Was there a reason for Job's suffering?

(Terrell Allison) #1

Was there a reason for Job’s suffering?

Many times it has been said that Job suffered without cause. God said to Satan, "You have moved me against him, to destroy him without cause (Job 2:3)." Job said, "He breaks me with a tempest, and multiplies my wounds without cause (Job 9:17)."

As all books of the Bible, the book of Job is very complex. We could picture Job today as an Orthodox Jew who keeps the Law completely, as much as is humanly possible. If we then turn to the New Testament we can hear the words of Paul to a whole assembly of orthodox Jews.

Romans 10:2-3 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

Is this picture of Israel a picture of Job?

Elihu said, “Think this to be right, that you said, my righteousness is more than God’s.” Job 35:2

God said, "Will you condemn me, that you may be righteous?" Job 40:8

Can you see here that Job did not submit himself to the righteousness of God?

(SeanO) #2

@tttallison My answer would to the question “Is this picture of Israel a picture of Job?” would be no.

Job was a righteous man who accused God in the midst of terrible suffering.

Israel was a nation that had forsaken God’s ways and rejected His Son - they established their own system of righteousness apart from God based on the traditions of men.

A very short argument in support can be based on James 5:16, which says “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”.

Not only does God say Job is a righteous man, but at the end of the book Job prays for his three friends and it is his prayer that God hears:

My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.

I do not personally believe the book of Job is meant to provide an answer to why Job suffered, but rather to teach us to serve God through the unanswerable questions of life because He is the Creator and His ways are beyond finding out.

What are the connections between evangelism and spiritual warfare?
(Terrell Allison) #3

Sean greetings,

The difference between upright (yashar) and righteous (tsaddiyq) may not be great, but there is a difference. God never called Job righteous.

Would you agree that God presented Job as the apple of his eye, though he didn’t use the term?

Let me present a picture from the book of Deuteronomy of Israel that compares with Job.

Deuteronomy 32:10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

Deuteronomy 32:15 But Jeshurun(The upright one.) waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.

Job 15:25 For he stretcheth out his hand against God, and strengtheneth himself against the Almighty. He runneth upon him, even on his neck, upon the thick bosses of his bucklers: Because he covereth his face with his fatness, and maketh collops of fat on his flanks.

Deuteronomy 32:20 And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.

Job 13:24 Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and holdest me for thine enemy?

Deuteronomy 32:23 I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.

Job 6:4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.

Deu 32:28 For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them.

Job 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

(SeanO) #4

@tttallison I would say that at the beginning of Job God did call Job righteous - God may not have used the word ‘righteous’, but the words ‘blameless’ and ‘upright’ and ‘fears God’ and ‘shuns evil’ convey the exact same idea.

Job 1:8 - Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

Concerning the comparisons between Israel and Job, I think you are making an exegetical error in this specific sense - simply because language used to describe two things has linguistic similarities does not mean the two things are the same.

For example, Deuteronomy 32:20 and Job 13:24 both use the words ‘hide’ and ‘face’, but there are a few very crucial distinctions.

In Deuteronomy, God is the one who is choosing to hide His face. In Job, Job is accusing God of hiding His face and opposing Job - but this is in fact not the case.

You see - Deuteronomy is a reality - God is hiding. Job is a false assessment from an earthly perspective by Job - God was not really hiding, but Job felt like God was hiding due to his suffering.

Simply because two passages use many similar terms does not mean that the subjects of those passages can be correlated.

(Terrell Allison) #5

God has dialogue with Satan about Job, and praises Job. Job then endures two tests. When you compare the results of the two tests you see two different results. After the first test Job fell down and worshipped God, and blessed God.(Job 1:20-21) After the second test Job did not bless God, nor worship Him. (Job:2:8)

Job 2:8 is a very interesting verse. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes. A cursory glance gives us a picture of pathetic man so full of boils that he has to scrape himself with a broken piece of pottery.

A deeper look into this verse brings us so much more. In Leviticus chapter 6 we find the law of the sin offering. When a vessel of clay is used to hold the sin offering it must be broken. The Hebrew word for potsherd in Job is the same word used to describe the broken vessel of clay in Leviticus 6.

Notice that after the first test it states that Job had not charged God foolishly, but we notice in Job 40:2 that Job has charged God foolishly, according to God’s words.

So in Job 2:8 we see the broken vessel of clay, Job, scraping himself with another broken vessel of clay. We must turn to Isaiah 45:9 to see this more clearly.

Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?

One can hardly deny that Job was striving with his maker. The Hebrew word for striving in Isaiah 45:9 is exactly the same Hebrew word found in Job 40:2 and is translated "contendeth" in the KJB.

