Why are we abandoning Genesis for Job?
Remember: We are on a modified chronological reading. That means we will read about Bible characters at the time in which they live (or as near to it as possible). Job’s story occurs in the “patriarchal” age of the Bible – that time when the heads of families represented their households before God without the use of a priesthood. The patriarchal age will continue until the time of Moses, but since from Genesis on the story is really about Abraham’s family, I thought this would be the best time to look in on Job.
There are at least two issues before us: First, why do good people suffer? Second, will a righteous person serve God for nothing? I believe Job more appropriately deals with the last of these two questions, and the answer, in Job’s case, is “yes.” Satan believed even a good man would abandon his goodness if trouble, with no end in sight, came upon him.
Satan has been right a lot of times in this matter, but as we shall see in this book, he was not right about Job.
In his misery, three friends come to sit with Job, and they are so overcome with grief at the sight of their friend’s plight that they sit in silence for three days. It’s the only thing they did right. Too often, faced with tragedy, we want to say something that will bring comfort – to find meaning in randomness, defend God’s lack of response. But in reality, what people need is a hug, a shoulder, care, love. Words, more often than not, just hurt – even unintentionally. If God didn’t speak to you personally to explain the unexplainable, don’t guess at it.