Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does God allow us to suffer if He really loves us and we are faithful to Him? The story and life of Job teaches us that human suffering may be caused by many things. Because we suffer does not necessarily mean God is angry with us. It does not necessarily mean we are being punished for our sins.
The Bible tells us three things about Job. First, he was a good family man. Job 1:2 “He had seven sons and three daughters.” Second, he was a very rich man Job 1:3 “..and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.” Third, Job was a very good man. Job 1:1 “In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.”
Satan suggested to God that the only reason Job served Him was because God blessed him. He said that Job would curse God if God took away His blessings. God gave Satan permission to test Job. He only placed on restriction on Satan. He was not allowed to harm Job himself. Job 1:9-12 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
Satan tempted Job by taking away all his wealth. Then he sent a storm which killed all of Job’s children at one time. Job did not curse God as Satan said he would. He worshipped God and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21-22
Satan afflicted Job with sores which covered his entire body. Job lost his possessions, his children, and now his health was taken away. Job’s wife told him to “Curse God and died” Job 2:9. Job replied, “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” Job continued to trust in God and refused to blame God for his problems.
Job heard God speak, and he realized he had no right to question God. He repented of having questioned God in any way. Job 42:10 “After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.” The Lord then blessed Job again. He gave Him twice as many possessions as he had before. God also gave Job another family of seven sons and three daughters. Job lived one hundred and forty years after this.
We learn from the book of Job that First, God is the Creator of all things. His wisdom is far above anything that we can ever understand. Second, that if one truly has faith in God, he will remain faithful to God no matter what happens. Third, innocent people suffer in this life along with the wicked. Natural disasters such as floods and famines affect everybody. Accidents can happen to anyone. Sickness comes to rich and poor, young and old, evil and good. Death will come to everyone. These things are part of the lives of all who live on this earth. Fourth, Satan does not have unlimited power of us. God is stronger. Fifth, Satan may use other people to discourage us. We must always put God first. Sixth, we need to have patience at Job did. We must learn to endure the hardships of life. We must remember that in the end, God’s people will win. Seventh, life on earth is very brief.
Our responsibility to God is to obey Him, to trust Him, and to submit to His will, whether we understand it or not. When we do, we will find God in the midst of our trials-possibly even because of our trials. We will see more clearly the magnificence of our God, and we will say, with Job, “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.” Job 42:5
“For I know my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth.” Job 19:25