Theodicy and the book of Job
The book of Job is probably one of the biblical manuscripts which immediately come to mind whenever the subject of theodicy is touched. This matter is not something to be surprised about for serious students of the Scripture, for Job indeed, among many things, deals with the question of the presence of the evil in the world. And so, it’s not uncommon among Christians (and Jews) – people who believe in an all-powerful, all-loving, and all-wise Creator and Sustainer – at certain points in their walk of faith to have asked questions regarding the ethical issue of the presence of wickedness, and its dark shadow has been always cast upon the almighty benevolent God.
How could a God whose very nature is love, and one that has unlimited power (i.e. can do what he pleases), allow evil to wreak havoc among his creation? Those who feel it is their concern to “go to the aid of God” and help him defend himself (i.
e. theodicy) go to the book of Job to somehow unravel the enigma brought about by multifaceted manifestations of evil. The fact of evil, as it shows in various forms of sufferings since time immemorial, seems to gain an upper hand in this theological and philosophical game. Indeed, had it not for the fact that Judeao-Christian faith is more reasonable than atheism, this riddle of suffering could have reduced many among the people of faith to fall into non-belief at worse or agnosticism at best. The candid declaration of the Scripture all throughout its canonical books (i.e. Genesis to Revelation) is, “suffering – in all of its many varied forms – originated in sin. All the seeming overwhelming questions which bombard and attempt to strip the reasonableness of biblical faith fall under the category of humanistic questions (limited point of view), that in all actuality, were asked from biased vantage spots and have no thorough understanding whatsoever for given their differing situations, they come from natural men who have no capacity at all to comprehend ultimate things that they were trying to explore. That’s the real state of affairs because humanity is in a fallen state (and even to fully figure out this actual condition of humanity is practically impossible to attain), and for that reason alone, to arrive at the point of understanding all the answers to ultimate questions without the aid of a truly Divine revelation is simply an impossibility.
And so, to venture on a particular study that has as its focus an attempt to explain and make sense the many ironies of life, or to show the compatibility of belief in a good and omniscient God with the reality of evil in the world, require a revelation from God, or else, all these attempts to understand would be failures at the very outset. The following arguments in succeeding pages stand on the premise that the entire Bible contains the unveiling of God about the true state of affairs in this world and in life generally. Without the Bible, man is left alone conjecturing on things which are naturally beyond his reach – beyond his intellect to comprehend (because intellect is affected by the fall that it is incapacitated to the degree that it cannot understand the ultimate without the enabling of God). The book of Job contains deep insights into suffering, more particularly, the suffering of the seemingly innocent man. It is a story of a righteous man who in spite of his integrity got struck nevertheless with a series of blows in his life, so disastrous that at the end he was left alone and at the verge of losing his sanity, with only two options left – whether to cling still to his faith in a good and powerful God or abandon that faith and curse God who after all could not help him. Job is an excellent book for people whose hope in God is in constant pressure of being challenged by questions of evil which seems to be indiscriminate of its victims. This paper argues from the perspective of what transpired in the life of Job as it is narrated in the Bible. However, it is to be noted early on, that all of the upcoming discussions do not guarantee nor promise a satisfying answer to all kinds of inquirers. Job is a book of faith, and therefore, helpful only to those who want to see a transcendent remedy to an already problematic existence called life. The life of faith is rational and is based on divinely revealed truths. People look for and accept those answers which they deem reasonable and hence palatable to the mind and therefore, whether it is realized or not, everyone acts on faith (i.e. belief on certain explanations). It’s only a matter of which answer, argument, or explanation, is reckoned to be intellectually better, and consequently embraced.
I. Origin of Evil/Suffering
If not for the revelation found in the Bible, there would be no other option but to accept the state of affairs in life as it is. This means that since suffering has been a part of the history of humanity, it has to be accepted as part and parcel of a normal life. However, looking at it in a biblical perspective, although suffering is part of the human existence in this world, the fact of the matter is: it has not always been a part of life. It came into the picture only after the fall of the first couple – Adam and Eve. Suffering is one of the symptoms of this life’s abnormality. The Bible is clear about this, as stated in Romans 5:12 and in many other passages found in the Holy Writ. This biblical truth is important, foundational, and essential in dealing with many questions regarding suffering.
