The Book of Job addresses the problem of the justice of God in the light of humanity’s suffering. It is one of the most celebrated pieces of biblical literature, not only because it explores some of the most profound questions humans ask about their lives, but also because it was extremely well written.
Job lived during the time of the patriarchs, approximately 2100 to 1900 BC. His long lifespan generally corresponded to that of Terah (Abraham’s father). Job was a wealthy man living in a land called Uz with his large family and extensive flocks. He was “blameless” and “upright,” always careful to avoid doing evil. One day, Satan (“the Adversary”) appeared before God in heaven. God boasted to Satan about Job’s goodness, but Satan argued that Job was only good because God has blessed him abundantly. Satan challenged God that, if given permission to punish the man, Job would turn and curse God. God allowed Satan to torment Job to test this bold claim, but he forbid Satan to take Job’s life in the process.
Unknown to Job or Job’s friends, God and Satan did in fact view Job as “blameless and upright.” This contrast shows the folly of the three friends who ignored Job’s pain while purporting to encourage him. The interaction also shows the folly of trying to understand God’s ways. The three friends and Job had a serious theological conversation about a situation that actually was a battle between God and Satan. The fault of Job and his friends was in trying to explain the nature of God with only the limited information available to human knowledge.
In Chapter 38, the Lord finally makes His appearance to Job, and talks to him directly:
Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind. He said:
Who is this who obscures My counsel
with ignorant words?
Get ready to answer Me like a man;
when I question you, you will inform Me.
Where were you when I established the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
Who fixed its dimensions? Certainly you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
What supports its foundations?
Or who laid its cornerstone
while the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Can you fasten the chains of the Pleiades
or loosen the belt of Orion?
Can you bring out the constellations in their season
and lead the Bear and her cubs?
Do you know the laws of heaven?
Can you impose its authority on earth?
(Job 38: 31-33)
Who put wisdom in the heart
or gave the mind understanding?
(Job 38: 36)
After the Lord is finished with His discourse, Job is humbled:
Then Job replied to the Lord:
I know that You can do anything
and no plan of Yours can be thwarted.
You asked, “Who is this who conceals My counsel with ignorance?”
Surely I spoke about things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know.
You said, “Listen now, and I will speak.
When I question you, you will inform Me.”
I had heard rumors about You,
but now my eyes have seen You.
Therefore I take back my words
and repent in dust and ashes.
(Job 42: 1-6)
In light of our imminent Rapture, and the questioning about the Lord’s timing and apparent delay, it would be prudent to follow Job’s example of humility. There is so much we simply do not have the capacity to understand, but the Lord is in control!
If you are not sure that you are saved, you can accept Christ into your life right now, by praying:
“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior.”