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Featured Job

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by MotherFirefly, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. MotherFirefly

    MotherFirefly Well-Known Member

    United States
    I have been reading the Book of Job for a few weeks, trying to wrap my head around a few things. I asked christian friends, christian strangers, even a church leader, and always receive the same, uninspired answers.

    The most obvious question is... why does God allow Satan to do these things? I mean, it opens with God bragging to Satan about Job, Satan makes a bet, and God bites.
    Why? It feels like Job (and thus, humanity in general?) is just a toy. Two spiritual entities gambling with his life to prove the other wrong... it seems cruel.

    Everyone keeps saying the story of Job is essentially to teach you to praise God even when nothing is going for you... but in Job's case, everything fell apart because God allowed it!

    But, to me, beyond all that... the thing that gets me most is his children being massacred by a twister knocking their home on them.
    Why does nobody mention the children?
    Why did their lives not matter in this cruel game?
    All God really had to say about it is "I made everything, so you can't question what I do"

    The more I read the Bible, the more confused I get. :doh:
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Messerve

    Messerve Well-Known Member

    United States
    But you're missing what Elihu says to Job - the younger one who was afraid to speak up at first. He does say more than "He's God so you can't argue" or "You're not as good as you think you are" or "Curse God and get it over with".

    Elihu makes some interesting points that the others don't:

    1. God knows the whole history of our lives even before it happens, so He may allow a person's life to be cut short before some wickedness can be done. In this regard, we could consider the fate of Job's children. We really don't know much about them, after all...
    2. God is merciful and just and does not despise anyone He has made
    3. Rather than being angry at God in times of trouble, we should cry for help. Though Job never curses God, he certainly questions God and never really asks for God's help that I recall...
    4. "And He will not do violence to justice and abundant righteousness." Ultimately, God does recognize the righteous and just works of people who worship Him. If bad things happen, we need to trust that there is a reason we don't see. God will never pay back righteousness with suffering, but that doesn't mean suffering won't happen for other reasons.
    5. We fool ourselves if we think we actually understand God. God does not fit into any box we could ever create and we need to acknowledge that with a certain degree of fear and respect.
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  3. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

    Job was one of the most excruciating books in the Bible i've read, and i avoided reading it like the plague. It was a verse in Proverbs that referenced Job that got me hooked on reading it.

    What also hooked me into reading it was the very beginning verses in the book of Job.

    What did you make of those verses?
  4. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    When I endured great spiritual hardship and asked the Lord why He directed me to Job. I didn’t draw the same conclusions you mentioned.

    It was less about Job but the truths He desired me to glean in relation to my struggle and the road ahead. The restoration and peace he experienced would echo the ones I’d have. And He added more to my portion than I had before the calamity began.

    I never gave up on Him. Not once. No thought. No slight. I suffered with grace.

    How is my life today?

    He healed my infirmities twice and I bear no medical proof of their existence.
    He restored someone dear to my heart that I’d lost.
    He redeemed an old connection and made it new.
    He poured libations in my coffers that never run out.
    He provided a new work and turned my childhood passions into financial gain.
    He fulfilled the desires of my heart in numerous ways and provided unexpected surprises too.
    He taught me how to love, forgive, and pray earth shaking petitions and press on until the deed was done.
    He gave me the truest peace and joy that I’ve ever known.
    He endowed me with a Friend who has stuck beside me all throughout.

    And He reminded me in the end that I chose Him. I wasn’t coerced. I chose to be His. And my blessings are still unfolding. :)

    The purpose of the experience was to solidify my faith to a degree where it could not be shaken or cause me to turn away from God or believe that other faiths were harmless. He permitted me to suffer because I would never fear darkness after that point and I don’t. He made me fearless and placed a capacity to stand and an unflinching belief in Him.

    I must be clear about my stance. I know for certain He has my back. There’s no doubt of this and that was the point. I’m convinced.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
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  5. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

    United States
    The body is just a shell. This life is but a stage or a test. Our life is not to ultimately live it up here. Beyond this world is a reality that God has for His people. Job was being tested. God puts men of God and women of God through tests to see their faithfulness to Him. Their devotion to Him. Satan is wagering that Job did not truly love God and he cared more about his material possessions, his own life, his wife, his kids, etc. God wants us to first love Him above our own lives, and above our children, etc. When we put our trust in GOD as the one we ultimately love first, GOD will not be unjust to reward us in due time.

    Paul says in Romans 8:

    "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18).

