READ the three responses to the three questions and WRITE your own reply to each of the responses. The reply needs to be at least 150 words and offer fresh opinions and relevant new information; your own personal perspective or further questions about the others position.
- Question 1
Job’s friends try to be helpful. They kept silent for seven days. Yet Job called them “miserable comforters.”Why did Job’s friends fail? How many believers today could hold to their integrity like Job did and refuse to admit to crimes they did not commit? Is Job’s undeserved suffering and loss also part of your life? What is helping you to cope with that type of experience?
- Response 1
I think Job’s friends were very good and supportive to have stayed by his side for so long and not utter a word especially when they could not have been close to him or touch him. They waited for seven days and night before they could finally sum up the courage to speak to him. When they did, it wasn’t words of encouragement, patience and faithfulness. Instead they failed him by pointing the finger at him and asked him to confess to whatever offense he may have committed against God. In chapters 4, 5, 8 and 11 they pleaded before Job by basically asking him to please knowledge his offenses before God. Because they strongly believe Job would not have had to face such misery if he didn’t do something wrong. In chapter 4: 7-8 Eliphaz said, Consider now: who, being innocent, has ever perished? Where were the upright ever destroyed? As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it. Job friends failed because they did not remain faithful through the end. I also believe that they failed him because they cared too much for him and wanted his suffering to end. In Job chap 2: 12-13 it says that Job’s friends began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. This kind of reaction tells me that they were extremely upset. I don’t believe someone could go through what Job has and still maintain their innocence. When a man’s name, possessions and family is taken away, that person is destroyed. The only thing remain is his belief. In my opinion, that’s exactly what God had done to Job. Job help me to understand that what comes first in my life should and always be my faith in God after that come everything else. Until I read the book of Job this past week, I always thought that whatever misfortune I come across in my life is because I deserved it. I don’t believe that Job’s undeserving experience could be part of my life because I know that I’ve done wrong unlike Job. Therefore when something happened to me, whether it’s fair or not, I always thought is because I deserved it as a sinner. I usually embraced life as it comes whether good or bad but always endeavored to follow the word of God through anything I’m involve in.
- Question 2
Sometimes in life bad things happen to apparently good people.Why do righteous people suffer? List some of the answers you have heard proposed. Which ones make the most sense? Is the primary purpose of Job’s book to answer the problem of suffering? Or, is the author trying to show how we can be faithful in the midst of suffering and pain?
- Response 2- To explain why righteous people suffer, I would have to refer to a popular bible verses from Luke chpt 12 to whom much is given much is required. Those who are devoted to upholding the highest of standards , who else would make a better example to test their faith. So when in the story of Job Satan declares that Jobs faithfulness is conditional based on all the riches and good fortune that he has bestowed upon him and not legitimate allegiance, God seeks to prove him wrong. This would make sense because God want to know in the face of adversity , trials and tribulation, and when you have nothing left to stand on besides faith and his word that you can rise up and remain steadfast trusting in your relationship with him. No matter how defeated you may be remember there it still light at the end of the tunnel and it is all part of his plan, whether it be a learning experience in which you may grow from or just a test of the strength and consistency of loyalty. In my opinion I don’t believe that the book of Job was intended to answer the problem of suffering but instead be a testimony of flawless dedication to principle and belief. That is what Job maintained throughout all his strife and heartbreak.
In Jeremiah 29:11-14, it states For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. Job being aware that everything that takes place is in God’s plan, even though he could not pinpoint as to why He was being punished or how long would the punishment last, he still knewthat his state would be temporary. Whether his fate met in death or restoration either way he was okay with it as long has he did not fall from grace with God. He stated in his speech, Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return. The Lord giveth and he takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
- Question 3
Proverbs teaches that obedience brings blessings, while disobedience results in sufferings. How would you express the teaching of the Book of Job? Does Job’s book come closer to Proverbs or Ecclesiastes? What would be the consequences for God if Job had failed the test?
- Response 3
The teachings of the book of Job revolve around the concept of suffering, and its place in our world. If there is a loving, powerful creator, how can there be suffering in the world? The Book of Job teaches us there are works (the struggle between good and evil) behind the curtain of our reality that we cannot control, and often cannot understand. The book of Job explains that it is possible for bad things to happen to good people. Often is the case that when something bad happens to an individual, other people assume that they did something to deserve this punishment. For example, Job’s friends treated him as if he did something to receive all that befell him. “Why else would God do such a thing to him,” they may have thought. End the end, Job was proven to be a righteous man, and his faith was rewarded. This also brings to like another aspect of suffering. Sometimes, suffering can have a greater purpose, and is present in our lives for reasons we might only understand at a later time. In fact, Job never learns about Satan. He knows only God, and he trusts God. Even though all this suffering is laid at his feet, he trusts God. Because of the main idea being that suffering can happen in anyone’s life, even the most righteous among us, the book of Job runs more parallel with the Book of Ecclesiastes. If Job had failed, this would be of great consequence for God’s reputation. God put his trust in Job that he would pass the test. If he had failed, it could mean that Satan knows humanity better than God. Furthermore, If the greatest person on earth only followed God to receive works of good, the integrity of all lesser humans (and mankind as a whole) is called into question.