Tuesday, May 11, 2010

No Answer on Suffering

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind.... Job 38:1 NRSV

Job is righteous. We know this from the beginning. We also know that it is not God but Satan who is testing Job. God allows this to happen because God trusts that Job will never turn from God (God has been bragging about Job to Satan). Job never curses God, although he does seem to curse his own existence. Job wants God to explain to him why he has been treated so roughly when he has never strayed from God's side. How come Job has not been rewarded for his good behavior?

God finally responds to Job's request. He appears in a whirlwind to say that, as God, he is more powerful, more knowledgeable than Job or any of his so-called friends. What can these puny humans do as God has done or can do? Does God need to explain himself? Can any of these men before God really give a good argument about sin, righteousness or God?

Here is where the Book of Job fails to answer any of our own questions about suffering. I remember a man in one of my former churches saying that he couldn't wait to stand before God's throne and ask how giving Job more riches and more family could really satisfy the suffering over his other losses. Job, the book, does not clearly help us to understand suffering unless it simply reminds us that there is no answer to suffering. We cannot fathom God and we cannot ever understand suffering.

God, you are too great and marvelous in our sight. We can do nothing as you can do. We want so badly to understand suffering, yet you leave us struggling. Help us in our struggles, Lord, just as you are there when we suffer. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims

No comments:

Post a Comment