Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Book of Job: Redemption For Satan?

In a nutshell. Satan tells God, "Sure Job loves you. You've only been sending him good things". So God, to prove His case, sends Job a bunch of bad things. Job still loves him.
Now God knew how all this would turn out. He is Omniscient. He knows the future to infinity. He knew Job's heart. He knew Job would not turn away from him. It was not a test of Job. So for whom is the lesson? [I should have written "for whom was the lesson? -NK] I can only surmise that it was for Satan. That God sought to teach him and redeem him.
FURTHER THOUGHTS: Dana correctly points out that the story of Job is now a lesson for us. Yet there is something still unsatisfying in either a) Satan being able to tempt God or b) God using Satan as his instrumentality to make a point to humanity. I reject "a" out of hand -- it strikes me as too Zoroastrian. I want to think some more about "b".
Dana comments: "The Book of Job is a dramatic poem; theologians normally consider the tales related in Job to be a fiction with a theological purpose, to address the problem of the suffering of the innocent: that suffering occurs to the just and the blameless as well as the unjust and sinful, and that man is not wise enough to understand God's purpose in allowing such."

4 Comments:

Anonymous Dana said...

The lesson, of course, was for us.

Sun Jul 16, 05:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Dana said...

The Book of Job is a dramatic poem; theologians normally consider the tales related in Job to be a fiction with a theological purpose, to address the problem of the suffering of the innocent: that suffering occurs to the just and the blameless as well as the unjust and sinful, and that man is not wise enough to understand God's purpose in allowing such.

Fri Jul 21, 09:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Psyberian said...

There are several troubling aspects to the book of Job.

Satan comes to God and talks God into letting Satan torture Job.

Why? Because Satan accuses God of making it too easy for Job to love Him and be loyal to Him. But what does God have to prove to Satan? According to the story, it was important enough to God to let Satan murder his family and make him miserable in other ways too.

“Three wagers that Job will buckle under the pressure.” Well, is this whole world some kind of cosmic betting game for egotistical deities? If so, this is one demented world we live in.

At the end of the story we learn that God has provided Job with a while new family and more riches than before. So it was OK that God let Satan kill off his family? People are replaceable just like that?

I find the while story deeply disturbing.

Sun Aug 13, 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger nk said...

I would say very primitive, Psyberian. The Book of Genesis, in my view, is much more sophisticated, not only in Abraham's relationship with God but in its various chronicles (small c) which can be seen as parables and cautionary tales. Job is certainly at odds with any concept of a covenant between God and mankind. Not that I am any kind of theologian.

Mon Aug 14, 09:38:00 AM  

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