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Suffering and Evil: A Christian Answer.

The Old Testament Book of Job

We find the book of Job in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. It is called wisdom literature. Many Christians believe it is a fictional story written around 1800 BC.

The book of Job describes how God tests Job by allowing Satan to inflict dreadful suffering on him. Job is a rich farmer and a good man who loses everything that is important to him. The suffering of Job included:

  • losing all his is cattle to thieves and lightening

  • losing all his children who are killed when a house blows down on them

  • developing painful sores all over his body. They are so painful that he scrapes them with sharp stones to ease the pain.

His wife urges him to give in and die but he refuses and then three of his friends tell him that he is being punished for his sin, but he believes he is innocent. Job remains faithful to God through all this but asks, “Why me?”Through all of these dreadful experiences Job hears nothing from God yet remains steadfastly faithful.

Then suddenly through a storm God finally speaks to Job. In fact, we are told God’s voice roars out to Job. God gives a stunning, detailed account of his majestic works and power asking Job if he was there when he created the world and if he understands the continued work of nature and the universe. Job, humbled and overwhelmed, acknowledges God's right as Creator to do whatever he pleases.

God rebukes Job's three friends and orders them to make a sacrifice and Job prays for them to be forgiven and God forgives them.

The story ends with God giving Job twice as much wealth as he had before, along with seven sons and three daughters. Job lived 140 more years after all of this.

What do Christians learn about Suffering and Evil from the Story of Job?

  • No reason is given for suffering.

  • There is a war going on between good and evil.

  • Who are we to question God because he knows infinitely more than us because He can see the whole picture and mere humans have only a glimpse of a tiny part of it.

  • No one is completely innocent.

  • God always rewards faithfulness.


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