The Starting Issue

The concept of FRESH READ is that we read what the text has to say; we avoid seeing what we expect it to say.  Just as in art, drawing starts with observing, so in reading, we have to start with careful reading.

Most people think that Job is about the problem of evil. Certainly that is a major topic that is discussed in a variety of ways.  However let us note carefully what starts this all off.

Job was blameless, just, and pious.  When the Tempter entered before God, he was asked what he thought of Job.  The Tempter’s reply was:  “Does Job revere you without cause?  Have you not protected him, and caused him to prosper in every way?  If you take all that away, he will turn away from you.”  (my free translation)

So the starting point is not suffering, but faith.  Do we only have faith because of the benefits, or because it makes us happy.  Will we retain faith if we are stripped bare of all we hold dear?

Think how you would answer that.  How is religious faith presented to you or by you to others?  Are you attracted by the benefits or by the Lord alone?

It is a tough question indeed.

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