The Hebrew Book of Job
The Hebrew Book of Job offers the various events important in obtaining a relevant understanding of the argument between God and Satan. The book also brings about the earthly arguments between Job and his close friends including her wife. God aimed at proving to Satan the character of the believers and all people in the world. Satan made strong accusations that Job was strong in faith due to the goodness of God in his faith. Satan was convinced that he could destroy the faith of Job.
Satan brought misery and suffering to Job to weaken his faith in God, but Job’s faith to God was unbreakable. Does the entire ordeal reveal God’s lack of mercy upon Job? No. James 5: 11 states, “You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, which the lord is full of compassion and is merciful” (MacArthur 682). As explained in the book of Job, Job committed his suffering to God with humility. At the end, God showers Job with additional blessings and favors. The book of Job has been highly scrutinized for the consequences of innocent suffering. Hebrew 12: 5 to 12 argues innocent suffering is aimed at strengthening our faith as well as bringing opportunity to determine his grace in our lives. As a result, the events in the book of Job are relevant towards understanding the God’s fulfillment of his covenant to his believers.
In the Jewish culture, the covenant refers to preconstitutional agreements between the Jews and God. They involved God’s promise to the Jews that formed the basis for the emergence of a generation in a new region. The events set a stage for formal political agreements made at Mt. Sinai. In Exodus chapter 6, God reaffirmed his preconstitutional agreements to the Jewish people. The covenant with the Jews formed a unique trend of kinship for a clear political life that characterized the tribal society implying one of the outstanding features of the contractual agreements. The first covenant was made with David that introduced a new dawn in the Jewish history. It gave the federation of the Jewish tribes a common ground with the national government to improve the lives of Jewish people. In spite of all, the Jews were not fully accepted into the larger community. The Jewish institutions were developed on voluntary basis.
The Hebrew book of job by stating that things when bad for the Jewish people meant that any persons who failed to abide with the God’s values and guidelines they are likely to face tribulations in their lives. God had promised the Jews good life only if they lived accordingly to the Ten Commandments given at Mt. Sinai to Moses. However, most of the Israelites went against the God’s will to take part in adultery, murder and other unacceptable behavior. These pushed for God’s wrath upon the Jewish people who were the chosen nation. It is clear that God had signed a covenant with Abraham to save the Jews. In the book of Job, many Jews did not believe in the old covenant made between their ancestors and God.
However, the realization of that redeemer was alive gave them hope for future and fulfillment of the God’s promises in their lives (MacArthur 683). The book identifies that only Job was righteous and ready to stand firm to God’s commandments. In spite of all, things went bad for the Jewish people after failing to heed to the God’s laws and expectations. They were fallen. Similarly, the wife of Job in the Hebrew book of Job urges Job to forsake God to avoid his affiliations by Satan. Job stood firm against the much temptations until God reaffirmed his purpose for human by healing him and returning his wealth and children double.
The book of Job challenges the covenant theology discussed above whereby God promised to be with the Christians at all times. The book questions the problems and affiliations endured by Job and his family in the hands of Satan. For instance, Was God right to allow Satan to bring tribulations upon his servant to prove that he was faithful? However, bible says that everything God does or happens to our lives is for the glory of God. This question brings about hitted debate on God’s willingness to keep his promises (Kushner 112). Apart from all, the book also records all God restored the life of Job to greatness after the troubles. It supports the covenant theology that God is ready to save us and guide us to salvation.
The covenant theology highlights the assurance of God’s favor on his people. The entire ordeal of Job helps to reaffirm God’s promise and his purpose of salvation for us. Every Christian undergoes struggles and troubles from time to time. Nevertheless, God usually brings about an assurance and hope of salvation. In Genesis chapters 15 and 17, when Abraham’s faith was wavering, God came to rescue and was able to establish his covenant with David. The doctrine of covenant theology is at the central point of the Gospel ministry as the Christians depend on the fulfillment of God’s covenant to us.
If I were Job and knowing what outside readers knew, I would feel miserable and troubled over the entire ordeal. God had caused much loss and misery over my life for what reason to prove to Satan that I was strong in faith. Was the entire ordeal necessary? These are among the questions I would be asking myself. God allowed Satan’s tribulations on Job in order to win an argument with Satan. Above all, he is God and cannot be measured and likened to human standards. However, any person who would destroy your wealth and kill children to win a bet would liable for the highest level of injustice that is not acceptable. Thus, I would feel desperate and humiliated by the decision for God let tribulations over my life in order to prove to Satan that I was faithful.
Moreover, I would also feel sorry about my family and the things they had to endure due to their decision to stand for true word of Jesus Christ. The entire ordeal was horrific and painful for Job’s children and wife. They lost their sons and wealth which left his wife ashamed his condition (Kushner 211). In spite of all, most of readers appreciate the strength of faith and ability to withstand the temptations of Satan. I would be able to hold steadfast to their Christian faith in spite of the troubles and problems faced in the hand of Satan. Amidst the entire ordeal, Job was honest.
MacArthur, F. John. The MacArthur study bible, NASB. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 2013. Print.
Kushner, Harold S. The book of Job: when bad things happened to a good person. New York, NY: Schocken, 2012.