Table of Contents
The Challenge Between God and Satan
The story of Job displayed a challenge between God and Satan. It started with Satan telling God that His servant Job, a “blameless and upright” man that “feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1), was only righteous because God blessed him. Satan then, challenged God to take away all His protection and blessings from his servant saying that if this was done, the man then would curse God to His face (ch. 1:11).
God accepted the challenge and gave Satan the permission to destroy all that Job had. Satan immediately killed the man’s children, destroyed his house, and all his assists. Despite all this, the righteous man did not sin. Instead he said, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (ch. 1:21).
Then again, Satan challenged God saying, “But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face” (ch. 2:5). So, the Lord permitted Satan to touch Job’s body but not destroy his life. So, Satan struck the faithful man with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown of his head (ch. 2:7). At this point, Job’s wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die” (ch. 2:9). But her husband rebuked her and remained true to God and declared, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (ch. 13:15).
Job’s friends Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, heard about what had happened to him and came to comfort him. These friends told him that all rewards and punishments come from God, concluding that he must have sinned and caused the misfortune that happened to him. Another friend, named Elihu, also accused him (chs. 32-37). But God’s faithful servant denied that he had sinned, and called on the heavens to testify on his behalf.
The Submission to God’s Wisdom
After this, God appeared to answer His servant’s troubling questions. And He explained that the suffering man, being a mere human, cannot fully understand the Almighty’s actions. And He proceeded to ask the man’s questions (chs. 38-41). At that point, the faithful servant realized his great limitations as a human and saw that there was a bigger picture that only God can see and therefore runs the universe accordingly in the best He sees fit. God’s servant realized that there must be reasons behind his suffering that he can’t understand. Therefore, he submitted to God’s will and wisdom. And thus, he passed the test.
Then, the Lord expressed displeasure at the man’s friends who presented the faulty theology that bad things happen only to bad people. And the Lord asked the man to intercede on their behalf that the He may forgive them. And Job did (ch. 42:10).
Finally, at the end of his trial, the Lord healed Job and greatly rewarded him for his steadfast faith and patience. The Bible tells us, “Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters...After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. So, Job died, old and full of days” (ch. 42:12-17).
This story helps us understand why suffering exists.
In His service,