As was stated early on, at the heart of this thesis is the objective to help by elucidating on the true predicament of man’s existence by pointing out that which is biblical, or the biblical diagnosis on things. It really helps and better prepares the sick person to face his/her true condition by first properly diagnosing the illness. It doesn’t help if the mind continues to be in a state of uncertainty and fear because it is sure of something which could be fatal. Also, it will not help keeping the real problem under the sheets, all along hoping that it will just leave by itself, because it will not. And so, the Bible is crucially significant in addressing the issue of evil and suffering.
1.) Death Came As A Result Of Sin. As far as the revelation of God (the Bible) is concerned, suffering entered the landscape of life when the first man sinned (Rom.5:12). The book of Job in fact presupposed sin, death, and suffering. Job argued to his wife that both good and adversity come from the hand of God (Job 2:10), and implied in his responses to all of the bad things which have just occurred in his life that God is worthy of man’s allegiance in spite of whatever might happen to one’s life. Job held on to his integrity when most men do not. Students of the Bible can only guess as to what kept Job from renouncing God under the severest testings through which he had been subjected to. At this point, it is safe to say that Job had been assured of the eternity of God and His attributes, and therefore had a strong belief in God’s person. It is important to have a firm grasp of the attributes of God. This is what can uphold a person under trial and it can keep him through life’s severest ordeals. Why did Job regularly offered “burnt offerings” every after his children’s feastings? What could be the possible reasons, if not for the pervading belief and custom in those days among the people of God?
Sin and its effects were the things that bothered Job the most and these occasioned his sacrifices in behalf of his family to alleviate God’s anger that might have been kindled in the course of his sons’ feastings because of certain unknown sins. Readers were informed of this kind of concern in the heart of Job as his words are recorded for the benefit of all (Job 1:5). One biblical scholar suggested that Job at certain times would regularly gather his family together and hold a feast for the Lord, and in those feasts, he would offer burnt offerings to make atonement for sins for his entire family (Clarke 1997). Job’s action was considered customary among God-fearing people in the ancient times. Early on, even at this stage of God’s redemptive history, the host of problems that sin has inflicted humanity and the whole creation with was commonly understood. Sin has introduced all kinds of sufferings in the world.
Nothing threatens the prospect of a good life than the possibility of an imminent death. A positive vista of life – happy family, burgeoning business, and flourishing career – is easily clouded by fear when suddenly something final as death comes into the scene. Death is seen as the ultimate because it can put a period on the otherwise happy and full of promise subsistence. One theologian explained the statement of Apostle Paul in Romans 5:12 in a way that points to sin as the real culprit why there are pain, sickness, and weakness in man’s physical body. He said, in effect that, had it not been for Adam’s sin there would be no sickness in the world in the first place. Remember that death is the maturity of weakness and sickness in the body. All illnesses lead to eventual death. What the Bible is telling us about sickness, weakness, and any form of suffering endured in the body – whether mental or physical suffering – result inevitably to physical death. And the reality of death in this life was occasioned by the original sin of the first couple, Adam and Eve. Succeeding generations of humanity, after the first man and woman, inherited sin as well as its product – death (Duffield and Van Cleave 1987). It is also important to note that sin not only occasioned death, but it is its necessary outcome. The unanimous observation of many students of the Bible based on the narrative accounts as well as how it is described in certain passages of biblical books is that death is spiritual as also it is physical. The first time it hits humans, the first and immediate effect was spiritual in that it did not resulted in the first couple’s physical death. This spiritual death is actually more devastating than physical death because it altered everything within the human frame that it has set into motion a strong pull towards wrong directions. First, it separated man from God. It is the reason why man cannot respond to the things of God. As a dead body has no capacity for any responses to its surrounding whatsoever because it is dead, so is a man who is physically alive but is spiritually dead.
A person who is spiritually dead does not and cannot respond to God and the things of God. As one preacher said when told by a cynic among his audience that he doesn’t feel the burden of sin in his life like what the preacher was trying to convey in his message, “As a dead couldn’t feel a ton of garbage when placed on that body, so is the burden of sin to a spiritually dead person.” That’s why when Apostle Paul elaborated to the Romans the depravity of man, he zoomed in to the fact that at present, because humanity has chosen to abandon God – and the proof of it has affected all aspects of the human existence – God also had to leave humanity alone in its decision to leave the reality of God out of its thoughts and actions. The whole scenario is sobering especially when the Biblical perspective on this is considered. It’s very easy and normal to leave God out of the picture, and it’s actually what people want essentially as it is looked at at face value. Man has effectively abandoned God and has erased any traces of Him from the very start – from the birth of a baby in a home where belief in God is optional at best, and as that baby developed into childhood, and as that child was reared in school (if opportunities for schooling was ever available, primary to college education), and eventually released to live life independently as an adult in a society whose culture ever since was godless. And the cycle goes on and on like a permanent process. Now, again, as pointed out early in this paper, all of these not-so-promising-state-of-affairs can be tracked down back to Eden where life turned into a sudden shift (McArthur 2008). Where there is spiritual death, the prospect of life is anything but imperfect and flawed everywhere. The original order of things has been altered, and it’s not human species alone that has been terribly affected by the Fall; the whole creation has been “groaning” ever since (Rom.8:22). How is this biblical truth of death coming as a result of sin relevant to the exposition of the book of Job? Well, the massive effects of the Fall were already at work in the days of Job, and since he was a true worshiper of the true God, it is safe to assume that he already had a revelation of this truth, and therefore he knew the reality of the presence of evil – even before he was stricken with successive bombardments of calamities in his own personal life.
