Who caused Job to suffer? Was it the a) Sabeans & Chaldeans, b) a mighty wind, c) Satan, d) God, or e) all of the above? Discuss your answer.
- The language here is very important. Permission & causation are two different things entirely. God knew Job’s faith intimately & desired to take him on a journey.
- The Sabeans & Chaldeans did what was in their heart’s desire & therefore, were the cause of Job’s livestock being taken. This is one kind of evil called moral evil where a human being makes an immoral choice.
- The mighty wind which caused the house to fall down upon Job’s children was an example of natural evil. In the original design of God’s world, there were no natural disasters. This world has been cursed by God as punishment for our sin. It is not God’s intention, but that does not mean that God is helpless in the face of it.
- Satan is a cause of Job’s suffering because he afflicted Job by stirring within the hearts of the Sabeans & Chaldeans & by taking Job’s health.
- God is not evil, but good. While not the direct cause of Job’s suffering, His permission must be seen as a kind of indirect cause. Satan could not touch Job apart from God’s permission.
What answer does Job give to the question above (see. 2:10), & what does the narrator of the book of Job think about his answer (see 1:21-22)?
- Job’s response >> Job 2:10 | …Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?
- Job sees both evil & good as coming from God’s hand. John MacArthur comments, “Job lived out and explained the text of Deut. 29:29 (“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law). His words and deeds demonstrated his confidence in God and vindicated God’s confidence in him.
- Job 1:22 | In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
- The narrator affirms God’s evaluation of Job’s words from Job 42:7, where God says that Job has spoken rightly about Him.
Does God ever tell Job why He suffered? What answer does God give Job? Would you be content with this answer? Why or why not?
- No, God does not ever tell Job why He has allowed Him to suffer. Instead of giving Job answers, God gives Job Himself. God notes that this world is wild & complex & that He is a just governor. He asks Job if he thinks he could do a better job.
- While it would be difficult, I trust that the what I see of God in the midst of suffering would be more satisfying than an answer or explanation that could come. It is the knowledge of God that defines our lives, not explanations about our specific situations. This is God’s Story & we are His children.
How does this book confront the popular misconception that walking with God means that a person won’t suffer?
- The entire prologue or introduction has to do with Job’s God-centeredness & how he seeks God for his family. According to the wisdom of Proverbs, it seems that suffering shouldn’t have come upon Job. So, Job not only confronts but holistically rejects the notion that walking with God means that we will be free from suffering. As Joni Erickson Tada said, “God permits what He hates to accomplish what He loves.”
- Remember the end of our message: What if God’s definition of good, life, wealth, & riches is different than ours? How will we learn? While it is not His only means, Job offers us the glorious promise that God uses suffering to erase our inaccurate definitions & replace them with His beautiful truth.