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Job is About More than Suffering

September 17th, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

We rightly look for meaning about suffering in the book of Job. But as I was finishing reading it once again this morning it occurred to me that there is another important lesson we can take from the book of Job concerning our representation of God to the world. You may recall in the story that Job’s friends came t o “comfort” him by advising him to repent of his sin and once again receive God’s favor. But you may also recall that Job’s suffering was not imposed on him as a result of his sin and so he would not repent. As I read through the arguments of the friends I realized that much of it could be quoted as scripture to make certain points about God today. But I also realized that that would be to take everything out of context because in the end God rebukes the friends:

After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. (Job 42:7 ESV)

The lesson? Don’t presume to know what God’s purpose is based on human understanding. And beyond that, don’t quote random phrases from t he Bible as revealed wisdom without carefully considering the context.

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