Haunted By A Question



“There is a question that has always haunted mankind. It is a question that has perplexed everyone who has ever thought about it. The question is this: ‘Why does God allow suffering?’ Or as we sometimes more pointedly put it: ‘Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?’ There is one place that this question is dealt with more profoundly than anywhere else: the Old Testament Book of Job … Though Job’s endurance is beyond anything most of us can imagine, in spite of his great patience, he finally reaches the point that we all reach, the point where he demands an explanation. He wants some answers from God. And, finally, God himself steps onto the stage. But the amazing thing about the book is that when God enters the story, it is not to answer Job’s questions; it is to ask his own questions, questions such as, ‘Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?’ And what is even more amazing than the fact that God doesn’t really answer Job’s questions is this: Job is suddenly satisfied.

[Job] was comfortless before the speech of Jehovah and is comforted after it. He has been told nothing, but he feels the terrible and tingling atmosphere of something which is too good to be told. The refusal of God to explain His design is itself a burning hint of His design. The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man. — G.K. Chesterton

“This is a marvelous turnaround. Job and his friends had insisted that everything in the world can be explained. God himself comes and insists that everything cannot be explained, at least as far as men are concerned. In fact, as God describes the wonders of creation, he insists that it is a much stranger world than Job ever thought it was. And again Job is somehow comforted by this.”

— Dale Alquist


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