Posted by: Jim Black | June 9, 2009

On Job…

My brain has been a little scattered here lately (okay, more so than usual).  I’m in the middle of preparing Sunday’s sermon on the story of Esther… a great and uplifting story, but my mind is already jumping ahead to Job which will come next week.  I just finished reading through Job again in my ‘cover to cover’ reading and I’m again struck by the central theme of the book:  How can a loving God allow the innocent to suffer?

It’s an age-old question, which is why the story of Job is probably the oldest one in Scripture.  Mankind has been wrestling with this one for a long time.  If God is all-powerful (as Scripture claims) and CAN stop suffering, then why doesn’t he?  Is he just cruel?  If God is all-good (as Scripture claims) and does nothing, does that mean that he is powerless to do anything about it?  I can’t accept that.  Don’t we believe that he both CAN and WOULD prefer for the innocent NOT to suffer?  Then how do you explain drunk drivers robbing children of their daddies?  How do you explain children starving to death in poverty-stricken Rwanda?  It’s a conundrum to be sure.  What were your thoughts as you read through Job?  What is God’s answer to him?  What were his friends telling him?

I can’t help but think about the crowd that I’ll look at on the Sunday when I bring the message from Job.  There are so many hurting families and individuals right now in our church family.  Some of them are much like Job, having lost so much in recent months.  I’m not sure what I will be able to say to them that might help.  My fear is that I’ll come across like one of Job’s friends, with empty words and unhelpful advice.  One thing is for sure after reading Job… I’m a lot more cautious in trying to speak for God!  What would you say?

Any thoughts…?

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