Job: A troubling story


I am, again, reading the Old Testament book of Job. I have always been troubled by the book. Satan comes before God. God offers Job for consideration. Satan proposes Job is only “blameless and upright” because God has “put a hedge around him”. Innocent Job becomes, as it were, a test case for faithfulness. In some ways, the whole ordeal is like an “Arkansas spitttin’ Contest” and Job is unwittingly involved in a challenge by Satan. It is beyond my ability to comprehend and understand. Yet, reading the book is not just troubling, it is intriguing, challenging, and even encouraging. I will be posting a few, or maybe several, meanderings on the book.

Allow me to reminisce a bit: I was “leading” a group of men in bible study on Sunday mornings, in 2001. We had been working through the book for several weeks. We were very near the end of the book when my son, Evan, was killed. I would be dishonest if I said the “irony” did not impact me to my very core. I took a break after his death, for how long I do not remember, and then returned to finish the book. If my memory serves me correctly, we only had one or two chapters to complete before our study was over. Consider the first of the book and how Job was “set up”.

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, ‘From where have you come?’ Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.’ And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?’ Then Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.’ And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord” (Job 1: 6-12, ESV).

Ponder that until next time. I will pick up with what happens next in my next posting. Stay tuned.