The Affliction Of Job

Q.  Regarding the reason Job was afflicted by Satan  in Chapters 1 and 2. You’ve made the point many times that is was due to the sin of self-righteousness,  he was out of fellowship with God and thus Satan was allowed to afflict him. This is diametrically opposed to what we read in the Word of God.  In Job 1:8 God says to Satan “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?”, no condemnation here. Satan’s only response was not to point out any sin, but to say (v. 9-11) “Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?  thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.”

We know that Job was not without sin but in the eyes of God he was perfect and we are told this twice. So we must conclude that Job was afflicted by Satan only because God allowed it to happen to prove to Satan how a believer can live a life pleasing to God no matter of one’s circumstances in life.

A.  Your interpretation makes God into an arbitrary and unjust authority figure who can and will approve attacks on anyone at any time for any reason or no reason at all.  It implies He will even go after someone who strives most diligently to become what He wants man to be. And for what?  Just to show Satan that believers can take it?   Who would want to behave in a manner pleasing to a God who would respond to our efforts in that way?

This view of God is in direct conflict with the Bible’s clearest descriptions of His Character.  In the Bible’s first discussion with man on the issue of obedience God said to Cain, “If you do what is right will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right sin is crouching at your door” (Genesis 4:7).  And Deut. 32:4 tells us, “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just.  A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.”   Afflicting someone without cause is patently unjust and makes this description of His character incorrect.

Generations of men have used this incorrect interpretation of the Book of Job to blame God when things they didn’t deserve happened to them, not realizing that to justify self is to condemn God.  Sorry, but I don’t buy it.  This world is an evil place where bad things happen, but it’s not because we have an arbitrary God doing them to us just to “test” us.  It’s because sin has corrupted the creation and the whole world is under the control of the Evil One (1 John 5:19).  God, having given His own life to save us, does not turn around and allow us to be afflicted without cause just because He can.

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