The Book of Job: Righteous Suffering Essay

1258 Words Feb 28th, 2011 6 Pages
The Book of Job: Righteous Suffering At first glance, it would appear that the Book of Job simply asks the question, ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ Why would God, in all of his omnipotence and righteousness, cast evil upon those who devote every aspect of their life to adhering to the word of the divine? After a just and humble Job has everything he ever valued in life stripped away from him, he is left begging for an answer to this question. Within Job’s struggle throughout the story, he is confronted by a number of third parties who are particularly eager and resolute in their views on this matter. Within the confines of this account, they represent orthodoxy for logic in the eternal struggle between reason and …show more content…
This mindset of a checks and balance system for divine retribution seems to evoke a sense of physicality and responsiveness to a divine being, and it is this broad, generalized mentality that belittles the true nature of God and only hinders Job’s discovery for righteous suffering. The last of the three friends to speak with Job was Zophar, who, while supporting the idea of direct retribution, also believed that to bring checks and balances into God’s retaliation merely trivialized the act. “Would you discover the mystery of God? Would you discover the limit of the Almighty?” (Book of Job 81). Zophar believed that by proportioning his suffering with the overall intentions of God, Job was arrogant, arrogant in the sense that it is foolish to assume humans would be able to comprehend the reasoning behind God’s actions. Like the other speakers, Zophar implores Job to repent and absolve his sins toward God, as, in the end, “Life will be brighter than noon; You will shine, you will be like the morning” (Book of Job 81). This reliance on repentance as a means to retain balance in the eyes of God still does not enhance Job’s understanding of what a strong relationship with the divine truly means. The overall nature of God depicted by Job’s three friends is one of mechanical surveillance and impartiality. And while the easy part for these speakers is

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