The next verse in Isaiah lines up with Job saying why was I born.

Isaiah 45:10 Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?

If you look at what God said to Job you will not find one word of praise. What you do see is God accusing Job of exalting his own righteousness over God’s. God asked Job if he was going to make a covenant with the king who is over all the children of pride.

(Tim Ramey) #6

@tttallison @SeanO
Terrell, your original question was, “Was there a reason for Job’s suffering.” You and Sean have many good points. I often question my own aptitude but it seems like the conversation has deviated a bit from the original question so that is what I wish to speak to.

Yes, there were reasons for Job’s suffering, many of which we may never know of but James 5:11 speaks of the steadfastness of Job. James speaks of the patience as if everyone knows of it. It’s a given fact.

This attribute was learned by what he suffered. Here was an "honorable’ man scraping his terribly painful sores with potsherds. Understandably, he questions why he was ever born. He can’t stand it anymore and begin to grumble at the Lord. I’m not condoning it but don’t we do that as well when we suffer and the Lord seems distant and silent?

Also, Ezekiel 14;1-20 speaks of the faithfulness and righteousness of Job, putting him in the same camp as Noah and Daniel. The Word of God would not put Job on such a pedestal if he were not a man of God.

Ultimately, in humility, he sees the error of his ways. I’m not the one concluding that Job learned patience - James does. I don’t infer clearly Job’s righteousness - Ezekiel does .He likely learned much more than steadfastness and righteousness which I see him at his lowest moments as an example to me. Even his wife wants him to curse God but he doesn’t. He’s all alone but remains faithful. He learned it and grew because of what he suffered.

My impression is that the suffering was more than a lesson to Job, but also to his wife, “best” friends and his community. Maybe the reason for his suffering was a lesson for all of us. When I spiritually grow up, I want to be like Job.

(SeanO) #7

Very well spoken @Tim_Ramey

(Kelly) #8

Reading through this, I’ve picked up many great points. I’ve heard atheists use this book to illustrate how “insecure” God is and that He used Job’s suffering for His own ego. He felt challenged by Satan and Job suffered to show Satan up. @SeanO Your statement that the book of Job isn’t meant to provide a Why? but to set the example of How we should respond seems to touch on this question. Any other thoughts on how you would respond to someone who interprets this book in this way?

(Terrell Allison) #9

Please don’t look at me as an enemy who is attacking your best friend. I can clearly see that that is the perception, and understand your guarded stance. The book of Job is an outline of the entire dealings of God with Israel. I love Israel.

When Job has been seen as a picture of Israel the book becomes much clearer. I am trying to present a background for why Job suffered, but it can’t be done without presenting the book in its entirety. God chastised Job for four chapters, and it is written off as though it didn’t exist.

God spoke directly six times in the first two chapters, and not once speaking to Job. For the next 35 chapters God does not speak. For the next four chapters God speaks in every verse to Job, not to complement him, but to correct him. In that time God accuses Job of striving with him, of exalting himself above God, of trying to be his own saviour, and of the possibility that he will make a permanent contract with Satan. Those are all very serious charges.

It becomes very obvious that a change has taken place from Job 2:3, where Job is called perfect and upright, and chapter 38 where God starts to make all the charges against Job.

Job was the apple of God’s eye. What happened? It was the second test where Job no longer blest God. Job did not sin with his lips. But what about Job’s thoughts? Did his heart stray? Job confesses in Job 42:2 that no thought can be hidden from God. In chapter three Job desires to be free from his master.

Israel is described as the upright one(Jeshurun). Who was given the wealth of the land. Job also was given wealth. The following is a few comparative verses. Deuteronomy and Job.

Deuteronomy 32:10-12 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.

Job 29:2-5 Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me; When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness; As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle; When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me;

Deuteronomy 32:13-14 He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.

Job 29:6 When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil;

(Terrell Allison) #10

Comparison of David and Job

Psa 38:2 For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.
Job 6:4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.

Psa 38:3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
Job 30:17 My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest.

Psa 38:6 I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
Job 23:15 Therefore am I troubled at his presence: when I consider, I am afraid of him. Job 30:28 I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation.

Psa 38:5 My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.
Job 9:17 For he breaketh me with a tempest, and multiplieth my wounds without cause.

Psa 38:11 My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.
Job 19:19All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me. Job 19:17 My breath is strange to my wife, though I intreated for the children’s sake of mine own body.

Psa 38:21 Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me.
Job 10:20 Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little, Job 7:19 How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle?