2.) Man’s Separation From God Precipitated Suffering. The first manifestations of humanity’s misery were quickly evident right after Adam and Eve violated God’s word to them. They, right then and there, realized their nakedness which before was not a cause of shame for them. What previously for them was just normal, and did not pose a problem, now they have trouble keeping it the way it was. They must cover their nakedness, and they must hide and keep themselves at a distance – where they feel somehow hidden – from God (Gen.3:7-9). The fact that society disregards the reality of God in its system highlights the reality of spiritual separation. The cause for many of the troubles that history has witnessed since time immemorial was man’s broken relationship with its Creator. It has been the reason from the start, and it still is until now. God spoke through Prophet Isaiah, that it was man’s sin which has actually separated man from God (Isa.59:2). Left alone, man naturally would not choose God, much less, His righteous ways as revealed by Him in the Bible. Contrary to what have been suggested by many considered pundits of humanities, and sadly, by many church denominations through what has been now known as the “seeker-sensitive” approach in church’s services, man is not naturally inclined to seek God and the things of the Spirit of God. And so, under this cursed condition, it is not supposed to surprise anybody who have searched and found in the Holy Scriptures that the world is in its current troubled state. There’s actually spiritual anarchy where every one is a rule unto himself. Every one does what he/she deems good in his/her perception of things. If it feels good, then probably, it is good. This is how man is running his life, and it translates into the overall landscape of society. Man sets the trend. What had been considered “wicked” of the past generation, if it is now palatable to the senses, and hence, has been slowly swallowed and embraced as “acceptable” by the media and the general public, it becomes legal and normatively harmless. Therefore, in Paul’s words, God in turn has abandoned man in his choice of abandoning the knowledge of his Creator. This is, to a large degree, the reason for many troubles and sufferings that nations and people have been seeing. If the Bible is true – and it is this paper’s contention that it is the true truth – then the unrestrained freedom and lifestyles which seem to describe the earth’s populace for a long period of time now, is actually a judgment of God. A preacher once answered those who threw all the blame on God in the wake of 911 tragedy in these words: “We have done all we could, and effectively, we got God out of our schools and government institutions, and now we are asking where He is in all of these?” Of course, and again, as Job is considered against all these elaborations about man’s separation from God, it would seem not applicable. But again, one need only to realize that man’s fall at the Garden of Eden existed long before the days of Job, at least a few thousands of years. Hence, these are all pertinent in the study of Job.
3.) Suffering Befalls Good People and Bad People Alike. One of the glaring lessons in the book of Job is that suffering is a common lot among human species. No one wants to entertain the idea of going through any kind of sufferings. In fact, among other things that compelled the people of God to surrender their lives to God is fear of eternal punishment in hell. If the temporal sufferings of this life can terrify most people, how much more be the prospect of anguish for all eternity? Indeed, it is wise for just anybody to be fearful of the One who is not only able to take one’s life out of his body but is also capable of destroying one’s soul in hell forever (Matt.10:28). The prospect of eternal punishment is the thing that is being stressed in the pages of the Bible, and it can only be suffered by those who choose to negate God out of their lives. Therefore, it is generally understood that misery is not the lot of the righteous man. If ever there is pain, distress, or any kind of torment, it should befall only those who are neglectful of God and do not care whatsoever about what is right and fair. To see the truly good people agonizing of unimaginable illness such as cancer or loss of loved ones due to some sort of horrible accident is simply disturbing, and poses an enigma that in most times, occasions for questioning the very person of God who is believed to be good, fair, and all-powerful. For those troubled by the presence of evil, it’s either God and His attributes are true and therefore evil should be eradicated from the landscape of life and should be at a good distance from among good people, or, because suffering is everywhere, God and His attributes must not be consistently the same. It is rare to find individuals who willingly stand at the center of the tension between God’s attributes and the presence of evil – who submit to the reality that suffering befalls good and bad as well.
