Five Truths for Sufferers from the Book of Job | Eric Ortlund

The book of Job is not relevant in every circumstance, but Job-like experiences are all too common. This book teaches us that this kind of suffering is not a sign of God’s anger, or even a way to improve our moral quality as Christians. It is an avenue through which God reveals himself to us more profoundly than he ever could have in our safety and comfort. Job-like suffering becomes a context to love, honor and remain faithful to God for God’s sake, irrespective of any secondary blessings he might give, as we accept his present administration of ruling over a still-dangerous creation. The book of Job narrates how these times of suffering are temporary (42:10–12) and terminate in a new vision of God as God. In so doing, this difficult and challenging book speaks in clear and strengthening ways to Christians suffering and trying to remain faithful in their agony. Finally, the ways in which the book of Job portrays and interprets suffering in God’s economy anticipate and pre-figure the Lord Jesus. If Job was blameless and upright in his relationship with God (1:1), Jesus was even more so. If Job innocently suffered the wrath of God in order to further God’s purposes, defeat the schemes of the Accuser, and prove the all-surpassing worth of knowing God, Jesus did even more so. If Job shows us imperfect but genuine trust in God in inexplicable suffering, Jesus shows us the same theme perfectly in his prayer in garden. And if Job ends with a vision of a universe cleansed of all evil, we see in Jesus how God actually brings Job’s hope about. As Ash writes, “It is not until the New Testament that we learn what it cost God to win this victory over the Leviathan.” In sum, the book of Job shows us, in outline form, a greater Job, who suffered even more deeply than that OT saint, in whom God’s purposes were furthered even more deeply, who holds our hand as his leads us, in some measure, through his own pain. [Read More]