I’ve always found the story of Job to be one of the most interesting and confusing stories in the Bible. Because the whole story frames perfectly, the problem of evil, the problem of suffering, and it doesn’t answer it. In my experience, this is the question that has caused more hurt and anger from both Christians and Non-Christians than any other issue; a question that is not only intellectually and emotionally challenging, but it has also resulted in huge groups of people abandoning their religion. I have at least 4 different books on my bookshelf right now that are specifically addressing the problem of suffering.
So Job perfectly sums up this problem by presenting a dedicated, holy man as the victim of supernatural suffering. The whole book, they all debate why it is happening, and Job repeatedly asks God how He could do this. At the end, God finally speaks up. This is His chance to, once and for all, clear all of this up and explain why suffering is okay. Yet He doesn’t give His defense? Why?
A few summers ago, I preached a sermon on suffering and God’s silence.
Side note: God begins his huge smackdown on Job with the phrase:
Who is this that obscures my plans
with words without knowledge?
Speaking of words without knowledge, God only knows why my pastor let a 21 year old undergrad student try to take on the problem of evil in a sermon. Don’t worry though, I’m 23 now, so make sure and take notes because I’m much older and wiser now. Hopefully we can learn together as we reflect on the story of Job.
Anyway, back to that sermon I gave about suffering. I talked about a few of the ways we try to make sense out of suff