The first thing that sticks out to me in the Book of Job is the problem of interpreting chapter one. I mean, I have no problem believing that there was a rich guy in Uz who had a lot going for him, and lived uprightly. That’s easy to believe. It happens often.
I have trouble understanding how someone knew the conversation that happened between the devil and God.
This part just has to be made up. Or it’s just believable enough that as the story kept getting passed down generation after generation, when it came time to decide whether to include it in the Bible or not, someone said, “You know what, we don’t really know what happened. But it sounds close enough, and I’m sure not that many people will question it. We’ll just keep it at the front end of the story.”
Do you know what I mean?!
Who could possibly know whether the angels come and report to God regularly?
Who could possibly know whether the devil joins for that regular team huddle?
Who could possibly know whether the devil can actually speak to God still? Don’t other passages allude to God residing in heaven inside some pearly white gates and the devil living in a dark but fiery hell? Yet somehow they can still talk to each other? And it turns out, according to Job, that the devil is out roaming the earth, just going to and fro?
Who could possibly know whether God would allow the devil to do some things but not other things?
Well, maybe someone could know an answer to that last question. Maybe. Because there are other sections of Scripture that talk about this similar idea — the idea that God lets the devil get away with some things but not other things. God also lets humans get away with some things but not other things.
In some wild way, in some comprehensible yet still incomprehensible way, this is true. God is sovereign. But the devil and us humans still make choices. We have freedom to act in a myriad of ways. But there are certain limits and/or times at which God intervenes.
Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is…
What is the point?
That’s for you to decide. Maybe something in the above paragraphs made sense and clicked for you. Maybe it’s what I’m about to say:
At the end of the day, I want you to use your brain when reading a text. Ask questions of the text. Have doubts of the text.
But also keep reading and keep praying through the text. You’re bound to find things you don’t understand. And that’s good. Because if you understood everything… well, you’d be God. And we both know that wouldn’t be good.
Excited for part 3? We’re just getting started.