Why Did Job Suffer? (Part 1)

Why Did Job Suffer?Thesis:

God visited his righteous servant Job with great sufferings to teach us that God alone is wise.


Job attempts to answer the question, “Who is wise?” The definitive answer is not Satan, not men (Job’s friends), not even the blameless and upright Job, but only God. The book opens with an epilogue establishing Job’s righteousness and the great blessings God bestowed on him (1:1-5). Satan approaches the LORD and accuses Job of merely demonstrating “practical obedience” (1:6-11). God defends Job and turns his possessions and health over to Satan to be destroyed. Yet Job refuses to sin against God by blessing the LORD in the midst of trials (1:21-22). Thus the wisdom of God reigns supreme over the foolishness of Satan. The poetry is dialogue between Job, three friends, a young man, and finally two thunderous, one-sided exchanges between Job and God. Job asserts his innocence while his friends blame Job’s suffering on hidden sin. This verdict they offer distills to “If you have suffered, then you have sinned”.1 Job maintains his innocence, but he reveals his growing desire to exchange his childlike trust in God for a new desire for answers. Even Job proves his wisdom to be utter folly in the light of God’s relentless response, who shows that He alone is wise (38:1-42:6). Thus God’s wisdom triumphs over man’s follies. Job’s test is now complete. Satan and the friends are proven foolish, Job’s integrity is vindicated, his health and wealth are restored, and God stands alone glorified (42:7-16)!

(Continue reading here.)

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22 Responses to Why Did Job Suffer? (Part 1)

  1. DaMan says:

    But the question remains,

    If Satan is such an evil and worthless [*censored*], why does God has to prove anything to him? Does God need to prove anything to any one if He’s so powerful and righteous?

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      God needs to prove because WE have so much doubt :)

  2. Is this a serious question, or just a drive-by shooting?

  3. Rob says:

    Was Job a sinner? I can understand imputed righteousness as given to Abraham but in all of Job’s life he must have committed sin of some sort (am I being like one of his friends??? I am not even sure if his questioning of God was a sin? God doesn’t require us to be blind servants and many times I have questioned him with WHY??? To be sure, I haven’t got an answer in most cases but have to rely on faith in him. With the story beginning as Job in adulthood I am confused as to what is meant by him being blameless?

    • john r says:

      he was an chosen vessel of LORD OF HOST before the world was ever made and and nothing could change that after when ever or where ever that is Established . likewise Satan was forever the serpentine one and he could never change but by GOD, his unmerited love toward his . all fully reveals by giving live to our sins to show our spiritual rebellion or our spiritual rebirth that cannot be chosen by the flesh GOD steps in job to reform the human to what he desires and no one even Satan can stop his work toward perfection. rightfulness is the gift that GOD gives to his children to spend in the kingdom of GOD’s economy

  4. Rob,

    This was a point of contention when we discussed Job’s blamelessness in seminary. Someone as prominent as John Piper is on record as saying that Job was wrong to defend his blamelessness, since the Bible clearly teaches that “there is none righteous, no not one.” But I don’t think that is the lesson that the book of Job is teaching. I think it best to see Job as a faithful follower of the Lord (not sinless), and not deserving all the horrors that Satan inflicts on him at the beginning of the book. In other words, the point is not that Job is completely sinless and therefore does not deserve the suffering that befalls him. Rather, the point is that Job doesn’t do anything that deserves what God allows Satan to do to him. Job is a sinner saved by grace. He is one of the righteous on the earth who serves God faithfully, and he happened to find himself as a pawn in a cosmic duel between God and Satan. Job’s friends are sure he must have committed some great sin to explain his suffering. But the whole book is about reasons for Job’s (and our) sufferings that are not directly tied to punishment for sin. The lesson is that God’s ways are mysterious and higher than our ways. We cannot figure out the mind of God by what we see and experience. We must have the curtain pulled back by God for us to see what is really going on.

    Hope this helps.

    God bless.

    • john r says:

      job deserved every thing that happened to him and he in his spirit knew that , every true born again child of GOD knows that. this our the battle ,the cross, to discover our hidden sins of flesh to make an open show of them before our weak eyes to have the LORD to make them so bright that not only we see them but others also.so at this point we should no longer attempt to cover them up anymore , even when GOD gives us rightness which is to destroy sin in our lives, not to tolerate it. was job blameless in the flesh” NOT ”HE WAS AN SINNER AND AS LONG AS HE BREATHED AIR HE WAS GOING TO REMAIN ONE but the SPIRIT OF GOD in us demand that we battle sin by the order of GOD and to the extent that is founded acceptable to him , we must admit that he sets that level for each of us. when job lost every thing he though he had, he saw more clearly what he truly possessed he became the JOB that the LORD demanded of him.

  5. distance says:

    I think that the main topic of Job is not suffering. The reason why job suffered is clarified at the beginning of the book. The question can be asked in the other way: why God shall be worshiped under any circumstances, i.e., under rich or poor, healthy or sick. Is it reasonable that we people worship God just because that HE reward us, protect us, bless us? Is there any other reason that we should worship God? The main topic of Job is to discuss what is the proper reason to worship God. We worship God just because that HIS attribute of almighty, kindness, and greatness. We worship HIM because HIS beauty. We worship HIM because HE is God. This only reason is enough for us to worship HIM. That is what the last part of Job says. Therefore, I highly respect Job that he worshiped God under any circumstances, despite of his suffering. That is why he was praised by God at the end of the book.

