One time in an undergraduate religion class, the professor asked us to list some Biblical characters who represent role models for Christians. I listed Job. The man who remained faithful to God. No matter what. The man who represented how we are supposed to give everything to him. The man who is rewarded for his blind faith in God.
My professor commended me for the Biblical character I listed… because not many people remember him when Daniel, David, and Moses live such adventurous lives.
I recently reread the book of Job, and I learned a lot about the story… a lot you NEVER hear in Church. At least, I didn’t. I’m here now to help provide you an alternative interpretation:
What happens to Job is effed up, and he reacts like any normal person with anger and doubting. He gets rewarded anyway.
I’m very confused about how this actual story gets turned into a hero story…
Just to give you more detail. Satan asks God if he can destroy Job’s life. He tempts God into saying yes by appealing to His ego: don’t you want to see if he stays faithful to you when everything he loves and holds dear is ripped away from him? (paraphrasing here…) Of course, God says yes. Because Old Testament God likes playing God…
So, Satan kills Job’s family, destroys his property, swallows his animals, and kills most of Job’s friends (except for a handful). As I said before, Job reacts like any normal person. He’s confused as to what happened when God promises to take care of those who remain faithful. He’s angry because he does exactly as he’s told to do. He’s mournful because he’s lost HIS ENTIRE FAMILY. Then, as when anything tragic happens to believers, Job begins to doubt and spiral.. drugs and alcohol and partying and doing everything he never did before because his faith in God held him back…
I’m kidding about the drugs and alcohol, but he definitely throws a pity party for himself with his surviving friends. They all reminisce about how awesome Job is and how messed up it is that he just got fucked over. All of them. Except for one.
We’ll call him brown-nose. He begins to preach, as only someone who has never suffered can, about how faith really works.
When he’s done being a cunt, God walks into the room: Fuck off! I’m God. I’m greater than you asses, so I get to determine whether to use Scott’s or those cherry-smelling wipes when I clean you up. (paraphrasing, duh …)
After His rant of how great He is, He rewards Job anyway… a man whose faith faltered when tragedy hit him in the balls. Maybe I missed something… but I don’t think I did. But, the book of Job basically showed us that bad crap happens because God lets it.. then, whether you remain faithful or not, God will decide whether he feels like rewarding you afterward.
Go and read it. Let me know what you understand. Is it different than what I have?