The story of Job is one of the oldest, yet it remains a favorite for those who study the problem of pain. Job is a theodicy, i.e., a defense for the righteousness of God. The perennial question, “how could a good and all-powerful God allow his people to suffer,” will remain as one of the most crucial questions of life. The story of Job does not directly answer that question, but it does give us a glimpse into the heart of God.
Job is a righteous man devoted to God. He is a moral and praying man. He is concerned with the spiritual lives of his entire household. In fact, God said he had no one else like Job. Satan accused God of building a hedge around Job and blessing him, giving that as the reason for Job’s devotion. “But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face” (Job 1:11).
God gave Satan permission to touch all that Job possessed, even taking away the lives of his seven sons and three daughters. Job, however, responded out of love and loyalty to God. “In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.”
Satan next gave Job a painful and loathsome disease. Job’s wife urged him to curse God and die (Job 2:9). Job held to his integrity; he did not sin with his lips.
We have the blessing of reading the whole story and knowing the end, but Job lived the story one day at a time. This was surely the hardest part of his life, but Job kept faith and loyalty toward God. God is worthy of our devotion even in the hardest days of our lives.