The Tears on God's Face

The book of Job had never triggered this question for me before, but all of a sudden it came to me as I was working on this commentary: Where are the tears in the book of Job? 

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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Thanks so much, Alden. I always appreciate your comments. On this occasion, I especially like this thought: “Even the most overwhelming earthly judgment may not determine eternal salvation.”

I agree that there is no reason to assume that the personally innocent among Sodomites or Amalekites will not be resurrected. God can redeem their sufferings, as He redeemed Job’s.

I agree that there is no reason to assume that the personally innocent among Sodomites or Amalekites will not be resurrected. God can redeem their sufferings, as He redeemed Job’s.

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Where? Where? It’s all horrifying.

But I don’t expect to find a picture of a loving God in the minds of Bronze & Iron Age peoples.


a bueatiful statment, moreover one in which I agree. my question is–Why don’t evangelists. In The Southern Union have a similar approach… I know that the dean of the Seminary holds a view very close to yours. tom

About this Second Death …

Now, when death is done away with, indeed, when death itself is cast into the lake of fire, itself described as the Second Death, as the Revelator describes, can any remain not alive?

Is it but sad how deeply Seventh-day Adventism tends sometimes to cling to death for others, and continues to fear it for ourselves?

Is this but evidence of the seductive appeal of Babylon’s hybrid religion as dependent on essential individual human contribution to enabling of their own salvation?

Surely we have yet to sense the everlasting gospel, perhaps because it is yet to be universally proclaimed by the First Angel: “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”

What if the remnant of Revelation 14 is those who are yet to embrace the gospel with patience?

Just where are we with the Three Angels’ Message here in Seventh-day Adventism?


Does the Book of Job start out as a Religion view by Job, Mrs. Job, and the Friends?
Believing – What am I to believe? Ideas and opinions about God.
Behaving – How am I to behave? Rules and Programs with specific goals that guarantee results [blessings of God in the form of Secruity]. If I could just come up with the Right Set Of Rules I could fix all the things that are disordered and broken. Find the Rules and Techniques that apply. Maintain Order. A conventional Religion [church] focuses on a list of Do’s and Dont’s that fail to connect to the questions of existence both THEN AND TODAY.
Members of the group submit to the Authority of Others.
[Does THIS sound familiar?]

Does the Book of Job END as a Spirituality Experience for Job. A NEW Paradigm of Relationship with God?
Believing:-- How am I to believe? through Conviction. Understanding God through an encounter in the context of life experience.
Behaving-- What Practices? Practices that draw participants into Crafting a way of life.
Asking – What are we [am I] going to do? There is no one set of rules that could be applied to the world as it is [then and today]. Every situation is different. Open the imagination to engage the “What are we going to do?” question. Job and I do that through Discernment.
Find practices for the Individual and the Community that enable us to live lives with meaning and purpose in a rapidly changing world.

When Job prayed for his friends. He discovered a NEW Relationship with God. No longer – If I am a Good boy god will give me gifts. If I am a Bad boy, God will take them away.
God became much bigger.

Edit-- Bill:
If you read the 7 churches, it is The Church of Philadelphia that welcomes Christ at his Second Coming.
We are told over and over Adnauseum that the SDA church [and the world Christianity] is in the Laodicea mode.
But NOBODY is proclaiming HOW we can RETURN to the Philadelphia Experience so we CAN welcome Christ at His Second Coming.

Gideon – God’s Justice is Restorative Justice.
God’s Punishment is Grace, is Loving. Through Jonah God gave hugs and kisses to the Assyrians.
God loves so we can change.
Ezekiel 36:25-27. We have “Sin” >> “Unconditional Love” >> “Transformation” >> "Repentance"
The usual EGO Pattern is this – “sin”>> “punishment” >> “repentance” >> “transformation”


Does this statement above imply that the picture/character of God in the lesson is wrong?

This statement does not make sense given the biblical record. It is too abstract. Is God active or passive?

