The Expository Files


You Don't Have to Be Rotten

I feel sorry for Job. We do not know a lot about his children, except that they were adults who liked to party while Job would offer sacrifices for them.

But I do not think that the point of Job is why bad things happen to good people, though that is what happens in the book. Neither it is that innocent people suffer, though that , too, is seen (some wrongly think that if something bad happens to a person, they must have done something wrong).

Rather, the point is that Satan's accusation against Job (and really, a critique against all of humanity), is this:

People are so stinking rotten that the only way they will be loyal to God is for God to bless them. If God removed His blessings, people will forsake Him. people are without integrity, and Job is only faithful because he has been, in effect, bribed by God. Take away the bribe (blessings) and he will turn his back on God. God says people can be better than that. Satan says they can't.

Point: Job, confused and hurting, remains faithful to God. He isn't perfect, he does not know why it all happened, but he remains loyal. The point is that we are capable, as human beings, of that kind of loyalty and nobility. We can be genuine in our love. We can have integrity and we do not have to be bribed to do the right thing. We will sometimes rise to doing the right thing no matter what.

That's the point, and it is so needed that people know this, because Satan is always telling us that we are not capable of such character, and far too many of us believe it and act accordingly. I think that is why God permitted it to happen; because we need to know it. Be better than that.
By Jon W. Quinn
The Final Page
From Expository Files 18.8; August 2011