4.) Satan Is The Source Of Man’s Temptations. There are insights in the book of Job which Job himself wasn’t aware of. First, in chapter one of the book, readers are ushered to what was happening behind the scenes. There was Satan before the presence of God (Job 1:6-8). It is important to note that trials and temptations come from Satan who maliciously trying his very best to turn God’s people against their God. And one of the most effective tricks of Satan was to make people oblivious of him. Once he is not given a thought, he can move unhindered, and the odds of him succeeding with his schemes become greater. And so, it is important to know this truth as revealed to us in the first chapter of Job. Satan is the Tempter. In the New Testament, James said in his letter that no one can rightfully say that he is “tempted by God” (Jas 1:13). He further said that God cannot be lured into evil, and it’s not His activity to tempt anybody. God is a good God. He is not evil to entice anyone to sin. The author of sin is the devil. All of the calamities which befell Job and his family were concocted by Satan.
5.) Human suffering is not always a result of God’s displeasure. This truth is never more crystal clear than in the life of the Lord Jesus Himself. Prophet Isaiah said of the Messiah, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted” (Isa.53:4). “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief…” (Isa.53:10). It was God’s perfect will to make Jesus a sin-offering to make His salvation available for all. Although the suffering of Jesus was for the punishment of humanity’s sin to render Him “just and the justifier” (Rom.3:26), His suffering nevertheless was not exactly because God was displeased in Him. Job cannot be properly set on a par with Jesus. However, as part of the whole revelation of God, his case is one of righteous suffering. His suffering was not a result of God’s punishment. Contrary to the assessments of his friends, he was not being punished by God. He has become the target of Satan’s malicious attacks. God Himself bears witness to the uprightness of Job (Job 1:8). At times, God allows sufferings and trials just to make a show of the genuineness of His children’s faith (1 Pet.1:7). He knows that those who are genuinely His will emerge clean and will only be revealed by the fire of testing in the end that their faith is as pure as gold cleared of dross.
The case of Job is a pill of biblical truth which is difficult to swallow. That a person as blameless as Job could have actually endured a series of catastrophic blows such as those told in the very book that bears his name somehow begs an explanation. There has to be an explanation. Believers from generations have tried to render some sort of fairness on the part of God in their theses. Explanations abound – many from Biblical scholars and Christian philosophers – as to why such calamities happened to Job, as well as why did God allow those things to take place in the life of Job. While most of these materials are excellent, they are, at best, beneficial only for people who are inclined to believe in God’s justice in spite of the huge loss incurred upon Job as told in the Biblical narrative. Mostly, these excellent materials are the results of determined effort to study the Scriptures – to wade through the whole Bible to finally reach a conclusion drawn from the complete revelation of God throughout the centuries with regards to suffering.
And so, as one looks at the New Testament, a positive outlook can be felt exuding from its pages. Apostle Paul could say, “All things work together for good” (Rom.8:28); that whatever may happen to those who love God – good or bad in the eyes of the world – they cannot sever God’s people from the love of God as expressed in Christ Jesus (Rom.8:31-39). Even in the prospect of death – the ultimate tragedy – Paul could rejoice. He could look death to the eye and see it not as a threat or a great loss, but as something that is more blessed compared to the prospect of living still for some more years in his physical body. He said, “To die is gain” (Phil.1:21). Paul and all of the original apostles could bear all kinds of hardships in this life including the tragic prospect of martyrdom because, as they have learned from the Lord Jesus himself, they could only gain their lives by losing it. To lose one’s life for the sake of Christ means to live it, not to satisfy one’s selfish earthbound desires, but to live one’s life finding his joy in God. With the completion of the New Testament, it has become clear that suffering will at times in the providence of God be used to show that in the arrangement of things in this world, it is possible for God’s people to be subjected to unjust suffering. During such times, the Christian’s conscience which is presumed to be impressed with the truths of the gospel should be guided accordingly as now his conscience has been made sensitive to follow what is right and what is it which will bring more honor to God in the sight of the watching world (1 Pet.2:19).