When does a person finally cross the line into idolatry? One can assent to the idea of a creator God whose son is Jesus, know of the cross, not reject the 10 commandments and gospel of grace, yet embrace unbiblical nuances or subtleties related to the character of God. When does a person end up being rebuked by God because they do not speak right about Him like his servant Job (Job 42.5)?
Life eternal is granted to those who know God (JN 17:3). The meek inherit the Earth, not the self sufficient proud.

I remember speaking with a religious program radio talk show host ( ON AIR) who claimed that Jesus was ANTI-death penalty. He used the woman caught in adultery as his scripture support. Jesus did not let her be killed.

The lesson deals with several old testament stories.

Think on this. How did Ananias & Sapphira die? Why didn’t the apostles beg for their lives or complain to God that the two should receive more grace & forgiveness?

Deism is a doctrine/concept that reduces the active involvement of God.
Eliminating the proper aspect, concept & record of God’s punishment is a subtle & deceptive form of it.

We become what we behold. Having optimum, healthy relationships…and properly nurturing & disciplining children is the result of beholding the God of a loving, gracious, just & correct character.

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My husband remembers, as a young person, being seriously disturbed about God consenting to have Job’s children die in order to test Job. When questioning the validity of the story, he remembers - there was no answer. He spent the rest of his childhood wondering if God was going to test someone in his family. How many sincere Christians live with this kind of insecurity throughout their lives.

The “book” of Job is a story of one man - an attempt to answer the age-old question WHY DO GOOD PEOPLE SUFFER? The Hebrew writing and understanding of God’s dealings with man, was that obedience brought blessings; and disobedience brought curses. This, of course, was the mindset of Job’s comforters, which they keep pressing throughout the story. Job, on the other hand, argues that this can’t be true because he knows his own heart, and it speaks against the long held, picture of God’s actions with men.

To try to read the story of Job as a true story, with all the characters real people - with a history and a relationship with God, of their own, - opens up a Pandora’s box, trying to justify God’s actions in relation to each character. The answer to Job’s question simply, but dramatically - and conclusively - sets up our place in the order of this universe - WE CAN’T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS AND MUST LIVE BY FAITH IN THE CREATOR OF EVERYTHING - PERIOD.


Isn’t it amazing to see how people behave when they find themselves in situations of hopelessness and helplessness? This is most evident when their friend loses a loved one. They undergo what can be referred to as an “ego meltdown” and say inappropriate things in their inept state of mind in a sincere at times spiritual effort to console their friend. Does this make a sin? These misunderstandings are not intentionally done yet they can be very hurtful. These cases are a “dime a dozen” in family guidance clinics.

Were Job’s friends who just shed tears for their friend really vicious and seeking vengeance or just simply socially inept? Does being socially inept make one a sinner or this more of a clear case of bending God’s character to fit our human fragilities just like the LGT that so many of our current leaders seem to espouse?


These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power. (2Thess 1:9 NASB)

Sounds pretty terrible and final doesn’t it?
Then again, maybe not…

I think this a worrying basis for ethical behaviour towards other nations. It was precisely this idea that compelled Arnoud Almalric when fighting the Cathars in 1219, and being concerned that some of the heretics may be pretending to be Catholics utter the words

Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius (Kill them all. For the Lord knoweth them that are His.)

It certainly absolves Christians from some moral responsibliity if killing the body is somehow justified by God reward later. On this the new Atheist do have a point. We should perhaps like many Jews reconsider our hermeneutic and ask if the account of God judgement executed by the Jewish nation as recorded in the Old testament was human perception of events rather than God’s Will.


There is a mild bemusement reading this tender essay. The beautiful title - the tears on God’s face - is so a-rational, simply is - experiential, existential, suggesting: there is no “explanation”. This then is followed by a very rational 4 point list. Nothing wrong with it, certainly not, and yet again our temptation to explain, to understand, to justify (our position).
And as to the friends of Job - I can only take their argument seriously because of Job 2:12-13. But better tears than arguments when it comes to questions we can ask, but cannot answer.


Don’t worry–I’m not generating rationalizations for any prospective slaughters. I just find it comforting to believe that God is capable of making any tragedy (deserved or redemptive, divinely ordained or otherwise) up to any of us.

The story of Job is horrific, heartrending and heinous.

