The first book I ever read in the Bible was Job. I know, nice choice...right? I understand the book’s point well enough; We have to preserver in times of difficulties. What really bothered me for years, up until recently, was why God would let Satan put such a righteous man through all that suffering. To me, it seemed like God made a bet with Satan saying, “You can’t break this one.”. I was appalled, to say the least. Through faithful daily reading of my bible, I have learned there are deeper philosophies at work. Some of these philosophies are at the very edges of human understanding.
When good people suffer, the spirit struggles to understand. Why does God allow such injustice? In theory, some could argue that this is why the Christian religion is flawed. However; the book of Job, shows that suffering is an opportunity to exercise what true Godliness is to human beings. God always wants to be in harmony with humans, whereas, Satan always strives for discord. Satan’s goal is to drive a permanent wedge between God and his creation.......us. In Job, Satan comes to God with the ultimate challenge, claiming that humans love the “gifts” of God rather than loving God himself. Satan charges that humans only try to please God for the benefits that come from God being pleased. This accusation strikes at the root of human materialism and cannot be ignored. Because of this challenge, God allows Satan to use righteous Job as his “test” subject. Should Job fail and curse God, creation and redemption will be shown to be greatly flawed. God would have no other option, but to condemn humanity. Job, through his trials, is overwhelmed by feelings of anguish, confusion, and anger. But.......he never rebukes God. Instead, his deepest pain seems to be from God’s apparent alienation. Thankfully, Job’s Godliness is vindicated and Satan is silenced. What I try to keep in mind, is that Job was not like Jesus. Job’s pain and suffering were not meant to be an atonement for us all.
Satan still roams the earth tempting humans with sin and allowing them to bring suffering upon themselves. I guess, what I have learned from Job, is once again to not be so self centered. I have to remember that, until Jesus’ second coming, a bitter battle ensues above, below, and all around us. Satan’s minions and God’s angels are constantly at war, fighting for our individual souls. Everyday we have to put forth the effort to support the good side of the war by resisting temptation. I know that my remaining days will not be all “peaches and cream” because I found Jesus. The question is, “Can I preserver in the face of suffering as Job did?”. Will I rely on my new found faith to bring me through? I can only know the answer to these questions through time, and suffering, and pain..........but, I stand at the ready in prayer and in “holy hopes to be”.