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.
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