Job and the Arrows of the Almighty
This chapter comes with a warning. To the devoted Christian, this part of the book of Job contains some shocking language. Here Job, who has just lost all his possessions, his ten children, and his health, puts two and two together and realizes: God is behind this. All this couldn’t have happened to me, he reasons, without the will of God. But I haven’t done anything wrong, he says. There is only one conclusion, and Job makes it — God is being unjust. Job is angry, and Job rails against God. So let us examine this fascinating and challenging part of the Bible.
The Book of Job in the Old Testament tells the story of a rich and happy man whose livelihood and life were destroyed with the consent of God. As part of some sort of heavenly rivalry, God allowed the satan (“the adversary,” a celestial being, only later identified with the Christian Satan) to strike Job not only with the loss of all his possessions, for Job was a rich man, but also to kill his seven sons and three daughters, and to finally to affect his health by afflicting him from head to toe with painful boils.
In the beginning, Job takes these blows stoically, unbearable though they are, and still worships God. But when after all his misfortunes his health is ruined, he puts two and two together: this is no accident. His God has not only forsaken him, despite his lifelong piety, but is taking an active hand in his destruction.
How will Job deal with this? And how should a Christian?