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Job

The book of Job is mostly in poetry and its theme is one that concerns us all: "Why does God allow suffering?"

It contains the story of Job and his friends who lived in the "land of Uz". Job was known as a good man and was well-respected by all. Yet great troubles and sufferings befell him. He lost everything - property, servants, children , and finally was so ill that he wished for death.

His three friends - Bildad, Zophar, and Eliphaz - said that God must be punishing him for some sin he had committed.

A young man, Elihu, said the events were for Job's good. Elihu was angry with Job "because he justified himself rather than God" and with Job's three friends "because they found no answer, and yet had condemned Job."

Only God had the complete answer. In chapters 38-41 God spoke to Job out of a whirlwind and reminds him of his true position before God Who had created all things. Job was brought to realise that however 'good' he may have thought he was, he was really nothing. Job confesses his own unworthiness (even although people had looked upon him as good) and said: "I repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:6)

From then on God richly blessed Job, restoring him to health and joy, especially when he prayed for his three friends.

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In the book of Job we can read majestic descriptions of some of the wonders of God's world, unsurpassed by any other writings. Even its scientific references are accurate, showing that the real author is God, even although the fact may not have been known to the people of Job's day.

And we learn from the book of Job that none of us deserves blessings from God. We too need to learn that God is great and we are nothing. If suffering brings us to a position of humility before God, it will prove to be a blessing in disguise.

 

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