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God Is Unfair

Job was from the land of Uz and Abraham's brother. He was a wealthy, very pious and highly respected. He had 7 sons and 3 daughters. Job always worried that his children might offend God so he regularly offered burnt offerings for sin pardons on behalf of them.

Job begins with a confrontation between God and Satan where the angels come to present themselves to God and Satan shows up. Immediately, God starts bragging to Satan about Job, how righteous he is and that there's no one like him (Job 1:8). But Satan responds to God that Job's only as righteous as he is because God has a wall of protection and blessing around him. If God were to remove it and strike Job's wealth, Job would curse God. (Job 1:9-11)

This is a direct challenge to God that's accepted. God knows His servant, but also God understood something Satan didn't, God is the one who keeps His people standing. They don't do it on their own. God is the one who restrains and upholds us, not us. So God accepts the challenge and gives Satan permission to strike all of Job's wealth and destroy it with the stipulation Satan could not touch Job himself.(Job 1:12).

As soon as calamities hit and Job lost everything (flocks and his children), the first thing Job did was humble himself and said  “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” (Job 1:21). In such a terrible disaster Job didn't accuse God of being unfair or doing anything wrong. Job understood that all he had including his children that he loved, came from God alone. Since God was the giver and creator then all things belonged to Him and He had free reign to do with them as He chose.

After some time past, again Satan arrived with the rest of the angels before the throne and God gets a dig in about Job. He starts bragging again to Satan. “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life.  But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.” (Job 2:4-5)

God accepted the challenge once more, but tells Satan he must spare Job's life. In all of this God is still sovereign. No matter what Satan does he still needs God's permission to do it and is limited to how much he can inflict. This is the restraining grace of God. Notice Satan tells God, "if You stretch out Your hand..." God Himself is not working all the destruction, but He is allowing it. In effect, though Satan is the actual destroyer, God is the One who allows him to wreak havoc and restrains him. God isn't committing evil Himself, but He is allowing it for His own purposes. Those purposes always include to glorify Himself, show His greatness and for the salvation of many.

Satan strikes Job with terrible sores all over his body. To get relief from them, he took a piece of broken pottery and scraped his skin with it. Job's wife then sees him and says "Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”(Job 2:9)

Job rebuked her “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”(Job 2:10) Most people get his wife wrong. Even the Koran projects Job's wife as being wicked, but there's a misunderstanding of the Hebrew word for "curse" and "integrity". First, her advice to curse God doesn't fit her character. She did live the rest of her days with Job and Job clearly respected and honored his wife (Job 31) so to automatically assume she was wicked from her response is wrong. The Hebrew for "curse" in this text is "birk" and it means to "bow, bless, kneel." The Hebrew for "integrity" in the sense she used is "tummah" and it means to "end, complete, cease, be spent"

She wasn't telling Job to curse God and die. She was telling him to follow the customary edict of bowing out with a blessing to God and accepting death which is still a customary practice today. Job wasn't rebuking her "curse" he was arguing against the custom. As if to say "I'm not going out like that and how dare you suggest I do! If I can accept good from God and not crumble so I can accept trouble and not fall apart."

From there is where the rest of the book of Job goes. His friends show up and throughout the rest of the book they accuse Job of sinning somehow therefore inciting God's punishment. They continue rebuking him for not confessing his sins and wrongly assume that God always rewards good and punishes evil without leaving room for other reasons Job's suffering has occurred. This faulty theology limits God sovereignty and wisdom. God doesn't always reward and punish for good or evil, but for others reasons and purposes.

Job keeps insisting he hasn't sinned. He maintains his innocence and this causes his friends' rebukes to become harsher. As if to say: "How dare you think you haven't sinned against El Shaddai. Are you perfect like Him?" The going back and forth like this only enrages and discourages Job. He insists he did nothing to warrant God's punishment, but even in all of this Job never once cursed God. But still Job challenged God to explain Himself. He put God on trial so to speak. If Job hadn't sinned then why was he being punished? Job had the exact same mentality as his friends. God only rewards good and punishes evil with nothing in between.

After a while of arguing between Job and his friends God shows up, turns it around and puts Job on trial, demanding answers from him.“Who is this that obscures My plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me." Job 38:2-3

Then God says to Job “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell Me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!"Job 38:4-5 God is basically saying "Who are you, Job who has lived maybe 70 years while I'm eternal. Where were you when I created everything. You're so wise in your vapor of a life you must know!"

God then gives Job examples of what it is to be the Creator and asks him if He has any of the power and authority God has. God then rebukes Job with a series of arguments to show His power and authority over weak mans. That God controls everything while Job can't control whether he even gets sick or not. God can restrain easily even the most fierce creatures while Job can't even get near them without being ripped apart. Job is nothing more than another creature in a world of creatures that God created. "You are the creature Job and I am the Creator." Big difference.

God is Ruler over everything and as Ruler and Creator everything is at His disposal. He made it, He runs it, He has absolute freedom over it and He can do with man and creation as He wants. He doesn't need approval from people to do anything nor does He look for it. Because He's the Creator and mankind is just weak creatures, who are we to question God's fairness, mercy, judgment and wisdom? Who are we to accuse God of doing wrong? He owns and runs everything. If He wants to destroy it all and all people he can do it. If He chooses some and not others to save then He can. If He chooses to bless one and not the other He's allowed and it's just incredibly silly to question it or argue against it. If you buy a house and decide to take a baseball bat to the entire house who can stop you? You paid for it.

“Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? Let him who accuses God answer Him!”Job 40:2

Like Job, when suffering hits us, our understanding and knowledge is extremely limited to what's in front of our faces. We don't always understand why bad things happen to us or the world. We don't know what's going on behind the scenes and in our suffering. We usually don't care. But we should. The entire book of Job is about God's free rule and sovereignty over all of creation. We are simply a part of that creation. God assures us that all things work (bad or good) according to His own purposes and for our good (Romans 8:28). That trust in His words and wisdom is enough. To fight against that or accuse God of being unfair is stupid. Who are you, person whose lived 20 years? Who are you, man whose lives 50 years? You know nothing nor do you have any power or control. We're just creatures among many creatures created by God for God in a world that doesn't belong to us. It's not about us. It's about Him.


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Disclaimer: I do not condone the teaching of men by women nor am I trying to exercise authority over men by using this blog as a method of teaching men. All posts are for the edification of women. For more on what I believe concerning this issue please see: Women - No Dominion Over Men
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