoughts have changed…

I just finished reading though the Book of Job. It’s a fair assessment to say that Job is a pretty depressing book and certainly not on a typical top-ten list of “Favorite Books of the Bible” – I wonder what mine might be? Anyway, why isn’t it? Obviously, because it details to great degree with real calamity and suffering which Job endured. To the American mind, suffering is a bad thing, something we don’t want for various reasons (it hurts, makes life hard, it’s not part of the American dream); yet some don’t get to live life on “easy” or “normal” or use cheat codes. So often when these things happen to people we read about, people we know, or ourselves we ask one question – WHY?

I would submit that we are not asking the right question. Instead of asking “why”, we should be asking “how” – as in “How in the world did Job do it? How did he persevere and endure? How did he NOT curse God? How can I be like Job? The question of “why” is much easier than “how” – suffering is part of life, especially for the Christian; it cannot be escaped. What matters is HOW you deal with it, HOW you cope, HOW you emerge from it and what you have learned. It’s why Christ, Paul, and James all talked about suffering from the perspective of “when”, not “if”. When Paul talked of Perseverance, Character, and Hope in Romans 5, all things people want, it is no mistake these things emanate from having suffered. The whole idea of “overcoming” has it’s root here too, Christ said not to fear when you have trouble because He has overcome the world. James said to take joy in suffering and trail because testing develops perseverance (which leads to the building of character and Hope – a confident expectation of the future). Though Job lived long before the Incarnation, Paul, or James, he understood these things at an utmost level because he understood certain facets of God’s unchanging character, which allowed him to hold fast to his belief and not curse God – facets we in 2010 would do well to study and learn.

God never gave Job a reason for why he suffered and make it crystal clear it wasn’t required of the Master of the Universe to give a reason. Interestingly enough, when it was all said and done, Job was restored and given another 10 children, but I would bet he never forgot those ten he lost, because sometimes testing requires great sacrifice.

Now if only scholars could come to the point of agreement that Leviathan is some sort of fire-breathing dragon-like creature…


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