    The end is not death, but it is just the beginning. So Job's sons being taken was not the end of the story. Job will one day see his sons again. His faithfulness to God will be rewarded beyond measure. We may not see it in this life now, but in the end, God will reward us more than we can imagine (and more) for our faithfulness despite us going through life's problems or challenges.
  6. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

    United States
    "...for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6).
  7. GTW27

    GTW27 Junior Member

    United States
    Long ago I asked The Lord in prayer to open my heart so that I would understand what I was reading and He did. So it would be for you if you ask. To not deny The Lord, despite when all things are falling apart around us has it's rewards. To not deny The Lord, when the suffering is more than one can bare, also has it's rewards. Those whom The Lord loves must walk through the fire of affliction. This can be a season of many tears and weeping but in the end will lead to a season of joy, unspeakable joy and a peace that never leaves, despite the circumstances. These things I have already walked through, and are behind me now. What this leads to, is Two walking as One just as He promised. There is a time coming for those that are truly His, when they see The Glory that is before them, at the end of the race, that if they were to look back at the things they had to suffer and endure, they would say,"that was nothing compared to what is before us."
  8. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

    United States
    Good observations. I would add the entire account of Job glorifies God generation after generation.
  9. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

    Here are some questions to get you thinking:

    1. Was Job spiritually more mature at the end of Job’s story than at the beginning?

    2. What problem did Job finally show that he needed correction?

    3. Would Job have easily acknowledged this problem prior to the disaster, because he would have realized he had a problem?

    4. Would God have known of Job’s problem prior to satan’s visit?

    5. Did satan manipulate God to get at Job or did God manipulate satan to get satan to do stuff God could not do (hurt innocent people) and bring Job to the point of accepting God’s understanding of his problem?

    6. Does this give us an example of the degree to which God will go in order to help us to grow spiritually?

    7. Is this an example of the role satan plays indirectly helping good people become even better?

    Is God manipulating satan did have satan do what God will not do directly?

    8. It is “unfortunate” that some of Jobs children went to be with God in heaven and leave Job and his wife, but how big of a price will God pay to help us (send his only son)?

    Look at this at least:

    Job, He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.

    1. This is the oldest story thought to be recorded, it could be before the time of the flood.
    2. First!! Remember our objective: All humans are to develop and grow in Godly type love (agape) of God and other humans.
    3. God’s objective is the most selfless, in that He has and will do everything to help human individually develop and grow Godly type love (help us fulfill our objective).
    4. In the story of Job, we can see God is in charge, satan can only do what God allows Satan to do.
    5. God has power over Satan and could destroy Satan at any time, so Satan has a purpose that forces God to allow Satan to stick around.
    6. From the story we see Satan doing the bad stuff to good people and God allowing Satan to do this bad stuff.
    7. Bad stuff is never bad for the individual that loves God: Rm8: 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. What good can Job get out of this discipline, trial, learning experience?
    8. Job would have been praying for himself like he prayed for his kids: Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, "Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." This was Job's regular custom. Job’s pray would easily been to ask to love more and grow spiritually.
    9. We can not stop, we have to be growing or we will start withering spiritually. Where Job is in his spiritual growth at the beginning seem to be far down the path so further growing could be a challenge and require a new level.
    10. Job is fantastic at the beginning of the story, but he is not perfect, he can still do a lot of growing.
    11. I think we can agree that Job is personally a better person (spiritually stronger) at the end of the story then at the beginning, so what was Job’s weakness in the beginning that God would know and realize? If we could figure this out we could figure what was needed to help Job. Would a burning bush experience help Job?
    12. This is another situation in which God works with an individual personally. God is working with each of us very similarly.
    13. We do not know how God worked individually with each of Job’s kids, but He was and they joined God in heaven and would be there when Job got there.
    14. It has been my experience people (including myself) really hate to humble ourselves. It is like being baptized, people use every excuse for not being baptized that comes down to being a sign of humility they will not do.

    At the end we see a changed Job:

    1 Then Job replied to the LORD :

    2 "I know that you can do all things;
    no plan of yours can be thwarted.

    3 You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?'
    Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
    things too wonderful for me to know.

    4 "You said, 'Listen now, and I will speak;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.'

    5 My ears had heard of you
    but now my eyes have seen you.

    6 Therefore I despise myself
    and repent in dust and ashes."

    The fact Job talks of “repenting”, means he realized he sinned, so what was Job’s sin?

