Q&A 
 

Welcome

About Dean and Sylvia

News and Prayer

Equipping the Saints

Contact Us

How To Know 
You Are Going 
to Heaven

Can a Christian Lose His Salvation?

2 Peter Bible Study

Doctrine

Links

Bible Answers

The Christian and the World

A Fresh Look at Rom. 7:13-25

Is the Tithe for Today?

What does John 1:1 say about the Trinity?

The Development of the Name Jehovah

Does Ephesians 2:8-9 Teach that Faith is a Gift?

Rules of Biblical Interpretation

 

Q I just finished reading the Book of Job, but I am still a little confused about its teachings. In the end, how did Job resolve his problem?  

 
 
A The book of Job is a real historical account of a man who lived about the time of Abraham. The actual writing down of the account may not have been by Job himself. Most conservative scholars think Job was written down from oral accounts about the time of Solomon. Since it is highly poetic and in a form known as “Wisdom” literature, most regard it as free but accurate telling of the story.  It would be similar to a playwright writing a play about Abraham Lincoln and putting words in his mouth that are true to Lincoln’s published writings or speeches in their sentiment and force, but not the exact words Lincoln used. In this case, the Holy Spirit would have been supervising the writing (2 Peter 1:21).

Job’s problem, as you put it, was that he lost everything he had (Chs. 1, 2) and couldn’t figure out why God would allow this to happen (Ch. 3). His three friends tried to counsel him according to the world’s wisdom, looking for some secret sin which must have been the cause of Job’s downfall. They apparently were trying to find this cause within Job so that they themselves wouldn’t have to worry about the same thing happening to them. Job debates with them (all of this takes up a major portion of the book—Chs. 4-31) and maintains his own righteousness. 

Then we read this (32:1-3): “So these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then the wrath of Elihu...was aroused against Job; his wrath was aroused because he justified himself rather than God. Also against his three friends his wrath was aroused, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.” Remember, this is wisdom literature, that is, poetic literature that affirms the wisdom of God’s way of looking at things. The three friends had tried, as I said, to solve Job’s problem according to the world’s insufficient wisdom, and, of course, had failed.

Job’s problem was that, indeed, he was righteous, so his friend’s wisdom hadn’t helped, but Job himself didn’t think quite far enough. After Elihu’s speech, God personally answers Job, and comments on one of the oldest mysteries of the world: why do the righteous suffer? He asserts His power, infinite wisdom, and His sovereignty in all things. In 42:5, 6, Job confesses, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.” Job had finally realized three things (taken from Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction): 1) Even when God does not seem to be blessing us, or when He allows bad things to happen to us—He deserves our love; 2) God trains us in godliness by sometimes allowing us to suffer; and 3) God sees far beyond what our finite minds can and do comprehend, and He does what is really best for us, based on that knowledge. When Job realized the limitations of his thinking, he repented in dust and ashes, for He finally comprehended the “depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Romans 11:33a). 

So, indeed, Job’s problem was resolved. God also uses trials and sufferings in our lives today (He certainly has in mine!) to train us in godliness, even though we don’t often know why or how He is working.

 

Back to the Top