Experiencing God

The book of Job

The book of Job opens with a curious courtroom scene where the satan, or the accuser, challenges God’s way of rewarding righteous people like Job. The satan says that Job is only acting righteous because of God’s generous provision. But if God were to let him truly suffer, then Job’s true character would emerge. God rejects that idea, saying Job will continue to live faithfully even in the face of intense suffering.
Using dense Hebrew poetry...

The Story of Job

The author introduces Job as an upstanding man from the land of Uz who honors God. We read about his large family and prosperous estate, and it becomes clear that Job is wealthy—a man with everything to lose.

The author then transports readers to a heavenly courtroom where God is meeting with spiritual beings. Among them is a figure called the satan, which in Hebrew means “the one opposed.” God presents Job as an admirable and righteous man. But the satan dismisses this, saying that Job only serves God because of his blessings and protection over Job. The opposer is sure that if God stopped treating Job so generously, Job would curse God. God knows that Job’s faithfulness is not based on circumstance, so he allows the satan to inflict suffering on Job’s life, affecting his family, riches, and health.

At this point, many of us are wondering why God would allow a good person to suffer this injustice. It’s an important question, and the prologue helps us get to the root: Does God’s justice mean he rewards and punishes people based on their behavior? And if good people suffer, does that mean God isn’t just? The book of Job explores this question and offers a surprising answer in the conclusion. But before we get to that, we’ll see how Job’s friends try to make sense of his suffering and God’s role in it.


Guide to the Book of Job

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Guide to the Book of Job

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