Job and the mystery of suffering

Mike Reeve’s sermon on Job 42 is incredible. I can’t find where it was originally recorded, but I have the audio if you’re interested!

He shows that we need to realise that bad things happen to good people (or at least redeemed people.)

It is natural to ask ‘why?’ But Job’s comforters try and attribute blame and they do it theologically. In the face of his freefall into suffering, they are ready to wag the finger.

Mike shows, however, that Christ and the gospel are threaded right through the book. In Job 16:18-21 we see that Job believes in the Messiah, an intercessor. He is also styled as a kind of suffering servant. See how often Job is called ‘servant’ in chapter 42.

The false comforters are to take a sacrifice and to have Job the servant of the Lord pray for them. v9, after Job’s prayers, they are accepted.

So Job is a kind of Christ figure and that takes us to the cross. Through suffering- the worst event ever- blessing was brought. v10, through Job’s suffering he is blessed in a double portion. Isaiah 61:7 says that believers will be blessed with a double portion.

Then consider that Uz (Job 1:1) is translated fertile place, perhaps a garden and that Satan then makes an appearance to upset this. Does it not all smack rather a lot of Genesis 1?

The journey of Job is from garden, through temptation and into greater blessing. The road is also a long one of suffering. Hopefully we can see that this all comes very close to the gospel pattern. And so woven right through this exploration of human suffering is the story that suffering is not meaningless. The paradigm of the gospel is that through suffering God blesses the world in the gospel. And with Job we see that God blesses him more after his suffering than before. Please beware of false comforters who are quick to ascribe blame (maybe we try and do this with ourselves), and remember also that God is with us in suffering to bless. Praise God!

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