WHEN GOOD PEOPLE SUFFER

A week from today is April Fool’s Day. For most it will be a day of practical jokes and laughter.

But for Wayland and Tara, it will be a painful day of remembrance. You see, a year ago they lost two daughters in a horrible train/car accident.

It shook the family, the community, and the county. It is so difficult to understand such a horrible tragedy.

We just can’t.

The book of Job is one of the writings of wisdom, along with Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

“This unknown author probably had access to a tradition (oral or written) about an ancient righteous man who endured great suffering with remarkable ‘perseverance’ (see James 5:11) and without turning against God (see Ezekiel 14:14, 20)…The composition of the book…could be dated anytime from the reign of Solomon to the time of Israel’s exile in Babylonia.” NIV Study Bible Notes

Since Solomon wrote the other books on wisdom: Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, I decided we should read this third book on wisdom at the same time.

“…he intended his story to be told to godly sufferers who, like Job, were struggling with the crisis of faith brought on by prolonged, bitter suffering…And he knows that the godly sufferers of his day have also heard the ‘wisdom’ of the learned and have internalized it as the wisdom of the ages. But he also knows what ‘miserable’ comfort (16:2) that so-called wisdom gives – that it rubs salt in the wounds and creates a stumbling block for faith…But he has a story to tell that challenges it at its very roots and speaks to the struggling faith of the sufferer…

When good people suffer, the human spirit struggles to understand….The relationship between God and humans is not exclusive and closed. Among God’s creatures there is the great adversary (see chapters 1, 2)…As tempter he seeks to alienate humans from God (see Genesis 3; Matthew 4:1); as accuser…he seeks to alienate God from humans (see Zechariah 1:3; Revelations 12:9-10)…one of humankind’s greatest temptations: to love the gifts rather than the Giver to try to please God merely for the sake of his benefits, to be ‘religious’ and ‘good’ only because it pays.

In the end the adversary is silenced. Job’s friends are silenced. Job is silenced. God is not.” NIV Study Bible Notes

The most amazing thing to me is found in today’s verse.

Job 1:1, “Many years ago, a man named Job lived in the land of Uz. He was truly a good person, who respected God and refused to do evil.”

“…he did not belong to the people of Israel…” CEV Bible Notes

The entire Bible is written about the Hebrews or Jews. But this one book was written about a foreigner.

“No Other Name”