The book of Job is a very interesting book in the bible. Here, we have this seemingly upright and “good” person that follows God’s commands named Job. He is wealthy, happy, religious, and has a great family. All seems to be going so well for Job, that is, until his life comes crashing down!
We are told that satan presents himself before God, and has a dialogue with God concerning Job. Eventually, satan convinces God to allow him to test Job, to see if he will curse him if he takes away his family and riches. God allows satan to do this. But this raises some interesting questions as you will see below:
Did God Allow Job to Suffer Just to Prove a Point to Satan? Why Would God Care What Satan Thought? Isn’t That Mean of God?
First, I would like to acknowledge that my answer is just complete speculation on my part. I cannot possibly know the mind of God, or any circumstances that may have been there that we aren’t told in the story of Job. But here are some of my thoughts on it:
1. Why would God allow Job to suffer since he prayed to Him just to show the devil that Job loved him?
Please keep in mind the bible does not say that is the ONLY reason God allowed this to happen. Instead, God merely allows satan to do this, but we aren’t told only reason was to prove satan wrong. I am sure God had plenty of reasons, and from the top of my head I can think of a few really good reasons:
To show all of us that God loves us and understands our suffering, and that suffering and death is not the end, to help everyone who reads the bible to understand it isn’t always our fault when bad things happen, even if they didn’t “sin”. He used this one man that He knew could take it, to give an example and be recorded in the bible for all future generations to learn about.
Back in the day people had this crazy idea that if good things happened to you, you had God’s favor. If bad things happened, you must have committed a sin or displeased God. And while God certainly can, and has intervened in human affairs, every single thing in life that happens isn’t because of God, or even satan. Good things happen to bad people, and good things happen to good people. Bad things happen to good people, and bad things happen to bad people also. Everything that happens in our life doesn’t mean God is angry or approving of us.
God ends the book of Job, with them all learning that, “Job was blameless and didn’t sin after all (his friends were wrong), and there are things about God we do not understand, and we must trust in Him even during our suffering and even death.” We can’t even begin to image all the power and knowledge of God Almighty. He has to sustain this entire UNIVERSE (which is HUGE). He feeds the birds, protects Earth, and has an active interest in all of our lives.
So even though Job suffered for a short time, he was given the glory of his awesome example in the bible, and not only that but God DOUBLED all of his stuff he took away. But there is one exception: The only thing God didn’t double, was the number of children. Instead, Job is given the same number as before. Isn’t that interesting? He doubled his livestock, and wealth, but he gave him the same number of children. I once heard Adrian Rogers (a very good preacher) make a great point: That is because Job didn’t lose his first children, they will be with him in heaven–so God didn’t need to double them–because they weren’t really lost.
This book also teaches us something else: It showed all people that Job behaved properly by not cursing God when he was afflicted with this suffering. I am ashamed to admit it, but when things go bad in my life I like to point my finger at God, or even sometimes say He doesn’t exist or that He isn’t fair. But that is wrong of me, and in all honesty I wish I had the courage and faith of this guy Job. Because I always feel really guilty afterwards.
There have been several times in my life that I have wondered “why” I was forced to go through such a rough time. But I remember this story, and it does help me.
The sad truth is, we will all suffer in this life. Both rich and poor, black and white, good and bad people all suffer, all go through bad times, and all eventually die. That is just a fact of life. Sometimes it is because of our own faults. Sometimes maybe God has a hand in it (or satan), and sometimes it may be for no reason at all. But in the end, God will sustain us all.