Something is wrong; everybody knows it. The world is not as it should be. Some great religious traditions look forward to a future when all our frustrated desires will be subsumed into a blissful oneness. Others look back to a long-lost paradise and speculate on a leader (or system) who will return us to that ideal state.
Last week we talked about judgment, admitting (perhaps grudgingly) that God has a right to judge. But there are times when his judgment doesn’t seem . . . well, right. We can accept bad things happening to bad people (which doesn’t include us, of course). That’s only just deserts. But bad things happening to good people is the main problem doubters have with a supposedly “good” God.
The Bible meets that problem head-on. It’s part of the problem, and no figure shows it better than the long-suffering, pitiful character of Job. The man has a lot of complaints, and they seem perfectly reasonable to us. But underneath all the apparent unfairness of the way he’s been treated, Job is most hurt about this:
I thought we were friends. I thought You were on my side. But now it seems I never knew You, and we don’t even speak the same language. Is there anyone who can come between us? Or will we be eternally a universe apart?
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(This is a continuation of a series of posts about the “whole story” of the Bible. I plan to run one every week, on Tuesdays, with a printable PDF. The printable includes a brief 2-3 paragraph introduction, Bible passages to read, a key verse, 5-7 thought/discussion questions, and 2-3 activities for the kids. Here’s the Overview of the entire Bible series.)
Previous: Week Three: The Problem – Judgment
Next: Week Five: The Promise – Abraham