On Job and Suffering

I am not a theologian. The-Book-Of-Job

Job is a fascinating character on many, many levels.

His life was about 2100 years before Christ. That is to say Job lived his life without any revelation, as far as I can tell, of Christ.

And Job lived his life about 600 years before Moses. This means that Job did not have the Law  to guide him or give him direction.

So, Job lived a very close walk with God not having the law from Moses and long before Jesus came.

That is pretty amazing.

BTW – not saying that Job didn’t need Christ’s sacrifice – he did. He just lived before Christ’s sacrifice and needed it just as we all did and do.

But this is still amazing to me. And is might bring a bit more insight to Romans 1 which says God attributes are evident through nature and men are without excuse regarding God.

I would guess that God gave Job all of the wisdom that he needed to live a righteous life, but also Job had a heart that sought God.

It is pretty amazing what God said about Job in Job 1 saying he was, “blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.”

Here is a second point I learned about Job from Timothy Keller. Not sure I can explain it as well as Keller despite the fact that I have lived it. The idea is that some say Christians serve God, love God because of what they get out of it. And some of that it true. I don’t want to end up in hell… so I seek God. BTW – yes I am saved by grace alone. But at one point Job lost everything, his health, his children, much of his wealth all because God tested him and Satan attacked him. So at some point you could say why serve God anymore? Everything is lost. Which is why Job’s wife says, “Why don’t you just curse God and die?”

But is the midst of losing everything Job still says, “Though He slay me yet will I serve Him.” So a Christian can lose everything that the world values, and that we all value, but Christians still know that God is still sovereign, That God is still out Creator, that Christ still died to redeem us, and even if our only consolation is heaven some day it is still right and proper for us to serve God and honor Him. We don’t serve God because He is a vending machine… even though there are things I might want or need.

So let me apply this to my circumstances. I have a chronic illness. I cannot work. I cannot live the American dream. I can’t really be prosperous. I am dependent on many, many people to stay alive and survive. I would guess that at least half of the people in the Third World live a better life than I do. I am not sure such a comparison is appropriate but I am just trying to explain my situation.

But, because I cannot get healed, or live a prosperous life, or work – which most men find their purpose in, does that mean it is pretty much useless to seek God or try and serve Him? Well I have to serve God for who He is and not because of what He gives me. At some point I have to serve God for who He is and not what I get out of it. And that is real Christianity. Satan told God that Job just serves God for what Job gets out of it. But that is a lie. And Job proved it was a lie and Job proved God right.

Yes I struggle greatly but there is no other ballgame. Jesus is the way, the light and the truth. So if I do not serve God then I will serve something false.

I hope I explained that in a way that makes it real.

Let me try this. Jesus said that He came so I would have life and have it more abundantly. I can promise you that most people look at my life and say geez… I don’t want to have to live like that. Chronic, never ending health issues… please spare me. But I am with Job… I have to be. And he was a really great man, I am not, but still, Job’s conclusion is the correct one. Though He slay me, though I have a chronic illness, though someone has cancer, though the disasters of life hit very hard, yet God is still God, He still created me, and Jesus still died for me and has a claim on my life, so against all odds, against all adversities, against all struggles, against anything that comes at me in this life, still I will serve God. And that is the very end of the matter.

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