Would any of us with children be happy if they all died, but were miraculously replaced with another batch, like an insurance agency replacing a destroyed car with a new vehicle??

Where are the “tears on God’s face” when whole boatloads of emigrant families, toddlers, infants in arms, all drown at sea?

Drowning is a terrifying and horrible death. Where are the " guardian angels " in all of this and why are they not protesting against these atrocities to their protégés?

One answer is that Noah’s flood when millions drowned, including supposedly, all innocent animals on earth, ( except those in the ark), INURED and HARDENED the Angels to all future drownings. So now they just shrug, and take it for granted?

God can stop all this misery at any time by expediting Christ’s Second Coming.
Christ declared in John’s Revelation: BEHOLD I AM COMING SOON!!

That He willfully does not expedite Christ’s coming, belying His Son’s emphatic pronouncement circa AD 70, makes Him accountable for the current misery on this planet.
Where are His tears? They are NON EXISTENT.

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I agree. Without faith, we humans cannot understand or justify God’s justice.

God speaks through the “whirlwind,” where everything is spinning out of control, not a peaceful meadow. In his dialog with Job God is proud of the Hipo and the Alligator, both cold-blooded killers. God can endure observing millions of desperate prayers during the seven centuries of the Black Death, which prematurely killed 50% of humanity, before solutions arrived.

Why God’s justice at times seems to be on hold or is selective is not for us to understand. Were it not for Jesus’ NT teachings about the love of God, few of us would give much regard to the God of the OT. With this in mind, it is enough to trust our existence to His wise providence. At this junction faith and intellect part ways—“the just shall live by faith.”

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This is such an awesome and thrilling article. Thanks for publishing it!

What a tenderhearted man you married!

Job was not in the category of a sinner needing to be punished or tested by God. Job was perfect in the sight of God.

This story shows the pure evil of evil for evil’s sake. How it entered the universe is the mystery of iniquity, but this is a showcase of dastardly evil and its unabated destruction. Just look around. It’s still playing out in refugees, fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks, war, ISIS, disease, depression, death, it’s everywhere and it’s not necessarily someone’s fault. It can be, of course, but it isn’t necessarily the fault of the victim. It’s just evil’s course of gobbling up and destroying everything it touches.

The older one gets, the more one has seen it. Been touched by it. Reacted to it. Wondered.

Is God’s patience at man’s state and refusal to interfere in humankind’s predicament, The Mystery of God?

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Well, YES . Judaism began by emerging out of many polytheistic religions during the bronze age. During the Iron age it became more distinct from other then existing (Canaanitish) religions and developed a monotheistic perspective. Over time Judfaism became a major religious movement with prophets, and Holy Books.The holiest such is the Torah promulgating a Shabbat(24 hours for rest, feasting, and prayer), and then the Siddur ,prayer book… Shabbat commemorates “creation of the earth”, a belief of nonscientific people. People who have images from the space telescopes and trained astronomers still believe these narratives took place AND WITHIN THE TIME SPANS indicated.Why even attempt to MAKE( as detailed in the IRON SUN) when you can just occupy any of billions of empty planets? That is what I would like to know.In earlier times, God(Yahweh) reportedly gave face-to-face interviews e’g Moses on Sinai. I recently saw a VIDEO purporting to be GOD(Yahweh) giving his opinion on the accuracy, or not, of selected interpretations of the creation of earth in Genesis Chapter One. Suffice it to say, these were NOT what I was taught in my earliest years on Friday nights. I will go no further at this time, since I do not want to be kicked off this forum.God looks VERY YOUNG like an early teenager, of very small stature and slightly yellowish skin. I would love to know his diet.Everyone in heaven seems to PRIZE WOMEN to the max. There are dangerous sports there and some males will sign to enter these. They will sign contracts stipulating that if they are killed they must NOT be resurrected. This drives many females into a frenzy of admiration for the brave who risk all to impress them. HEAVEN IS GREAT. Many people there wear no clothes . Many can Make sense of music playing 10 or more parts simultaneously. No Marriage, NO jealousy. Anti-social tendencies punished severely sometimes with destruction.One can live with a loved one for a thousand years or more , or agree to have other partners. WOW!!!