(SeanO) #11

@kelelek I think I would challenge the assumption that God is allowing ‘the accuser’ to afflict Job in order to boost His own ego. There is no verse in Job that says this is why God allowed Job to suffer. In fact, after ‘the accuser’ says that Job will curse God if allowed to suffer, God simply says:

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

No motive is assigned. So, in order for this particular atheist argument to be sustained, it would need to be demonstrated that God could not have had any other reasons for allowing Job to suffer other than His ego. However, there are other reasons that even we are capable of thinking of:

  1. As noted by @Tim_Ramey, in James 5:11 Job is used as an example of how God blesses those who persevere. God used Job to encourage others who go through trials.
  2. I Peter 1:12 says that ‘Even angels long to look into these things’, referring to the Gospel. Perhaps God also was teaching some lesson within the heavenly realm of which we are unaware.
  3. God may have used Job’s suffering to teach us something about the nature of suffering - that suffering is not, as many ancients believed, always connected to sin - a lesson that would have been very freeing for people of that time

Are there any other possible purposes you can think of?

Now, simply by listing possible reasons for God’s actions, we have made the atheist argument untenable - it is now rooted in their personal view of God - their own heart - rather than in any necessary implications of God’s actions.

And if God truly created all things - and knows when the least sparrow falls from the sky - perhaps He has reasons for His actions of which we are simply not aware. However, note that this final point is not necessary to deconstruct the atheist argument - but it is somewhat more in line with the point of the book of Job.

(Terrell Allison) #12

In Lamentations 4:21 we see that the daughter of Edom dwells in the land of Uz, which just happens to be the home of Job, who is the greatest man in Uz. We also see the cup of woe being passed from Zion to Edom. The following will be a comparison of the first eighteen verses of Lamentations three, with those of the book of Job.

Lamentations 3:1 I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.
Job 19:8 He has also kindled his wrath against me, and he counts me to him as one of his enemies.

Lamentations 3:2 He has led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light.
Job 30:26 When I looked for good, then evil came to me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness.

Lamentations 3:3 Surely against me He has turned His hand Repeatedly all the day.
Job 30:21 You have turned cruel to me; with the might of your hand you persecute me.

Lamentations 3:4 My flesh and my skin has he made old; he has broken my bones.
Job 33:21 His flesh wastes away to nothing, and his bones, once hidden, now stick out.

Lamentations 3:5 He has built against me, and compassed me with gall and travail.
Job 16:13 His archers compass me round about; He cleaveth my reins asunder, and doth not spare; He poureth out my gall upon the ground.

Lamentations 3:6 He hath made me to dwell in dark places, as those that have been long dead.
Job 3:4-5 Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it. Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell on it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.

Lamentations 3:7 He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy.
Job 3:23, Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, And whom God hath hedged in? (19:8) He has fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he has set darkness in my paths.

Lamentations 3:8 Also when I cry and shout, he shuts out my prayer.
Job 30:20 I cry to you, and you do not hear me: I stand up, and you regard me not.

Lamentations 3:9 He hath walled up my ways with hewn stone; he hath made my paths crooked.
Job 12:25 They grope in the dark without light, and he makes them to stagger like a drunken man.

Lamentations 3:10 He was to me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places.
Job 10:16 For it increases. You hunt me as a fierce lion: and again you show yourself marvelous on me.

Lamentations 3:11 He has turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces: he has made me desolate. Job 19:8-9 He has fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he has set darkness in my paths. He has stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head.

Lamentations 3:12 He has bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.
Job 16:12 I was at ease, but he has broken me asunder: he has also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark.

Lamentations 3:13 He has caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins.
Job 16:13 His archers compass me round about, he splits my reins asunder, and does not spare; he pours out my gall on the ground.

Lamentations 3:14 was a derision to all my people; and their song all the day.
Job 30:9 And now am I their song, yes, I am their byword.

Lamentations 3:15 He has filled me with bitterness, he has made me drunken with wormwood.
Job 9:18 He will not suffer me to take my breath, but fills me with bitterness.

Lamentations 3:16 He has also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he has covered me with ashes.
Job 2:8 And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself with; and he sat down among the ashes. (29:17) And I broke the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.

Lamentations 3:17 And you have removed my soul far off from peace: I forgot prosperity.
Job 7:15 So that my soul chooses strangling, and death rather than my life.

Lamentations 3:18 And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD:
Job 19:10 He has destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and my hope has he removed like a tree.

(Andrew Bulin) #13

James (5:11) presents Job’s enduring steadfastness as encouragement to the New Testament church, which is still relevant today. The book of Job is encouraging in the sense that God is the ultimate authority, but this is precisely the point where many struggle with moral evil in Job being allowed to suffer. However, he was greatly restored in the end, as James says, “the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.”

