I have two major disconnects with Job: 1) I’ve never suffered emotionally or physically like he did; 2) I have never been to the point where I can call myself “guiltless.”
In chapter 9, Job comes to the conclusion that, although he has done nothing wrong, God will find him guilty–and how do you argue with God about something like that? How can anyone stand before God and claim righteousness? Who is at the same level with God and therefore worthy and able to arbitrate a dispute between God and anyone? All great questions, capped off with the biggest doozy of them all:
If God didn’t do this to me, then who did?
Now, you could argue that Satan did those things to Job, but as we saw earlier, God seemed to assume responsibility in chapter 2 for what He allowed Satan to do in chapter 1. And, come on, does anybody really think that when bad things happen to good, mediocre, or mildly depraved people God responds, “Hey, don’t look at me. I had nothing to do with that”? No!
But the answers to the previous questions answer Job’s toughest question–nobody is in a position to judge God’s actions. The inability to do so (and the unwillingness to accept human suffering as just) drives many to simply deny His existence. Good luck to them. But is suffering as we understand it and experience it truly a real factor? Isn’t it merely a psychological condition, an impulse in our brains . . . an experience defined solely by the negative physiological ways in which we respond to it? Does our right to pleasure and to good and happy vibes really outweigh the existence of a supreme being who is good and just and holy?
I don’t know what I could have told Job to make him feel better, but I do know that Jesus Christ is the answer to a whole lot of his questions. He makes it possible to stand righteous before God. He can argue on our behalf, not considering equality with God something He had yet to attain. And He endured suffering akin to anything we’ve experienced (and far beyond).
Job asked a lot of tough questions about God. And within the realm of this life . . . there aren’t really satisfactory answers. We aren’t really in a position to tell God how our lives should run, and if we suffer . . . that’s the way it is. But it isn’t because God is cold or indifferent. Through the suffering of His Son, He put an end to our eternal suffering. Who am I to complain? Heck, with as easy as I’ve had it, I’d better not.