This coming Sunday I will be preaching on a passage taken from the Book of Job. As I study for Sunday, Job brings about several issues regarding my own theology and how and why I believe what it is that I believe.
From my understanding of Hebraic theology of Job’s time, there were several assumptions that were made in regard to humanities relationship to and with God. The first concept that appears is that if one does the “correct” things and lives the “correct” way that God will bless their lives. Well, that is fine and all, but what happens when catastrophe strikes? Job faced that situation. He was faithful, he was honorable, and suddenly he lost everything.
There are some theologies that are out there in our world which, unknowingly, endorse this kind of attitude. Sentences such as, “If you only pray hard enough…If you only get your life right God will bless you….If you attend 5.76 worship services in a week, God will acknowledge your work.” It hurts me to see pastors which promote this kind of twisted idealism as well as those who follow this type of ideology because they know nothing better.
Both of my children have hemophilia. This is a rare bleeding disorder which prevents clotting of the blood. It is a disorder which is not curable, but mostly treatable. Well, to get back to how this relates to Job, my wife attended a prayer retreat in which the concept that, if one has enough faith, prayers will be answered,” was the main focus of the meeting. The name given to this type of prayer is called theophostic prayers. This means that if she had enough faith, my boys would no longer have hemophilia.
This concept of placing the “sin” on a person because of their “lack of faith” can be very damaging to those who struggle with forgiveness. This was what Job faced. Throughout the Book of Job, there were those who asked critical issues concerning common theology of the day. The main question presented in the text was, “Job, what did you do to anger God?”
The ending of the text is resolved by God restoring Job’s fortune in a way that was double what he had before tragedy struck. God’s message to Job was simple. The most important resolution which God offers is that, the questions regarding who is at fault are not the right questions. The right question to ask is, “Who will be with me during catastrophe?” The answer to the question is God.
Christ would eventually complete the answer to Job’s initial questions in the Gospel of John 9:1-3. “As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. (John NRSV).
My life lesson from Job is to remember that God will always be with me in every situation. That is the most important thing of all.