This point is challenging for me. Jewish Orthodoxy as we know it today, the New Testament Jews of Paul’s day, the authors of the Old Testament who wrote Job, and the likelihood that Job lived before Exodus and Levitical law, are all quite different periods[1]. I would be concerned about mixing dissimilar cultural and historical contexts, but I accept that a shared theology is really the discussion here.

It was been reckoned unto Job that he did not lose faith in that God is just, which was the source of his deep despair in what he perceived as a great injustice that was being done to him. In contrast, Ezekiel 14:14 shows how condemned Israel was even if three heroes (Noah, Daniel, and Job) were among them. They would be saved still, but Israel would not[2].

The relationship between Hosea and his unfaithful wife, caught up in prostitution may be a better example of the difficulties between God and His people. They refused to know Him:

Israel could have done better if they had thrown themselves in ashes, tended to their wounds (Isa. 1:6) and repented of their actual evil (Ps. 51:17), in contrast to Job who was hurting in body and spirit.

I agree with this sentiment and feel there is a risk here. I think there are similarities in the text as much as the Bible is expected to have continuity in being the inspiration of one God who is the same yesterday, today and forever. It is an interesting thought to compare similarities in Job as with other texts. Biblical scholars agree that the time period of the authorship was likely contemporary to major and minor prophets, and the prophets would have known about Job, and may have referenced him, just as Ezekiel did[3].

There seems to be some reading into the text of Job that frankly does not belong. I’d be concerned about going on a theological tangent trying to read things into the text, and miss the greater picture of God’s unique relationship with different people in the Bible.

[1] Alden, Robert L., Job in The New American Commentary, vol. 11 (Broadman & Holman, 1993) 38.
[2] Allen, Leslie C., Exekiel 1-19 in Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 28 (Dallas: Word Books, 1994), 217-218.
[3] Hartley, John E., The Book of Job in The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998) 17-20.

(Terrell Allison) #14

Andrew greetings,

Why did Job suffer. The answer. To bring him to salvation. The normal assumption is that Job had salvation from the beginning. I know the first instinct is to consider me a heretic, but I plead with you to hear me out.

I have a neighbor called Lenard Cohen. He is an Orthodox Jew. He has never done any work on Saturday. He has kept the Sabbath his whole life. He teaches his children the word of God every day. He is kind and courtesy to everyone he meets. He keeps every law of God as much as is physically possible. You will not find a more moral and upright man than him. I asked him why he would not accept the free gift of eternal life. He said he could never accept anything that he had not earned. If this man had lived in the time of Job he may well have been an equal in uprightness to Job. He speaks of God in the manner that Job did. This man does not have a personal relationship with God.

Job himself said his sins were unforgiven. Job said he didn’t know how to be just with God.

You can dismiss the words of the three friends, you can dismiss the words of Elihu, you can dismiss the words of the spirit, you can even dismiss Job’s words, but what do you do with God’s words? God accused Job of trying to instruct Him, of reproving Him, of disannulling His judgment, and of condemning Him so that Job could be righteous. God accused Job of trying to be his own saviour, and of being without knowledge.

Does this sound like a man who has put on God’s righteousness for salvation?

God did not want Job to go to the pit as Elihu indicated that he would. God wanted Job to be saved. God presented Job to Satan to test Job knowing what the end result would be. God used Satan as a rod of correction for Job’s own salvation. God loved Job just as he loves each one of us, desiring that none of us perish. Job was a picture of being born again. Elihu described it this way; “His flesh shall be fresher than a childs”. That is when Job got saved. When he repented, and everything became knew. Isn’t that what happened to us that know Him?

The book of Job, the book of Leviticus, the book of Deuteronomy, the book of Psalms, the book of Isaiah, and the book of Lamentations all have passages that blend together. This is evidence of one author and that author is God.

(Andrew Bulin) #15

Please do not misrepresent our words! I think we are all friends and fellow disciples here, and I do not think anyone has said these things. :smiley:

However, in reading and researching the text, I cannot come to the same conclusions as you.

We, the readers, have known from the beginning of the book that Job is innocent, for the narrator and God have both affirmed it (1:1, 8; 2:3); Job himself, though suffering as if he were a wicked man, is unshakably convinced of his innocence. [1]

God clearly does not owe man an explanation. He is mysterious and cannot be grasped.