    Here seems to be the problem: Job 31: 35 (“Oh, that I had someone to hear me! I sign now my defense—let the Almighty answer me; let my accuser put his indictment in writing. 36 Surely I would wear it on my shoulder, I would put it on like a crown. 37 I would give him an account of my every step; I would present it to him as to a ruler.)—

    From this and previous verses Job has lower God to his level like he could argue his case before God and win. Job would not have admitted that deep in his heart early on he saw God as being like some superior human being and not above making any mistakes, so it would take a huge upheaval in Job’s life to get him to realize this weakness in himself.

    Job was humbled in the end, but why go through all this would there not be an easier way? If God had spoken directly to Job prior to all this would Job not have listened? I would say, “NO”. Job would have said, I know Lord (when he really didn’t) Job would not have said what he did say in the end and that is what he needed to say. How do you get Job to say what he did without going through what he experienced? If you had asked Job in the beginning, “do you know the Lord”, he would have said, “yes” for he knew the Lord better then anyone else at the time. God does not want you to just be the best, but the best you can be and that is what Job wanted.

    Just some thoughts, I really love Job and thank God for this story.
  10. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

    I think it was not a bet. But, I think reason for what happened can be: God knew Job can stand it, therefore he allowed Satan to show what kind of person he is. And what the story tells about Satan is:
    1. God knows better than Satan.
    2. Satan is ready to do all kind of evil things.
    3. Satan can’t do anything without God allowing it.

    The story tells also that we should not worry about earthly things. God is powerful and can make everything good in the end. And I think Jesus says the same in:

    He said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, don't be anxious for your life, what you will eat, nor yet for your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they don't sow, they don't reap, they have no warehouse or barn, and God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than birds! Which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his height? If then you aren't able to do even the least things, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow. They don't toil, neither do they spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if this is how God clothes the grass in the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith? Don't seek what you will eat or what you will drink; neither be anxious. For the nations of the world seek after all of these things, but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek God's Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you.
    Luke 12:22-31

    So, even if we would have to suffer in this life, it would be good to remember to focus on the greater things. But I understand it can be difficult.

    I don’t know much about Job’s family. Bible tells:

    It was so, when the days of their feasting had run their course, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned, and renounced God in their hearts." Thus did Job continually.
    Job 1:5

    Maybe they were guilty to sin that leads to death. I don’t know that, but it could be one reason for the destiny. However, if we believe what the Bible tells, death is not the end. If the children were righteous, God can raise them from death and they can have eternal life. So, even if they died innocent, it is no the end and therefore it is not necessarily bad for them.

    These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
    Mat. 25:46

    I think death of a child can be much worse for the parent than for the children.
  11. Yekcidmij

    Yekcidmij Polymath

    United States
    I think the point of Job is that often we don't know why bad things happen to people and God doesn't seem obligated to explain everything. Job's friends insist throughout the book that Job's misfortune must be due to something Job did - in other words, he must deserve it. But Job insists on his innocence, which is confirmed by God when God shows up, rebukes Job's friends and confirms Job has spoken correctly. When God does show up to Job, he goes into a long speech about how powerful and wise he is to which Job withdraws his objections. But he never really answers Job's problem - why did all that bad stuff happen to him? I think that's probably the point of the story - we can draw the simple lesson that God knows what he's doing, he has the power to do it, and he isn't obligated to disclose everything he knows. We don't always get easy answers (or sometimes any answers at all) to problems we face or to the bad things that happen to us.

    I think your basic observation is largely correct that God is all powerful, all knowing and all wise, which means we aren't in a position to offer a challenge to his plans. By what standard could anyone, Job or otherwise, offer a challenge? Based on what knowledge?

    I don't think the point of the story is about a bet between God and Satan
  12. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

    United States
    I think many of the answers you are looking for can be found in Job 1:4-5

    Rather than just point it out. Take a look at it and you tell me: what stands out to you about Job's children's behavior, Job's behavior and the relationship between the two?
  13. MotherFirefly

    MotherFirefly Well-Known Member

    United States
    Those verses don't answer my questions.

    The only thing it mentions of the children is that they spent their days in 'merriment' and Job prayed and offered to God for them in case they were sinning. With so little information, we are left to assume a lot of things.

    However, regardless of what we assume or how accurately we assume it, I don't understand why their lives didn't matter. They're sacrificed, along with an assumingly large number of servants for what... to teach Job humility?

    Why was this guy so much more important to God than all of the lives ended in this story?

    Beyond just proving Satan wrong.

    I feel like when people discuss the story of Job they see themselves as Job in order to relate to this weird story and get something positive out of it.
    But what do you have to learn if you are one of the shepherds who cared for his multitude of sheep, and are suddenly consumed by fire from the sky?

