I have to be honest, this one really throws me for a loop. There’s a lot of poetic speech and ranting and I get lost. Maybe I just had too much going on in life to get a good handle on it. I know some of the things that people say about this book, what it’s meant to say about God, but I just don’t get that out of the reading.
While I don’t see Job turning away from God, God still gets upset with him for insisting that his own innocence could be put on trial. The friends try to insist that he nor his family were as righteous as they had always thought, but Job appears too boastful and even prideful to Elihu when he defends himself. Then God forgives everything. Nevermind that He really did just let this thing happen to Job for no reason other than to show the devil that Job won’t turn away from him.
This particular book is one that I’ve heard debated on both it’s relevance and it’s truthfulness. If no humans were at this party that the devil challenges God and God doesn’t tell the humans about it, how does anyone know this took place? So it’s written off as a story that was told to debate the way that God works, the way that good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. And the debate continues.
God never answers this either. When he gets upset with Job, it’s to insist that he doesn’t have the perspective to understand what’s going on. But the reader would know from the first few chapters what’s going on but not given a better perspective than that God was challenged into letting the devil ruin this man’s life. It doesn’t seem like it matters at all except that there’s the possibility that there’s more to it. It reminds me of Jacob being mad at his sons for killing the whole town of the prince that raped their sister. He’s not mad that they got retribution but that their method could cause more trouble for all of them. That makes sense. But we aren’t given that here because it’s God’s perogative to not give it.
That leaves it all just lost on me.
Regardless, this is a study of the women and their treatment within the Bible and there isn’t much to work with here. There are daughters mentioned as having been killed in the first chapters during the round of killing. There is a wife who speaks angrily to Job, as could easily be expected. Then there are daughters at the end who are all named and apparently given equal inheritance among their brothers. Not a bad book for women, but a confusing one for me.
On to Psalms!