Thursday, May 2, 2013

Job was abused by God!

10After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. 11All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.12The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 
Job 42:10-13

One of my most hated and despised stories in the entire bible is the story of Job. I actually feel sorry for this poor man considering what he went through for something that he had no control over. There are theists who actually find comfort in this story!Their warped logic and twisted mentality looks at this tale as inspirational. They see suffering as some sort of trial by God of their faithfulness; and are expectant of the rewards that they will receive for their unwavering faith. 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

They cite Romans 8:28 and say: "it's all God's will and something good will come of this." In reality this is nothing more than self-delusion. When I read about the story of Job I don't see the good Lord blessing Job nor do I see a moral lesson in faith. I see an abusive and immoral deity who is so vain and full of himself that if he were a balloon he would surely burst! 

This is how the book of Job begins: 1In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. Job 1:1

The book of Job commences by summing up how God has blessed Job. We are given a summary of his massive wealth. We are told about his family briefly and then the author treats us to a little secret meeting between God and his angels in which Satan happened to tag along. God always looking to upstage Satan chooses Job as his most exemplary servant. Afterwards Satan challenges God by stating that the only reason Job is such a faithful servant is because he has been blessed abundantly, but if you take away all he has "he will surely curse you to your face" Of course God being who he is never turns down a challenge and poor Job is thrust into being a pawn in God's game with Satan. 

God gave Satan permission to wreak havoc in Jobs life with the condition that he could not physically harm Job and so the games began. According to the tale in one single day the following events happened: all of his oxen and donkeys were stolen (500 oxen/500 donkeys) and his servants killed, all the sheep (7,000) and the servants tending them were burned up by a fire that fell from heaven, all his camels (3,000) were stolen and the servants killed, and finally all his sons and daughters (7 sons/3 daughters) were killed by a mysterious wind that brought down the house in which they were feasting together. 

Job and his three friends Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar

What was Job's respond to all of this massive loss? 21 “...Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;may the name of the Lord be praised.”22In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

Oh, but Satan was not done yet! He came back to God they had the same exact discussion as before but this time Satan tells him that Job would curse God if he would give all he has for his own life. So God gave Satan permission to physically harm Job but not kill him. Immediately after Job was afflicted with painful sores from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet. 

What is the moral of this story? That God could do whatever he wants with you for good or for bad and you have to just endure it and continue to praise him! Not very moral at all if you ask me. The funny thing about this story is that God allowed all of these things to happen to Job simply to prove a point to Satan! It was a celestial bet on a mans life! Nothing could be more disgusting and deplorable than this. 

One thing I would like to point out as well is that the author of this tale must've gotten the celestial elements of the tale from so called divine "revelation."Or could have someone just made up this tale to try and teach faithfulness to God? I would put my money on the latter choice. Mainly because I don't believe in divine revelation since in the entire bible there is not one tale based on it that can convince me that it is a real occurrence.

I have several problems with this story that put God in a bad spot. The first and most important one for me is the loss of life caused by God's little wager with Satan. Job lost all of his 7 sons and 3 daughters which in my view are irreplaceable. He also lost countless servants whose numbers were never told. A total of 7,000 sheep were killed by the fire that fell from heaven. Not to mention all of the mental and physical anguish that Job had to endure to prove his faithfulness in God to Satan in a bet which he had no say in nor was he aware that he was a part of. 

After a bunch of arguing about why Job was suffering and eventually Job arguing with God about the situation the story ends. The author tries to smooth over the actions of God by having him give Job back double of everything he owned previously and even gave him 7 new sons and 3 daughters to replace those that he had lost. But looking at this story from a realistic point of view nothing could replace the loss of a child let alone ten in one day! Not to mention the servants and sheep whose loss of life seemed outright insignificant in this tale. 

If this is the best God could do than I don't want him to be doing me any favors now or in the future. God is supposed to be omniscient, and the scriptures state often that he can read your thoughts and the intentions of your heart. That he knows us before we were even conceived in our mothers wombs. If this is true then why the need to constantly test our faith? Free will is not an excuse to mess with someones life. When you have a business and a faithful and productive employee you don't treat them like crap. You reward them for their service and continue to motivate them through promotion and praise. God if he ever existed (not likely) obviously did not learn this lesson.

Note: All biblical citations are from the New International Version


  1. You wonder why the people who wrote the Buybull made the god they wanted people to believe in to be such a shit...
    Anyone could invent a better god than the Biblical god, and in fact it would be difficult to make a worse one.

  2. The "lesson" of the story of Job has always been a mystery to me. We condemn a parent who abuses a child, or a child who abuses small animals, but we're supposed to worship a god who bullies and abuses a supposedly good and righteous man (not to mention the wanton and utter destruction of his innocent family, servants and livestock!)?

  3. Very thoughtful piece. I want to comment more but no time right now. I, like everyone, can feel a bit like Job at times (at least the first part of it anyway).

  4. I've always thought that from a naturalistic point of view life makes a lot more sense. There is no God or gods to make excuses for when bad things happen to good people. Especially as in the case of Job when that person is seeking God and trying to live right before his eyes.

    Apologists have the distasteful task of trying to figure out the problem of evil. But to date the best that they can come up with is that God works in mysterious ways. Or that we are not able to see the bigger picture meaning that with every evil event somehow some good comes from it that only God is aware of.

  5. This is one of the first bible studies I have enjoyed. Thanks for being so truthful in your examination. Why was Job written? My thoughts are that whoever wrote the story of Job intended to create fear and provide an understanding that bad times can happen to all even those of a pious nature. "The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away." (King James version 21st verse of the first chapter.) No one, not even god's good children are immune to disease or disaster befalling them, but so long as your faith remains intact then god will look upon you kindly. In other words keep believing in God even in hard times , come to church sacrifice your life for us and we (the church who pretend to represent god) will remain all powerful and will gladly take your tithe, because your belief makes us so and that continued belief even in troubled times, makes us stronger with the promise you will be rewarded. Anyway, that's my take.

  6. Considering that Job was one of God's most faithful servants at the time, I think that just makes it even worse... abusing the trust that someone gave you. (sorry, I don't know if you already mentioned this in your post)