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Suffering and God’s Existence-Humility

The story of Job centers around the suffering of the righteous.  It attacks the ancient (and current) notion that the evil suffer and that the righteous are blessed.  The suffering of Job proved this theory inadequate.  It is true that sometimes suffering comes as the result of a person’s evil choices but not always.  A second theme of Job is that sometimes the answer of why we suffer will be beyond our grasp.

The hope of this series is to provide a few reasons why suffering occurs.  However, I want to begin with the fact that sometimes we will never know (at least on this side of eternity if ever) the why behind the particular reason that we are experiencing suffering.

You see Job wanted to know why he was suffering.  He wanted God to answer His question. His friends attempted to answer the question, but Job, rightfully so, saw the weakness in their words.  It isn’t until chapter 38 that God enters the scene to “answer” Job.  The answer, however, is not what Job was expecting.  Job wanted the particular reason why he was facing this difficult situation, God, though, had a different response.

In God’s response He asks Job a series of questions.  Questions like, Were you there when I laid the foundations of the earth? Have you journeyed to the springs of the seas? Can you control the weather? Can you grapple with my fierce creatures? The questions result in Job stating, “I am unworthy.”

All of these questions show that man does not have knowledge and power like God.  God makes it clear to Job that sometimes we will not know why things happen, but we can trust that God is still in control and that whatever happens fits within His attributes.  We might not understand why suffering exists when God is good and all-powerful, but we trust that it is true.

I say all of this because Job 38-41 is a lesson in humility.  A lesson that we all need to hear as we embark on this journey.  We at times might not be able (in our feeble minds) to understand God’ s attributes with the suffering that we see, but we trust that God reminds God in the midst of suffering.

Read part one of this series here.

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2 Comments

  1. Hello Wesley, you need to explicate the concept of the randomness of suffering and of no apparent cause. The Japan situation is an ideal situation. Why does cancer take my child and not yours? Or why do some children survive and others do not, it is because one child had ONE prayer asked over the other child.

    I think you see where I am going, and connected to this is the problem of animal suffering and the earth suffering due to random storms, tornadoes and the like. Our duty is to expllicate all of these and yet still come up with the conclusion that there is really a God who is equal to both in holiness and in power. You need to immerse yourself into the writings of Tom Warren including his doctrinal dissertation as I believe through study with him and others that it correctly defines the nature of the World, or the Best Possible World.

    I enjoy your writing, you are doing a good job.

  2. Wesley

    March 14, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Stanley,

    I’m not sure if you have read the whole series yet, but I do get into the randomness of suffering.

    I have read Dr. Warren’s stuff. And you will see some of the material come up in this study. I do not push the Best Possible World theory as much, because, although I can defend it, I don’t think it is the best way to explain the situation.

    Instead, I argue that because of God’s Eternal Purpose the world after the fall of man provides us with what we need turn from sin and to God.

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