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Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Job Questions

The past few months I have been reading and reflecting on the book of Job. The story of Job has been a little troublesome for me. I mentioned some of these questions in an earlier post about the Lord's Prayer against leading into temptation and delivery from evil.

Some of these questions are:
  • Why did God instigate Satan to turn against Job?
    God seemed to deliberately single out Job because he was a just man. Was it because God was trying to attract Satan's attention to Job because He thought Job of all people could withstand the trials and tribulations? Is it the case that the more faithful you are to God the more He will throw you into the lion's den, the fish's belly and the depths of the valley? Did Job come out of the testing unscathed? It looked to be unlikely as he was rebuked by God. Then if that is the case, does it show that no matter how godly a person is, no one can pass the tests from God?
  • What about Job's children?
    Job had ten grown children. What did they do to deserve death? If Job suffered because he lost ten children, what about their families? What did their families do to deserve the pains of losing their father or mother? What about Job's wife? Was she as strong in faith as Job to be able to withstand such grief? No wonder she says, "Curse God and die!" Since she had already lost all her children, she is probably numbed beyond belief. When her husband was struck with such gruelling physical pain, she probably couldn't bear to see her husband suffer so much.
  • Who was God testing? For whose benefit was the test?
    Was God testing Job? Did Job needed the test in order to find out if he was faithful to God or was it the case where God was testing Satan to prove to Satan that Job was a faithful servant no matter what happened to him? Was the test the result of Satan's skeptical challenge to God? Or did God intend to test Job all along? If Job was the one who was being tested, why take the lives of his children? If test was for Satan's benefit, then why cause so much suffering to Job?
  • The most troublesome part of Job for me was the end. It is a happily ever after ending that leaves too many unanswered questions. Was it really a reward for Job to get back another ten children? Can getting ten more children compensate for losing ten at first?
I know I have too many questions! Usually when I get so distracted by these questions running around in my mind, I try to refocus myself by turning to the last chapters of Job and let God speak again to me, so that I can catch a tiny glimpse of His glory. Then, at the end of all these questions, I find myself sharing Job's awe as he declared: (40: 4, 5):
"I am unworthy-how can I reply you?
I put my hand over my mouth.I spoke once,
but I have no answer-twice,
but I will speak no more."

| 1 pre-Haloscan comments:

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