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Spiritual and Moral Messages in Book of Job

By shrutika5sharma Apr 17, 2013 1652 Words
Book of Job comes with moral and spiritual messages. The background of the spiritual message is found in Christian principles and it is important as it is not only relevant to the Christian people but it is for all other people of different religion. It has lot of universal value thus it is applicable to humanity in all. These spiritual messages when are used universally then it becomes the moral messages for humanity. Book of Job is a part described in The Holy Bible. The Bible is divided into two parts: the old and the new testaments. Old was written in olden times while the new one was written after the birth of Christ. Book of Job is a story about prosperous man called Job in the land of Uz who believed in God and abide by the laws of God. He had 500 pairs of oxen, 500 donkeys, 7000 sheep and 3000 camels approximately and also he was blessed with 10 children. But his children were not like their father and lived their life lavishly and were engaged in adultery. Job was worried for them and started praying to God and offering sacrifices to “Yahweh” in order to redeem the suffering of his children. But then Job started losing all his livestock first he thought that it is because of what his children had done and it is the God’s way of punishing. One by one he lost all his children too now he and his wife was worried that what was happening to their life, while Job was patient his wife persuade him to curse God for their situation . But behind this suffering there was a deep conspiracy involved and Satan himself was that conspirator. Satan asked God to tempt Job, God allowed him but within limits, not to take Job’s life. All his livestock and children were gone but still his faith in God was unshaken. When God gives us happiness we do not question Him then why should we question Him when he takes away what was His only. Satan was tempting Job but Job’s faith in God was unshaken; it was intact and firm in all the situations. He was not being a hypocrite. Satan was shocked and then he asks god to permit him to tempt Job for one more time and then Satan gives Job boils all over his body. But Job still endured it and continued to suffer without losing his hope. Job’s wife was foolish according to Job as she did not know how to react to God’s offering. For Job when God gives you something it is not the materialistic but it is the moral wealth and boils given by God was not a suffering rather it is an offering. When all hopes of Satan was shattered and Job too confronted God and got to know about God’s mystery, God returned him double of what he had before.

The Book of Job is a theodicy, an attempt to morally justify the ways of God to man. It is a most provocative theodicy for it is the story of the most righteous man on earth putting God on trial for crimes against humanity and refusing to acquit him. To the question of why there is evil in the world, The Book of Job offers a non-traditional answer. God created a world of undeserved and unremitted suffering in order to make the highest form of human love possible: a completely selfless love of man for God. Selfishness corrupts selfless love. If human beings know with certainty that God rewards those who love him, then they will serve God for what they can get from him. Undeserved evil is morally necessary in order to bring the existence of God into doubt and to sever any connection between righteousness and reward. God expects man to challenge him for the creation of such a world. Human beings have a moral duty to challenge God for such evil. They have a natural need to know and a natural right to receive the explanation for evil in world. God expects human beings to stand up to him. They commit sin either if they prematurely condemn or prematurely acquit God for sending evil into the world. They must wait for the answer that only God can give. God will reveal that answer on the Day of the Final Judgment. At that time, God will resurrect all human beings to give them that answer. God will grant all human beings a special grace to understand the necessity and sufficiency of undeserved evil. God is causally responsible for the evil in the world, but not morally blameworthy for it. At that time, all will know and understand God’s purpose in the creation of a world of undeserved and unremitted suffering. And God will then judge all human beings on the selflessness of their love for God. It is difficult to be righteous, rich and humble at a same time and also to be holy. The Book of Job is not only spiritual but instructional too. It instructs human beings to endure. This didactic art comes in with art for art sake. It is not only focused on ethics but also conveys a message to the society. One important theme is perseverance. One’s fortune will raise and fall but it depends upon the person how he is able to endure the ups and downs. Job was consistent toward God in his good as well as bad times. Job used his power of endurance as immunity to all bad things. We all know that job was truthful and being truthful means having those virtues in oneself which is hidden from the naked eyes. Truth is beyond death. Job calls his wife foolish as she did not have the power of discernment which Job had. For those who are not able to discern will not be able to prove that God is just. God do gives small suffering but in the end He multiplies the happiness. Book of Job presents a valuable lesson and is so highly praised by even people of the world. To say that morality is independent of special revelation is not to say that morality is independent of God. God has made human nature what it is and given human beings the necessary tools to derive a natural knowledge of good and evil. That natural knowledge has been termed God’s general revelation in nature as opposed to his special revelation in a religious text or tradition. And God has given all human beings sufficient common grace to keep them sinless, if they choose to act on that natural knowledge. It should be clear that the book of Job is not a simple story with a simple moral teaching. Accusations fly back and forth between Job and his "friends" defending and accusing God at several levels. Thus it should not be surprising that the message of Job has been explained in more than one way. Job leads us through the range of feelings and thoughts that a righteous person experiences in the face of tragedy. Job maintains his own innocence throughout but in the presence of God he humbly confesses his trust. For a righteous person suffering will challenge that person’s sense of relationship with God but it does not need to destroy that relationship. In fact, in the midst of suffering God does come to the righteous and affirms his presence and grace.

Strong message of humanity is seen in this essay. Even Job was more and more humble, even in troubles he praised God and at last learned the great lesson and hidden mystery of God, that is, God do not make their child suffer because of their sins but because He wants to test the consistency of faith of human beings in him. We can learn of God's power, wisdom, and sovereignty in the world, we can see how men of God grappled with the question of God's justice; we can observe that God does take notice of the righteous. The book also provides an answer to the challenge made by Satan. Their blessings He provides. May we be such people! That doesn't mean we won't have questions for which answers can't be found in this life. But with the book of Job we can learn how the righteous should suffer, how careful we should be in comforting the suffering, and to accept the fact that we can never fully comprehend God's working in our lives and in the world. The book of Job is about much more than suffering or God’s justice. Job affirmed that God was still God no matter what and always worthy of our love, reverence and worship. That was the test on Job, and he passed it. He vindicated both himself and God by remaining faithful. Job proved it is possible for humans to love God unconditionally. As we close this reading of The Book of Job, we open a new chapter in our lives. We go forth in the knowledge that, however unsearchable and inscrutable the ways of Lord may seem at the moment, God is with us in the midst of our suffering; he will never leave us or forsake us. There is an answer to the question of why there is evil in the world and God will ultimately give it. This is the hope and dream of all the mankind. That is the message of The Book of Job.

Primary sources
* Terrien, S., The Book of Job in The Interpreter’s Bible: Volume 3. Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1954, p. 1193. * Habel, N.C. The Old Testament Library: The Book of Job. Westminister Press, Philadelphia, 1985, p.66, 579. Secondary sources

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