The belief shared by Job’s three friends was: since God is almighty, and He is fair and just, Job must have committed wicked acts. He must have violated God’s righteous laws. Even though it is commonly believed among biblical scholars that everything about Job was from patriarchal period, which means about 2000-1800 B.C., and thus, pre-Mosaic (before the law was given to Moses), what was spoken in the course of the conversations between Job and his friends were reflective of the then God’s revelation of His righteousness to mankind. As is evident in the book itself, the pervading conviction among the people was, “God blesses those who are truly upright, and allows the wicked to reap from the wickedness of their deeds.” This same sentiment is reflected in the words of Job’s three friends – Eliphaz (Job 4:8), Bildad (Job 8:6), and Zophar (Job 11:6). They all believed that since Job is suffering, he must have sinned gravely to deserve the kind of adversity he is undergoing. Job, however, convinced of his innocence, continued till the end in airing his frustrations and questions to God, and hoped for God’s vindication – which eventually come in due time. In the end, he was comforted and satisfied by God Himself. The story of Job is not a myth. He was a real person, not a fictional character, who lived historically at a particular time (Blair 1995). He was mentioned by Prophet Ezekiel (Ezek.14:14) and James – Jesus Christ’s half brother (Jas.5:11). Job’s story ended well. His fortunes, health, reputation, were all restored to him. He was also given the same number of children – ten in all. His daughters were so fair that it was said, “There were no women so fair as the daughters of Job (Job 42:15). The latter end of his life was described to be “more blessed” than the beginning (Job 42:12).
The Ultimate Triumph of Good
The book of Job opens with a description of the character of the protagonist of the book. He was described as a man who is “blameless and upright.” He was a person whose righteousness results from his fear of God. He had a large household and very wealthy (according to the living standards of his time). His holy reverence of God could be sin in the fact that he would always go regularly and perform sacrifices for his children to rule out any possibility of them after committing secret sins in the course of their feastings, they might have probably neglected the seriousness of those acts (i.e. thoughts, words, or deeds), and thus, their transgressions remain in the sight of God. Job was very careful in these matters before God to the point of becoming meticulous. He would always see to it that he and his family have no outstanding offenses against God (Job 1:1-5). In the narrative, God Himself affirms the blamelessness of Job (Job 1:8). It is at this point where all the problems and questions revolve.
Why do innocent people suffer? Why does God permit evil?” “If God is on the side of good, and He rewards the good, then why did He allow evil to happen to Job and his family?” Well, these are just some of the myriad of questions being asked – for some, to do away with any accountability with regards to their immoral behavior, whereas for others, to make sense of the fact that in this life good and evil co-exist. For sure, evil exists. This is seen in the actual fact that in this world suffering is prevalent and present in many forms like war, famine, heinous crimes, perversions, injustices, and in almost anything unimaginable evil. The book of Job is a source of comfort and encouragement to people who are hopeful in the face of life’s not so promising state of affairs – where the good in many ways seems to be not always prospering. It is an insightful book that reveals the ultimate (what will turn out to be of things in the end). Although unpleasant things happen in this life, they are – whether people like it or not – providence that will eventually lead to the triumph of good. The ultimate truth is: God, His people, and the good will after all, succeed (Escalona 2008).
The Presence of Sufferings
Although the book of Job runs with the theme of suffering, there are other pertinent motifs which are touched along the way. For example, all throughout, especially in the first and the last five chapters, the sovereignty of God was more prominent. Contrary to the speculations of Job’s three friends – that God was punishing Job – in all actuality, God was the one who allowed those evil things to happen to Job. Every calamity that befell Job’s family till at the last when Job himself was smitten with unexplainable boils which covered his whole body, every one of them happened with God’s permission. To make matters worse, his wife – the only closest person to support and uphold him in trying times – was not the kind of person whom she was supposed to be to her husband, strengthening his deepest convictions. Add to all these, his three good-intentioned but mistaken friends. They come to Job with their fixed and limited view of suffering. For them, it was simply: all sufferings are punishments from God.
Here at this point is the book of Job more helpful. It reveals that although God hates and penalizes sin among humans, in some cases, and probably most of the times, the presence of suffering is an indication that life is not as it is supposed to be. Human minds are programmed to believe that goodness must be rewarded not punished. To reverse this premise is contradictory and thus calls for reasonable explanation. This is why the presence of evil in the world is enigmatic to many especially that most presuppose the reality of a benevolent God. The argument runs like, “Since God is loving and all-powerful, He must eradicate all forms of evil in the world.” But because, as it is, evil and suffering are widespread, God must be not all-loving and also not all powerful. Some followed this logic and ended embracing atheism (Bowman 2008). The propositions “God is love,” “God is omnipotent,” and “Evil and suffering exist,” are taken as contradictions since all three are true. In the end, because of the difficulty that these statements pose to the mind, some leave with either a reduced view of God, or they live their lives at a loss whether to trust the goodness and power of God or to take it upon themselves to protect and always try very hard to secure all perceived areas of their lives, which is of course, an impossibility. God’s people are to live by their trust in the sovereignty as well as in the goodness of God.
