"God  understands the way to it, and he knows its place" Job 28:23 

Hey Love, 

I recently read the book of Job for the first time from beginning to end. Let me tell you, I have some thoughts. This is a story I've heard preached often. Typically in the context that we may not understand why certain things happen to good people. Having now read the book for myself I agree with those summaries. But there is a nuance to Job's story that I haven't seen explored. Why do we believe what we believe?   

The story of Job begins with a character and wealth analysis of Job, a man in the land if Uz who was blameless, respected God, and had great riches. Then one day Job's life takes a turn and he loses nearly everything; his children, health, and wealth. Three friends come to visit him; "they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word, for they saw that his suffering was very great." After this grace period, Job speaks; and laments his life, wishing he was never born. Then his friends Bildad, Eliphaz, and Zophar speak; for about 40 chapters these men discuss why bad things are happening to Job; there are accusations, disbelief, and hope.  

In the end, God meets up with Job and answers Job and questions him as well. The Lord does not reveal why these things were happening to Job or that He had given Satan the go-ahead to test Job's fidelity to God. Instead, God shows Job the things he cannot begin to grasp. 

Job and his friends reconciled their difference and his fortunes and life are restored, better than it was before.  

What I find fascinating about this story is not the usual, why would God do that, which is a question I don't think anyone can fully ever answer. Instead, I don't think Job's friends were malicious or ill-intended. They sat and mourned with him before ever speaking. They had  7 days to reflect on what happened to Job. Their conclusion, like what many of us who've grown in church have been taught, is: if something bad happens to you it's because you've done something bad. This is a commonly held secular belief as well; karma.  

My whole life, Job's friends have been vilified. Even at the end of the book, God says to Job's friends, "my anger burns against you…for you have not spoken of me what is right". I believe we must continuously examine our thoughts and actions. We may believe, without conscious thought, that what we're doing and saying is in fact true and right. There are endless examples in our current world, our current politics, as to the dangers of this thinking; the danger of not questioning what you believe.  

I believe we must always examine our beliefs. I don't know why God would condemn Job's friends when they were only trying to help; it was evident that their form of help was to accuse Job of having sin greatly. But I question the Old Testament "my anger burns against you" God. But that's for a different blog post. For now, I want you to take a moment and think of a point of view you believe in; it can be about sports, faith, politics, anything really. Why do you believe that?