Probably not as strange as it may initially seem, but comedians are the actors who most frequently play the part of God: George Burns, John Cleese, Morgan Freeman, Whoopi Goldberg, Jim Parsons, and, in a sense, Jim Carrey, have all played the part of God. In the movie “Bruce Almighty,” God (Morgan Freeman) allows Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey), a down-on-his-luck TV reporter, to exercise his divine powers for one week. At first Nolan wastes the powers on frivolous and selfish whimsies. In the end, however, he finds the role so complicated and difficult that he is more than happy to hand it back to God.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/article/2016/11/15/innocent-blood
Should SDA’s, who are familiar with the great controversy conflict & have read the whole bible, have ANY UNanswered questions related to theodicy, suffering, innocent blood issues?
Jesus suffered in many ways for at least 30 years. John the Baptist was decapitated, Abel was murdered by Cain. Many of the OT prophets suffered. What is so puzzling?
Indeed, but this is beyond all morality and justice.
The restrictive container of the mind must be broken for this light to penetrate.
But Job finds light in the chthonic forces of darkness, where only it can be apprehended.
The practice of sacred contemplation is based on the understanding that the mind’s essential nature is shared equally with whatever it observes, and within that confluence, the ground of all things can be directly recognized.
–David Chaim Smith
We can read Job, clenching the NT, and quote “mercy triumphs judgement”, as the author has done, but Job could not quote James. Job’s hope for mercy is based on Prov. 21:13 where Job can expect mercy because he has been merciful himself; but that doesn’t work for him either. Ultimately, all die; before that, all suffer, to one degree or another. At some point, our prayers for healing, will be met with silence.
As it turns out, the Hebrews weren’t comfortable with Job either. The conflict of Job is in the poem that sits between a prologue and an epilogue, in prose form. They were inserted at a later date, possibly because they had to place Job’s agony into context where the whole experiment is an unusual test. “Satan” (adversary) is interjected as the ultimate cause here. If we remove “Satan”, (who, by the way, doesn’t show up in the rest of the story), we can’t use the excuse that this situation is somehow unusual. In the prologue, it isn’t God causing Job’s misery. He is giving permission for Satan to do that; while the original view of such “curses” is that God gives blessings and curses - and that is the point of the Job’s comforters.
Actually, here again, we have an earlier predecessor to the story which has been labeled, “The Babylonian Job”. This one ends in the same way where the rich and influential man declares, WHO CAN UNDERSTAND THE COUNSEL OF THE GODS IN THE MIDST OF HEAVEN? THE PLAN OF GOD IS DEEP WATERS, WHO CAN COMPREHEND IT? WHERE HAS BEFUDDLED MANKIND EVER LEARNED WHT A GOD"S CONDUCT IS?
Like Job and his buddies, we like neat answers - good guys prosper/bad guys suffer consequences. Job argues his innocence - still plugged into this paradigm. At the end, he gets it. Do we?
YES ! The membership of my little congregation ranges to the age from 20 to 85, some with 65 year of earnenst, continuing study of the Bible ( ! ) . The young ones ask questions - we cannot answer, not just by tossing the fragment of a Bible text into discussion. We believe, we trust in God and his wisdom and merrcy - - that is our oinly answer.
And now we get a liitle more insight in Gods ways - and human attempts to be the wiser ones - alt last with verse by verse studying the book of Job., this “forgotten book”
Whenever I can’t possibly see the point of a writer /writers of a Biblical Book when viewed against of the morality codes we humans are instructed to adhere to , on pain of having our souls (the essence of our existence which animates the physical body) at the general resurrection ,destroyed and the atoms scattered into general matter, I assume there is a hidden meaning of which I am ignorant. The book of JOB seems to deliberately flaunt BOTH major commandment series , the Judaism Ten of Exodus and the “christian” overarching ONE by Jesus of doing unto others etc. There COULD be ELS codes in the book. Modern researchers have found the actual names of perpetrators of massacres NAMED in the ELS codes such as the Oklahoma terrorist , the time he struck and his fate. The only other thing I can think of is KARMA a non-Christian concept. If Job was an incarnation of the prophet Samuel (who advocated those brutal massacres) the book would be easier to understand. As for now I am sticking up for the fairness of Yahweh . I believe he IS a disciplinarian but I can Prove he did not launch the FLOOD, it was caused by natural forces.He did launch the attack on Sodom and Gomorrah in response to a severe attack on his rulership of earth by Marduk King of Babylon in BC 2024. IN GOD WE TRUST!!!
We know this isn’t true, and yet the belief was present in Jesus’ day, and it still exists today. Even though we know it’s not true, our first reaction when something really bad happens is, “Why, God?” There has to be a reason! We don’t live in a chaotic, meaningless world, do we? When God says, “Come now, let us reason together,” we find it hard to blindly accept that God knows what is best, without anything to go on. Yet, he also says, “My thoughts are higher than your thoughts,” so we must. In creating this world, haven’t we always assumed that God just spoke and everything came into being? Sounds so easy. But maybe it was harder than we can imagine? Is the answer to the hardest question in the world, simply that we cannot understand, so we have to accept?
You say there is no answer to the reason for suffering. I believe there is—we just don’t like it.
In the conclusion “Job prayed for his friends,” then “God restored his fortunes.” All his “brothers and sisters and former friends” came to his home for a “feast” (happy hour). They all “comforted him because of all the trials [sufferings and loss] the Lord [God] had brought against him (42:11).” Not brought on by Satan.
God’s justice is not confined to our definition, he uses a different dictionary. He has no issue with killing the First Born in Egypt or drowning thousands of soldiers who were following orders. He had no problem with destroying the pre-flood and Canaanite societies, making no difference in young and old alike. God was slow to defend and answer prayers of Jewish believes in the Holocaust. God is comfortable in sending pagan nations to kill and enslave old and young as punishment to Israel.
God often declares himself Just, for according his definition, God is just. We try our best to excuse God for neglecting to save desperate prayers from believers who died from the Black Death and a million other tragic human events. God revealed to Job his power in his creation of “birds of prey” (39:26-30) where the “young gulp down blood.” The animals he described reveal his methods.
Job said, “I was talking about things I knew nothing about, thing too wonderful for me.” In his dialogs, Job wanted God to give him justice and declare him innocent. Here Job admits God’s justice is beyond human comprehension. God is not answerable as to why he permits or actively causes evil and trouble in the world. God can send blessings or curses, as Moses taught. His power can bring justice or delay justice, as we see it. God is above human demands for explanations. He is not answerable as to why good (justified) believers find themselves murdered, lives cut short by disease or raped to death.
Somehow, I believe, that all things work together for good, in God’s hands. My part is trust and wait on the Lord.