Why Do the Righteous Suffer??? – A Walk Thru the Book of Job

Check the downloads page for the chart of the Book of Job to which I will refer.

The book of Job is about the issue of why righteous people suffer.  We would say today, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”  Let’s explore this over the next several blog posts.

The narrative part of the story of Job is found in chapters 1 and 2 of the book.  I invite you to open your Bibles and read it now or go here to read it online.

The opening 2 chapters serve as the framework from which the rest of the book will work.  Let me offer some opening observations from these 2 chapters.  Observations 1-3 are of critical importance if we are to understand the book of Job.

  1. Job is righteous and not guilty of sin that might bring the suffering upon him (1:1, 5, 8, 22).  This is the most critical piece of information that we have for understanding the book of Job.  More on this as we work thru the book.
  2. God is permitting but not causing the suffering.  We see this clearly (1:9-12, 2:4-6).
  3. God shows his complete sovereignty over Job and over Satan (1:12).
  4. Job initially maintains his integrity and does not sin against God. (1:22, 2:10)  We will see that he lacks endurance and that he does lose faith.

Overview of Job…

The book of Job explores the question of why the righteous suffer.  Multiple answers are proposed by Job and 4 of his “friends” while God remains silent.  God returns to the scene at the end of the book to resolve the question that Job and his friends cannot answer.

Stay tuned as we walk thru this book in the coming posts.

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2 Responses to Why Do the Righteous Suffer??? – A Walk Thru the Book of Job

  1. Ben Simpson says:

    Mark, great start to a very important book! As I look at your 4 points, #2 stands out to me, leading me to wonder: was it God’s plan for Job to suffer?

    Certainly, it was Satan who accused God of being too easy on Job and making it easy for Job to be “blameless and upright.” But at the same time, it was God who brought up Job in the first place and then it was God set the limits of testing.

    Indeed, God allowed Satan to do what Satan did in Job’s life, but according to the text, was it God’s plan?

    • Mark Bass says:

      Yes…#2 is perplexing. In reality, if God has the ability to permit something, he also has the ability to deny it, so if he permits something then it is indeed his will for it to happen.

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