Job was a righteous man in the sight of God; he was one with integrity. He feared God and he turned from evil as best he could. God showed that Job was upright in one way especially, in his care for his children. He would give burnt offerings to God because he was worried that, perhaps, his children may have sinned. This was his regular practice.
One day Satan came and presented himself before God. “Where have you come from?” asked God. “From roaming around the earth,” Satan replied.
“Did you see my servant Job? There is nobody on earth like him.”
“His reverence for you isn’t real reverence, for You have placed Your protection and blessing on his life. If You take that away from him, he will curse You.”
“Okay. I give you authority to do whatever you please with everything he owns. But I give no authority for you to damage Job in the process.”
Satan left His presence.
He struck Job’s servants and sheep through a lightning storm, killed them all but one.
He filled the heart of the Chaldean tribe, who stole Job’s camels and struck his servants with the sword, all but one.
And he killed all of Job’s sons and daughters through a powerful windstorm.
Job responded to this.
By mourning. By worshiping. By acknowledging that, ultimately, this was God’s doing and then he praised the Name of God, Yahweh.
He ascribed no anger or blame towards God.
This was a sinless response.
Ultimate Answers to Ultimate Questions
Why do good things happen to God’s people? Ultimately, it is because God makes it happen.
Why do bad things happen to God’s people? Ultimately, it is because God allows it, sometimes through Satan, to happen.
Why does God allow it to happen? Because He knows what our response, as the people of God, ought to be like. If we are to follow those directions, it makes Him look good.
Why does God need to look good? Because people are drawn to a good God, and only those drawn to Him will ever be saved. This is an evangelistic duty, if you will.
At the end of the day, every human being goes through pain. The question is ‘What’s the answer?’ God shows Himself to be the Answer because he allowed the question (the question of pain).
Anyone who responds to pain with total anguish does not have the answer (nor will they attract anyone to their worldview). Anyone who responds both in anguish and in worship has the answer (and will attract people to their worldview, their Answer).
One person, Jürgen Moltmann, shows us how to accept suffering. He says:
“A God who cannot suffer is poorer than any human.”
: What does that mean? If God allowed suffering in this world but did not join in that real suffering Himself, He would be a lesser person than Hitler (to put a face to the words “any human”).
But because God became the man, Jesus Christ, and suffered the real, active, anger of God on the cross, it shows that He did not allow for suffering to just make a mark on us. It made a mark on Him too. This mark was healed when he rose from the dead, and our mark will also be healed when we put our faith in Him and rise from the dead.
No other God, in the history of “Gods,” has ever taken the mark of suffering upon themselves in this very real way.
All other “Gods” are worse than Hitler.