Job And The Question Of Suffering

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Curse God and die

There are situations in which you wonder whether a person can handle more. Can a person endure even more misery, pain, and sadness? And is there a reason, a divine plan, for everything that happens to a man? And is your faith in a God a solution for that?

With the story in the book of Job, you get an important insight, but it is not all too obvious why things happen as they happen. For example, do not get caught in a pitfall by saying that all evil comes from Satan. If you immediately draw this conclusion, then you miss the point of the book of Job. Look, you are a spectator in a special piece of theater. You get to see scenes that the main characters of the story do not get to at all. The scenes in which you get a glimpse into a heavenly gathering, Job is not aware of and will never have any knowledge of. The same is true for all the other main characters like Job’s wife and the friends of Job. You, the viewer, get information that helps you understand it, but Job doesn’t know anything about a heavenly meeting and never comes to know it.

Job has already lost everything in chapter 1. He still has himself, his health and his wife. But Satan wants more. He wants Job to sink deeper and asks the Lord for permission to further test Job and says to God: "All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.” Job 2: 4-6

What happens next is indescribable for Job. Job is struck by a terrible illness, and he ends up in his own dirt and misery while scratching himself with a piece of broken pottery. His wife asks him, frustrated: "Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die." (Job 2: 9) But Job replies: "Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" (Job 2:10). And Job doesn’t sin. Despite everything. Despite all the misery that is heartbreaking, also for the spectators. It is so difficult for his friends to observe that they, who came to visit him, sat down next to Job for seven days and seven nights without saying anything, for they saw how terrible the situation was for Job.

Exactly. Sometimes the misery of someone is so great that it is best to sit next to that person. And then stay silent.