    Be thankful God chose you as a sacrifice to teach your boss a lesson?

    The easy answer most people give is "don't question it because you could never understand God."
    Well. Then why the hell did he give me a curious mind if he doesn't want me questioning these messed up stories.
  14. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

    United States
    -sigh-, you kinda missed the point of the question. I believe those passages do answer many of your questions. I only asked that way because many times understanding comes better when we are guided to it rather than told it. I'll explain it later, but I don't have time right now.
  15. Grip Docility

    Grip Docility Well-Known Member

    United States
    For all of our collective theological pondering... the book of Job reminds us to put Ashes on our head and take a seat next to Job, clutch faith and admit that we don’t fully understand... to say the very least.

    Job strips it all back down to John 5:39-40 for me. :)
  16. Newtheran

    Newtheran Well-Known Member

    United States
    I have no idea. There are certain things that we simply aren't going to know in this life. If I was God, I would have nuked Satan about a day after he rebelled, evacuated all the dogs, birds, and dolphins to Mars, and knocked earth into the sun with a giant cosmic pool stick. Perhaps that's the point...I'm not, and it's a good thing.

    Perhaps God sees the death of our earthly bodies from a different perspective than we do.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  17. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

    United States
    Job 1:4-5:
    4 And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly.

    ok, so a few things to consider when looking into this (or any) scripture:

    What do we know about God's nature? Does it line up with God's nature and Jesus' example to harm people to teach someone else a lesson... absolutely not! so...

    Consider what happens to Job's children. And, consider it is not God's nature to harm them to teach Job a lesson. Then, consider what is being said in verses 4 & 5.

    Job's kids were having parties. We know that Job was not being invited to these parties because he was offering up sacrifices on their behalf "just in case" they had sinned against God. He didn't know for sure because he wasn't there, but he must have strongly suspected otherwise why in the world go through that trouble? It also states that this was a regular occurrence.

    So, knowing what we do about God's nature, adding to that Job's suspicions of his own children. Job's children were NOT innocent or sinless, quite the opposite.

    On the other hand we have Job, he feared (respected) the Lord, but clearly somehow he missed training his children up to do the same. He did not appear involved in their lives. It does not appear that he tried to intervene with them to try to stop their inappropriate behavior. He simply did sanctification offerings on their behalf to cover up their behavior. In other words, Job was not sinning himself, but he was enabling the sin of his children.

    With this revelation the conversation with Satan begins to take on a different meaning. Note, when God asks questions it isn't because He doesn't know the answer, it is to encourage the one He is asking to consider the answer. (which is one of the things God even says here).

    I believe that part of the moral here (others have made some good points) is that we could be completely righteous, sinless, blameless, whatever you want to call it. But we still have a responsibility to confront sin where we know it is happening (and where we have proper authority to do so) because enabling sin - even if we are totally blameless - will have profound effects on us anyway.

    If you have ever experienced or personally know a parent(s) that have a addicted child whom they consistently bail out, help out... enable. It never ends well for them does it? It causes tremendous marriage stress, usually financial stress, definitely emotional stress to the parents. They may not have anything directly sinful in their lives, but enabling their child's bad behavior has tremendous negative impact on them... it happens all the time.

    Again this is just PART of the answer here, but I believe that it may help answer some of the OP concerns.
  18. MotherFirefly

    MotherFirefly Well-Known Member

    United States
    So, because they were enjoying themselves, and **MAY** have been sinning, that justifies slaughtering all of the kids. And all of his servants. And all of the animals. Got it. Thanks for clearing that one up.

    Or. We could just admit the story is screwed up and we have no clue why all of those lives needed to be taken.

    Other than to prove to Satan that Job was an alright guy.
  19. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

    United States
    You know what. If your default position is that God is mean, nasty, cruel and screwed up then that's the prism you will always see it through and there's little point in seeking understanding beyond just an excuse to bash God and those who love Him. Nothing about that type of attitude is new or special in any way. There are plenty of angry bitter people out there looking for any and every excuse to be mad at God... always have been.

    You get out of scripture what you go into it expecting. If you go looking for and expecting truth you'll find it... and you'll find God. If you go with anger, bitterness and resentment you'll find that too... along with all the excuses one needs to justify those negative attitudes in their own lives.
  20. MotherFirefly

    MotherFirefly Well-Known Member

    United States
    My default position is that I don't understand God.
    I never once bashed God or anyone who loves him (which would include myself).

    I am merely asking questions that you don't seem to have an answer to.
    And that's totally fine... just means we are in the same boat.