    • john r says:

      he leads us to the place ,to still waters and and of place of plenty to satisfy our soul and we should realizes that our spirit is forever united to HIM , HE takesus to the cooling waters then HE put us in , MY GOD ; MY GOD;

  6. huey says:

    i need an answer about job was it sin or someth or a sin against god

  7. rainis says:

    I love how ‘distance’ – December 27, 2008 put it, we should love God regardless of our circumstance and not because he blesses us or lets us go through hardship.

  8. Virginia Cumbas says:

    Is there a possible way to know how long Job endured his suffering. The Bible does mention after Job’s ordeal God blessed him for another 140 years. I thought maybe if there’s a way to know or at least an estimate of the duration of his suffering? Thanks.

  9. Calm says:

    Job is really a pillar of strength, regardless of what he endured, he never turned he back on God. Job never allowed Satan to have a footstool in his life. We can learn a lot from Job, whatever our circumstances, whatever trials and tribulations we are going through, God is always there to lift us up and bless us if we let Him. Thanks and praises to our God most high. Amen!

  10. Jerry says:

    The reason Job suffered is found in Job 3:25. He didnt trust God. He was scared all his blessings would be taken away. (2 Timothy 1:7 says God didnt not give us a spirit of fear) So if He didnt, it is from Satan. So Job was listening to Satan, living in fear. If Job didnt fear, Satan wouldnt have been able to touch him at all. Paul says in Eph 4:27 “do not give place to the devil”

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sorry you have it all wrong. God alowed Satan to touch him.

    • john r says:

      wrong job trusted GOD, he did not trust himself and GOD chose to show job and satan , just how much job really did trust the LORD IS IT IS EVIDENT BY GODS indictment against job.s friends , saying that did not give GOD the glory as to doing the right thing. job was not willing listening to satan as shown by not listening to satan speaking by the mouth of his wife.

  11. Rooney123 says:

    ^ thankyou Jerry. helped alot :)

  12. Distance says:

    The reason that Job suffered was discussed in Chapter 1 verse 8 ~ Chapter 2 verse 7. Interestingly this conversation between God and Satan reveals a little bit of the main topic of the book of Job: what is the reason human being should worship God? Job was blameless. If his faithfulness is because that in doing so, God will in return award him, his goodness is not of the top value. I think that the author wants to deeply investigate this topic: what is the fundamental rational of this virtual of being faithful. He first separated the two topics: being faithful and being suffered, by describing the debate between Job and his friends. I believe that what Job has been suffered is nothing related to his sin, as stated in the context of the book of Job. I really impressed about Job that he stuck to be righteousness even when he cannot explain the reason of his situations. This makes him even more painful because the quarrel leads him to suspect the goodness of God. However, in whatever situation, Job struggled to have faith in God even when he started to doubt the meaning of his own existence. This is actually consistent to the main topic that the author wanted to reveal: what is the deepest rational of being faithful to God. Here, I have a comment on the questions we have discussed above. We trend to have more interest in discussing about the reason of what Job has suffered, where also we provide some hint to ourselves that Job must did something wrong such that he suffered. And we tries to find out what is wrong did by Job. If we cannot find anything, we pretend to stand on the same side of Job. But this argument already has been proved by the author dead according to the conversation between Job and his friends. We are doing the same thing as Job’s friend did. The author gradually expose the rational behind the wisdom of being faithful to God. Everything starts to change when Elihu came into the stage, where he started to discuss about the attributes of God. God is good and so mighty that the evilness of people can only do harm to the evil people. God losses nothing because of their sin. But God still willing to guide people from doing wrongly. Elihu’s argument turned Job focus from suspecting the goodness of God to what God really is. Step by step, the author put more and more emphasis on the mightiness and the power to manage the universe and history, which is the very rational reason for human being to worship God. Even God himself appeared to Job to reveal his mightiness, such that Job had a very good reason to remain faith in God, just as he struggled about. He needed to find a reason to sustain his faith. Now, Job has found one that God is so good and at the same time mighty. Everything is in its right position.

    After all, we should think ourselves, what is the reason we go to church to worship? Is it the sweetness of God attracts us, such that we are willing to learn him more? The only very reason for us to worship God is the goodness of God himself.

    It was a very difficult time for me before I figured out the main topic of this book. Chapter 38 was very weird to me that the focus was suddenly changed, and I could not find any clue from context. But now, everything seems to around this main topic.

  13. john r says:

    part of problem is not understanding what faith really means in our operation of living out our salvation, .faith is the the power to operate in world and the spirit, it comparable to pushing down the gas pedal and making movement down the road no one can see the horsepower of an engine but you can both see it and feel-it going down the road. if GOD gives you faith no one can take it away and you cannot give it away he dose not allot us to give it away

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