Job, a wealthy and upright man, lost his possessions, his children, and his health. Job did not understand why he was suffering. Why does God allow his children to suffer? Although there is an explanation, we may not know it while we are here on earth. In the meantime, we must always be ready for testing in our lives.
Job’s friends wrongly assumed that suffering always came as a result of sin. With this in mind, they tried to persuade Job to repent of his sins. But the three friends were wrong. Suffering is not always a direct result of personal sin. When we experience severe suffering, it may not be our fault, so we don’t have to add to our pain by feeling guilty that some hidden sin is causing our trouble.
Although God is present everywhere, at times he may seem far away. This may cause us to feel alone and to doubt his care for us. We should serve God for who he is, not what we feel. He is never insensitive to our suffering. Because God is sufficient, we must hold on to him.
We must be careful not to judge others who are suffering. We may be demonstrating the sin of pride. We must be cautious in maintaining the certainty of our own conclusions about his God treats us. When we congratulate ourselves for being right, we become proud.
Job showed the kind of trust we are to have. When everything is stripped away, we are to recognize that God is all we ever really had. We should not demand that God explain everything. God gives us himself, but not all the details of his plans. We must remember that this life, with all its pain, is not our final destiny.
Writer of Job
The authorship of Job is uncertain. Some scholars attribute this book to Moses. Others attribute it to one of the ancient wise men whose works can be found in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, perhaps even to Solomon himself.
The manners, customs, and general lifestyle of Job are from the patriarchal period (about 2000-1800 B.C.). Scholars differ, however, regarding when it was compiled, as its writing was an obvious recording of a longstanding oral tradition. Those who attribute it to Moses opt for a fifteenth century B.C. date. Others opt for as late as the second century B.C. Most conservatives assign it to the Solomonic era, the mid-tenth century B.C.
Purpose of Job
The book of Job addresses a universal problem for all people of all faith perspectives, even for those who believe that the world is the result of impersonal forces operating in a predetermined manner. The author of Job specifically addresses those who believe in a personal Creator, known by the name Yahweh (the Lord), according to his self-revelation. His work is simply about God and man; it is written to those who struggle with the justice of a sovereign God in a world filled with suffering.
Theological Contribution of Job
Job teaches us that sometimes the righteous must suffer without knowing the reason why; that is why it is important to trust God in everything. When we see how great He is, like Job, we bow down in humble submission.
Click here to download or print the Bible outline “Job – Upright and Blameless“.