The God of the Whirlwind (RJS)

Ronald Osborn (Death Before the Fall) finds the cosmic theodicy provided by C. S. Lewis as an effort to think through the problem of death and suffering in creation both thought-provoking and insufficient. The conflict with rebellious non-human powers is almost certainly part of the picture, one with strong biblical basis, but it doesn’t provide [Read More…]

God Blesses Job … New Children to Replace Those Lost? (RJS)

This post wraps up a nearly year long trek through the book of Job. Along the way we have followed two recent commentaries – Job (The NIV Application Commentary) by John Walton and Job (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms) by Tremper Longman III (and enjoyed the illustrations by William Blake). The [Read More…]

Job and the Question of Suffering (RJS)

The book of Job is not a theodicy, it does not offer an explanation of why a perfectly good, almighty, and all-knowing God permits evil. The book does not justify God and in Ch. 38-41 God does not offer a defense or explanation for the justice of the world he has created. From Walton’s commentary [Read More…]

God’s Creation … Chaos Creatures and What is “Good”? (RJS)

Over the last three or four years I have known six, make that seven, friends or acquaintances who have died of cancers (only a little less than the previous two or three decades of my life). While most of the earlier cases I had known were older people (including one of my grandmothers), four of [Read More…]

And Then God Instructs (or Rebukes?)… Job and Us (RJS)

In the last post we began to look at the climax of the book of Job in Chapters 38-41, when Yahweh answers Job. Many commentators seem to view this as a rebuke -a diatribe against Job who has incurred God’s wrath in his response to suffering.  Perhaps, however, the more accurate view is that God [Read More…]

And Then God Speaks … About Creation (RJS)

The climax of the book of Job comes when Yahweh answers Job, or more accurately instructs Job, from the whirlwind in Chapters 38-41. This long series of posts, and the careful interaction with recent commentaries by John Walton (Job (The NIV Application Commentary)) and Tremper Longman III (Job (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom [Read More…]

Remember, God Doesn’t Need You (RJS)

And now Elihu Speaks. Chapters 32-37 contain an interesting interlude in the progression of arguments in the book of Job. A heretofore unmentioned character, Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite speaks. Some claim that this section is a late addition to the text of the book of Job.  It doesn’t seem to mesh well with [Read More…]

Let My Arm Fall From the Shoulder! (RJS)

Let my arm fall from the shoulder? What?! This doesn’t seem like much of a curse – until we look at alternate translations. Longman’s is more graphic “may my shoulder blade fall off my shoulder, and my arm be broken at the socket.“ We are nearing the end of a long, spread out, interaction with [Read More…]

Oh Where Wisdom? (Hint – Not in Science) (RJS)

The 28th chapter of the book of Job is a wisdom poem or hymn addressing the question “Where is wisdom found?”. This wisdom poem represents a significant departure from the cycle of dialog and speeches that circle around the cause of Job’s suffering. Job consistently insists on his righteousness and looks for justice he fears [Read More…]

I Know That My Redeemer Lives (RJS)

Should our interpretation of scripture, especially Old Testament texts be confined to the intent of the original author? Is it dangerous to see shades of later Christian understandings in the text? Late last fall I started a series of posts looking at the book of Job.  The book of Job is a profound and often overlooked [Read More…]