Job IS-- A well known story by many... it is Arguably the oldest book in the bible...A book that is meant to address the heart of man, a book that deals with the VERY first question MOST new Christians have when they find God (which would make sense why it could be the oldest book in the bible--but that's my opinion).. and that question is:
WHY DOES GOD ALLOW SUFFERING? or even WHAT IS SUFFERING?
I think this can be soon answered, but first we must look at the difference between punishment, discipline and consequences.
Punishment is a penalty for an offense.
Discipline is training people to OBEY rules sometimes USING punishment to CORRECT.
Consequences are the effect, result or outcome of SOMETHING that happened earlier.
Now realize that in consequences-- I didn't say it was a BAD something... it's just a something that causes a something else to happen!
All of these are things that we can "choose" or "control" in some sense. I'm not saying if we get in trouble with the law, we can control the punishment, but we can choose making a decision that would bring about a punishment--and same with discipline and consequences. We can CHOOSE to do something that then can either benefit or hurt us.
SUFFERING however-- we don't choose to suffer, and suffering is NOT punishment for a SIN and SUFFERING is not a consequence. SUFFERING occurs regardless of what we do. SUFFERING is a part of the world.
Jobs friends and some of the early disciples say this:
"And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" John 9:2
"Remember: who that was innocent ever perished?" Job 4:7
Many believers also believe that sin causes punishment which causes suffering. But it was no ones fault that the man was born blind? He didn't sin to cause his blindness--nor did his parents. So what does this tell us? There are also innocent people that have less than some wicked people... so what does that tell us?
SUFFERING IS INEVITABLE.... and SUFFERING is not OUR FAULT.
GOD doesn't cause suffering... IT happens because we live in a fallen world where SATAN roams.
The book of Job illustrates the power of SATAN. It shows SATAN as "Mighty". But GOD as ALMIGHTY.
It shows that Satan must ASK for permission from GOD and GOD allowed Satan to test Job to show US that we don't come to GOD just for benefits, we come to him out of LOVE and FAITH!
What's crazy about this story is how it seems so simple--but the more you read it--the more it lives and shows you new things--hidden things.
As I read, I realized that Job was looking for Vindication. He wanted to prove his innocence. All his friends told him that He must have done something to cause what happened to him... (I'm not saying he wasn't righteous and that he didn't defend GOD... for just as GOD said--he remained faithful)
"Please turn: let no injustice be done, Turn now; My VINDICATION is at stake." Job 6:29
God describes JOB as this: BLAMELESS, UPRIGHT, FEARS GOD, and TURNS from evil.
So what could GOD possibly be trying to show JOB? Well, that's what Job asks too! He knows he's innocent... But JOB tells GOD he's innocent! Isn't that for GOD to tell JOB? Who's the Judge?
The thing that got me is that Job knew that GOD gave him such an honor and Job knew that he had done nothing to deserve what happened... and I believe --this is my opinion again-- that it got to Jobs head....
"Because he was righteous in his own eyes." Job 32:1
A man, who seemingly had no flaws, and who never turned his trust from God.... had a hidden sin... of being self righteous.
" I heard of you, but now my eyes see you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes." Job 42:5-6
After Job confessed this to the LORD and repented-- the LORD restored him!!!
Job had to SEE GOD, to SEE himself.
What I am getting at is this:
*EVERYONE suffers--even those who are "innocent"
* SUFFERING is not caused by SIN ( EX. your friend, grandma, brother, aunt, did not die because u disobeyed your parents)
*EVEN whom we think are the most biblical sound persons had GROWTH in times of suffering.
*GOD never stops TEACHING