Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Job doesn't get an answer

Is this complex answer even an answer? Job had asked why God allowed him to suffer so greatly. Why him? Is this not a sign of indiscriminate use of power? Instead of an answer, Job receives two hours of natural history lessons, a little bit of astronomy, a little meteorology—and tons of zoology, as one scholar sarcastically commented. We would expect something utterly different as an explanation for Job’s suffering: information on the wager between God and the satan, for instance; or the description of a larger context of human history that might make Job’s suffering seem meaningful in the end; or at least a plausible reflection on the purpose of Job’s suffering in the course of his own life, as was presented by Elihu is his speeches. Christian readers might expect a statement of God’s com-passion and his solidarity with Job’s suffering. None of this is mentioned. Job’s suffering is not explained in terms of its necessity for the course of human history or even Job’s own psychological journey. There is no sentimental numbing of suffering as an “earthly delight in God”; no word is mentioned of God’s compassion. The mystery of Job’s suffering is not resolved. It seems as if God’s speech is anything but a response to Job. Instead, God pushes aside all of Job’s questions in an arrogant and narcissistic display of superiority. The human world is surprisingly not mentioned at all.— Job's Journey, page 70 (emphasis original)

<idle musing>
Maddening, isn't it!?
</idle musing>

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