Thinking It Over: Job and God’s Dereliction of Duty

Three well-heeled theologians walked into a bar to meet with a peer who had fallen on hard times and was facing a harsh legal sentence. It was the bar of justice, and they came as friends of the court. Each had prepared a brief designed to convince their peer that his adversary was in the right and that he needed to plead guilty and make a deal. They argued that he could not successfully resist the arguments of the prosecution. His adversary had power, public opinion, and tradition on his side.  The outcome was a given. Fortunately, the adversary had a reputation for just dealing and could be counted on to be fair. Conventional wisdom urged confession and an appeal for mercy.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

The lesson of Job is completely lost on Adventist leadership. they are a carbon copy of Job’s three friends. TZ


Whoever designed and/or created everything bears responsibility for all of it.

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In chapter 1 of Job, the writer records God saying to Satan…"my servant Job"
In chapter 38 we read…“Who is this that darkeneth”…

Does that really sound like Jesus talking in chapter 38 ?

To get into discussions about the merit, or not, of ethical/ morality behaviors narrated in Job versus God is like playing a theological chess game which the Christian reader is BOUND to lose, whether expert at attacking as white , or defending as black. We empathize with the Church’s verbal gymnastics(to put it another way) because we all are believers in the inerrancy of everything( canonical )written by Jewish literrati thousands of years ago. In my opinion the Job story AS WRITTEN(that is, assuming there is no subtextual code involved) cannot be credible.God gambling with a noted rebel about how far a frail human being who is trying to life a righteous life can be pushed before he gives up his beliefs ?The learned Seminarians who selected this book for SS discussion in the “quarterly” certainly provoked discussion. The Jews themselves seem more pragmatic. They frequently and explicitly berated God for not rescuing them while suffering during the Holocaust. As soon as WW2 ended they set about repopulating Palestine , thereby ending the “scattering” AND developing nuclear weapons; this latter ensures that they can no longer be scattered for ANYTHING without severe consequences for the survival of the world in general. Does this limit the prerogatives of god to control human affairs?

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A story, a poem of wisdom and lessons… And we discussed, wehn it was written and where the three firends come from.And how the Great Controversy is behind all.

OK. (or : Not OK)

I love the book of Job and the Song of Solomon. Just reading them and letting the words create pictures in my phantasy.

Three times Job reminds God of the handiwork by his divine hands (10 : 3., 8.,9.) - Is that the way I feel, my self - esteem, my bodily experiences being a very precious piece out of the great Masters hand ?

The environment : Surely there is a vein for the silver and a place for the gold - - iron is taken out of the earth - - as for the earth, out o f it cometh bread, and under it is turned as if it were fire - - - . but where shall wisdom be found ? - whence then cometh wisdom and where is the place of understanding ?

That all is not apt for apologetics and not fit for finding the proof for dogmatics : It is just for quiet meditation - towards finding wisdom.[


I am regularly reminded in not only the book of Job but many other books of the Bible, life is not black and white. I know of few situations where black and white thinking are useful.

The strong tendency to place thinking about difficult problems in black and white is clearly shown by Job’s experience to be not useful. Note the word useful. Job’s comforters are clearly afflicted with the black and white thinking. Job is to some extent until the end where he acknowledges God as God.

Does God in the closing chapters present this problem in black and white terms? Not in my estimation. We would do well to remember, balancing is an essential spiritual discipline.