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  The Great Bible Story #8
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Friends or enemies?

Jacob Ninan
Job could not make head or tail of what was happening to him. He had been so faithful to God and had done everything he could to help people. But he now found himself in a heap of unbearable calamities. He felt God was not being fair to him, treating him like this without giving any explanation and not giving him any opportunity to argue his case. He had no idea what exchanges had taken place in heaven between Satan and God, and how he himself was the key player in God's plan to display the grandeur of His character and nature to all the world and to put Satan down.

Job's three friends had only a limited knowledge of God and His ways. According to their thinking, God was very exact in His rewards and punishment, rewarding the righteous with blessings and punishing the wicked with calamities. Looking at it in the reverse direction, it seemed to them that if a man was suffering that was due to his wickedness because righteous people would receive only blessings from God! So they insisted that there must be some sin in Job's life that caused him to receive all this wrath from God. This kind of thinking is responsible, even in the present times with the potential for much better knowledge of God, for much judgmental attitudes and passing of critical opinions about people who are going through sicknesses or other difficulties in life.

Job tried to explain to them how he was innocent, and how unfair life was. But they could not be convinced because their understanding of God and His ways was limited to a narrow view. For every argument Job made, they would only bring on more accusations concerning Job's hidden sins and proud attitudes.

Job himself could not resolve the confusion in his mind, and sometimes he would express his faith and confidence in God, but at other times he would be overcome by his perplexity.

Finally God stepped into this heated discussion by declaring to Job how He was far above anything man could understand or manage to do. Even though God did not answer Job's questions directly, what God did was to bring out the fact that if man wanted to relate to God it would have to be on the basis of trust rather than understanding.

God scolded Job's friends for accusing Job without cause. Job himself humbled himself before God for daring to question Him. God asked Job's friends to go to him for prayer for them. And then God blessed Job double for what he had lost, and he had another seven sons and three daughters.


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Comfort & Counsel