Being part of the complete revelation of God in the Bible, the book of Job can be a source of comfort to those looking for some sense in their troubles. For one thing, the experience of Job was distinct and special in terms of a case. His life story was inspired and has become since its composition the word of God. Believers who are wearied by the troubles of this life may see in the book of Job a biblical pattern. It is true that tribulations are a reality in this world. It has ever been since the fall of the first couple – Adam and Eve. The life of the early Old Testament saints from Abraham, Job, and down to the twelve sons of Jacob – the patriarchs of Israel, all of their lives were ridden with pain and struggles. Nevertheless, God enabled them to emerge victorious from all their battles. And Job’s message speaks of the ultimate triumph of good. It may not be always as it should be for God’s people, because as is revealed in the pages of the inspired books of the Bible, there were times when God would allow His people (collectively) or His saint to pass through adversity. But the comfort lies in the fact that those who trust in the Lord will eventually emerge victorious. Apostle Paul said that our affliction is “but for a moment,” and he was careful to say that they are “light affliction” (2 Cor.4:17-18). When seen in the right perspective, all the troubles which usually beset the people of God at present – the pressures and offenses that cause discomfort – these are only light affliction when compared to “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” that awaits God’s people.
The idea of suffering is repulsive to many. It seems incompatible to blessing. However, certain passages in the Bible point to the fact that there are times when God would use suffering to improve the character of His saint. For example, in Romans 5:3-4, Paul said that Christians “rejoice in tribulations.” It’s not because hardship is pleasant for Christians, but because hardship in the hand of God becomes an effective tool which yields perseverance in the life of the believer. If not only for the prospect of transformation, who will be able to rejoice in problems? No one. Nevertheless, because God is sovereign, we can really be joyful in spite of tribulations. Because of the hope we have in Christ, even unpleasant circumstances can be occasions for rejoicing. In the face of troubles, we can be rest assured that God is still in full control making use of what seems to be evil in order to produce in us the virtue of patience (Thomas 2008). It is therefore the contention of this author, because of its revelation in the Scripture, that suffering is God’s very effective tool. The very thought might be very repulsive to those uninitiated to biblical revelation.
We might resist this idea. But, a serious student of the Bible cannot deny the fact that the people of God throughout the ages have been subjected to different kinds of sufferings. As story after story unfolds as one journey through the Scripture, the unpleasantness of certain narratives could be felt. Examples like those of Joseph, Moses (how he was raised), Gideon (in the period of the Judges), and Daniel and his three Hebrew friends, to mention a few, theirs were stories of how the benevolent and all-powerful God could use sufferings in order to purify His people, as well as show his sovereignty. The author of Hebrews rightly said that “no discipline is pleasant at the time” (Hebrews 12:11). However, the same author was quick to add that “after” the period of discipline, the result would always be “righteousness” to those who have been subjected to the same unpleasant discipline. God indeed is to be praised for having the power and the wisdom to allow evil and in the end transform everything to indescribable beauty. Job, by the way, at the end of the story, received his due. Job is not an ancient myth; he was a historical figure (Blair 1995). All of the things which he lost in the beginning of the story – his wealth and children – God restored to him more than double.
1. Clarke, Adam. July 2, 1997. Commentary on the Bible, Abridged by Ralph Earle. Publisher: Nelson Reference.
2. The Holy Bible. New King James Version. 1982. Published by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
3. Bowman Jr., Robert M. May 3, 2009. http://www.apologetics.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=149:the-book-of-job-gods-answer-to-the-problem-of-evil&catid=37:doctrinal-apologetics&Itemid=54
4. Escalona, Alan. May 3, 2009. The Way Christian Ministries Journal.
5. Derek, Thomas. Date accessed: May 3, 2009. Job Vol.1. http://www.fpcjackson.org/resources/sermons/Derek’s_SERMONS/job/jobchptr1.htm
6. Blair, Charles E. 1995. Job Spirit Filled Life Bible, edited by Dr. Jack W. Hayford, Published By Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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