But God never tells Job that he accepts Job’s innocence; so Job never learns what God’s view of the doctrine is. All that Job learns from God is that retribution is not the issue, but whether God can be trusted to run his world.
Job capitulates. His religious instinct for reverence which prompted his initial acceptance of his misfortune (1:21; 2:10) had become overwhelmed by his more intellectual and theological search for meaning. But now his religion and his theology are suddenly able to cohere. He replies to God:
“Who is this that darkens the [divine] design by words without knowledge? [so you have rightly said, Yahweh]. You are right: I misspoke myself, I was beyond my limits… I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear but now my eye sees you… (42:3, 5)” [1]

In the end, we may not understand the current situation, but we still must not throw away our confidence in the midst of suffering, which has a great reward, so that when we have done the will of God, we will receive what was promised (Heb. 10:35-36).

[1] Clines, David J.A., Job 1-20 in Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 17 (Dallas: Word Books, 1989), xlvi.

(Terrell Allison) #16

Andrew that statement was not directed at you in particular since I had written it to a general audience before you even posted. I see no one as my enemy. It was just that most people uphold Job as there hero, and often feel as if I am attacking him. Which I am not.

Do you have an answer to what God accused Job of?

Sincerely Terry

(Andrew Bulin) #17

I think that even in your despair, in your darkest moments, not matter how right and justified you think you are, you cannot pretend to know all of God’s ways. Job knew he was not guilty of sin, but he tried to talk more on the finer points of God, which he even knew less of, and I think that’s where the line was drawn.

If I get a chance, I’d like to look specifically more into that. Particularly because I still get chills when I read how God calls Job to task, making it one of my favorite discourses by God in the Old Testament.

(Terrell Allison) #18

Job was definitely righteous in the beginning of the book. The question becomes whose righteousness was it? Was it Job’s righteousness, or God’s righteousness.

The spirit said, "Shall mortal man be more just than God?" (Job 4:17)

Job said, "My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live." (Job 27:6)

The three friends said, "So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes." (Job 32:1)

Elihu said, “Think this to be right, that you said, My righteousness is more than God’s?” (Job 35:2)

God said, "Will you condemn me, that you may be righteous?) (Job 40:8b)

Isn’t it when you put on God’s righteousness that salvation comes?

(Tim Ramey) #19

@tttallison Please don’t see me as accusing you as an enemy. I think diversity is great. If everyone agreed with me, life would boring and not challenging.So if you made the reference to me, I’m truly sorry as we are brothers and love the Lord.

It’s interesting that you quoted Lamentations 3 as they. were the verses that I that I thought of when you had quotes from David as compared to Job. Jeremiah was a most godly prophet. Could he really say the things that he did in Lamentations 3 - The Lord has taken away my happiness, He makes my teeth chew on gravel?. The key to the chapter, I feel, are not the verses everyone recites about the Lord is new every morning and His great faithfulness. Rather, verse 21 says, after complaining for 20 verses about his treatment from the Lord, he shakes himself awake and says that when I feel that way, “This I call to mind and therefore I have hope.” Then he quotes the famous verses. But 21 tells us that Jeremiah says these 20 verses speak of how I feel, 21 is where I tell myself the truth and from it, flows hope. He complained but he knew that his Redeemer lived.In spite of his dire pain, loneliness and confusion, he would have to call to mind his hope or he would have ended it all.As I mentioned in my former post, Job was to be referred to in both the Old and New Testament . He must have learned something from his suffering.

God accused Job of not always trusting Him. Has the Holy Spirit ever convicted you and me of that? He probably has and most likely on the heels of hardship. In my case, I repented and grew from it. Again I believe that Job sufferings was meant for his growth and those around him.

That might be the problem with the author of Psalm 88 as well. The Lord displays the ones that He loves throughout scriptures - warts and all.The Lord weighs the heart and knows those who are faithful.

(Terrell Allison) #20

Tim there was no one in mind. It happens to be a fact that most people defend Job as if he is a member of their family. Nothing really wrong with that.

Regarding Lamentations, If you look closely in the first chapter you will see that Jeremiah interposes himself as representing Israel.

Lamentations 1:18 The LORD is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandment: hear, I pray you, all people, and behold my sorrow: my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity.

Jeremiah answers the question why Israel is suffering.

Lamentations 1:5 Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper; for the LORD hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy.

Lamentations 1:8-9 Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward. Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully: she had no comforter. O LORD, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified himself.

Lamentations 1:22 Let all their wickedness come before thee; and do unto them, as thou hast done unto me for all my transgressions: for my sighs are many, and my heart is faint.

Lamentations 3:39 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?

Lamentations 3:42 We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned.

Lamentations 4:6 For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.