Saturday 02 October 2010

Bible Book:

"I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know." (v.3)

Job 42:1-11 Saturday 2 October 2010


Here is the end of the story of Job. To recap... God allowedSatan to take away Job's riches and children and afflict him withterrible sores. Job continued to be faithful to God through histrials, protesting to his unhelpful friends that he had donenothing to deserve what had befallen him. Finally, when Jobcomplained to God, God reminded him in no uncertain terms thatGod's ways were not up for debate.

In today's passage Job says he is sorry for his foolish words toGod; that he was speaking about things "too wonderful" for him.Before, he had only heard of God, but now he is driven torepentance by encountering God for the first time. God speaks tothose who considered themselves friends of Job and makes themrealise their wrongdoing. Finally, God restores all of Job's wealthtwice over and Job lives a life under God's blessing, before dyingan old man "full of days", as the end of the chapter records.

What are we to make of this ending to the story? Perhaps you findyourself disappointed with this uneventful conclusion. After thehigh drama of the chapters of the story preceding this one, the endis peaceful. There is no dramatic revelation about the mystery ofevil and certainly no sense that God has anything to be apologeticabout in the dealings with Satan that started the story.

Either it's a bad story, or the meaning of the story is not to befound in these themes. This ending seems to suggest that the storyis not trying to provide an answer to the question of why goodpeople suffer. Instead, it seems more interested in Job as a personof faith, coming to a new understanding of what belief in Godreally means.

To Ponder

How do you respond to the quiet conclusion tothis dramatic tale?

What insights about God, faith or suffering doyou take from Job's story?

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