Job 8: Taking the Dare – Part I
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
In the CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE Reading Guide on the book of Job, we find the following proposition: Satan and God have a conversation one day in which Satan insinuates that Job is righteous because of the rewards that he enjoys from God’s hands. He maintains that it is easy for Job to obey God when all is well and all things are right for him. Satan further believes that once these gifts and this favor disappear, Job will desert God, he will show that he lacks integrity, and he will even arrive at cursing God. “In a very real sense, the drama of this book stems from Satan’s challenge found in 1,9: ‘Is it for nothing that Job is God-fearing?’ . . . The reader should note that God takes the dare”. (Senior RG 237)
As we follow Job’s trials, we later observe that “It is clear that Job had not been God fearing simply for the sake of blessing. His afflictions did not diminish his devotion. Even in adversity he maintained that all things are in God’s hands and God would render whatever God deemed fit . . . The content of Job’s laments and pleadings show that Job does not look for recompense; he wants vindication . . . It is apparent that the depth of Job’s piety is based on his relationship with God, not on some promise of reward. We must remember that at this time Israelites did not have a clear idea of reward or punishment in an afterlife, as Christian theology teaches. If justice was not meted out in this life, they had no hope at all of retribution. This makes Job’s disinterested piety even more admirable. It also serves to challenge our own fidelity. Job’s faithfulness can also be an encouragement to us . . . Job is not blindly docile in his suffering. Nor is he afraid to complain to God in his frustration . . . He does not really argue with God because he is suffering, but because he sees a conflict between his unwanted suffering and his faith in the justice of God . . . Devout people certainly have their differences with God. We are reminded of the great Teresa of Ávila, who in frustration complained to God, “No wonder you have so few friends”. (Senior RG 238)
Tomorrow, Job’s friends.
Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.RG 237-238. Print.
Adapted from a favorite written on May 5, 2010.