In the beginning of this blog series I opened up with a question that others have frequently challenged me with: How do I reconcile my belief in a God that never wills or allows suffering when I compare that with the Book of Job?
In laying out my answer to this question, I proceeded to lay out the traditional interpretation of Job. We were reminded of the commonly held Christian belief that God allows Satan to work evil among us because sometimes God chooses to use suffering and pain to bring about an even greater work of good. Some of reasons we believe God uses suffering are: character perfection, testing our faithfulness, learning patience, or an opportunity to be molded into His image.
We, furthermore, reviewed that in many instances these other greater works that the Father brings about through suffering and evil are unfortunately never revealed to us–i.e.the sudden death of a loved one, world disasters, bad things happening to good people, etc.
But, regardless of the exact reason that God is allowing these tragic circumstances to happen, traditional Bible teachers tell us that the moral to Job’s story is to just resign, accept, and embrace whatever is happening in life. We are instructed to take comfort in the assumption that all things happening in life are indirectly or directly willed by the Father, even in the cases where Satan may be allowed to afflict us in order to bring about God’s own Holy purpose. We are told to endure this suffering even if we don’t agree, understand, or know what Godly secretive purposes are at work: just trust that God wouldn’t allow Satan to afflict us without good reason. We are told that God could choose to not have us suffer, but instead that he chooses to have us suffer apart from our own will or desire because “God is God” and He has the prerogative to glorify Himself and do whatever He wants in whatever way He sees fit.
We are told that our desires, our health, and our very lives, are insignificant compared with whatever God wants to do to serve His own purposes. God puts His own desires and will ahead of others. And our sufferings are just one of the byproducts that arise from God’s choosing to bring about His will in this particular way.
In part two we poured over the life, work, and death of Jesus and examined the light that His testimony shines on the relationship between God and Satan .We saw that Jesus revealed, as being the full and very presence of God on earth, that Satan was in fact a real diabolical spiritual enemy needing to be defeated and overcome. Jesus’s life proved that Satan is never acting in accordance with or in authorization of the Father, but that he is a rogue agent needing to be severely dealt with for being in opposition to God’s all-good Kingdom’s purposes. Jesus proved that God doesn’t have Satan on a chain and at times loosens the slack so that character building, corrective action, or a secret, redemptive work can be accomplished. No, God saw the enemy as a very real and independent hostage-like threat to His relationship with mankind.
And in the midst of this spiritual conflict, God’s infinite love for us never ceased. He so loved the world that He was willing to do ANYTHING to bring us back into full relationship with Him– even if that meant handing over His only begotten Son to the demonic rogue powers of this world to be crucified in order to release us from our enemy–to which He did and His Son was successful in defeating Satan.
Jesus successfully triumphed over the opposing kingdom of darkness through His sinless life and work on the cross, and in turn God raised Him from the dead. And as a result, Jesus now offers anyone who comes to Him in faith to be released from the power of the enemy and to be reconciled into the loving arms of God.
Thus, with no doubt, we now know that Satan is not just a tool used by God to enact judgments or secret, heavenly purposes, but a true enemy working entirely independent of God. An enemy that God doesn’t cooperate with but works actively together with us to obtain freedom from. Thanks be to God for His unbelievable love to us!
So now, what do I do with the Book of Job considering that its story seems to show God allowing Satan to directly interfere with Job’s life? Allow me to offer a few insights.
RECOGNIZING THE POINT OF JESUS’S WORK AND THE RESULTING PARADIGM SHIFT
The New Testament revelation of Jesus leaves us no other possible choice than to recognize this fact: regardless of what we think was exactly going on in the Old Testament concerning the relationship between God and Satan, JESUS CHANGED EVERYTHING. Jesus hit the reset button with their association. Jesus completely changed the relationship between God and the Devil.
As we already examined in many New Testament scriptures (i.e., I John 3:8, Hebrews 2:14, Colossians 2:15, John 12:31, Matthew 12:22-27), Jesus came into the world for the purpose of destroying the works of the devil. Scripture continues to tell us that Jesus was 100% successful in doing so through his death and resurrection.
Therefore, whatever weird relationship that was between God and the Devil as we portrayed in the Book of Job, has now in Christ been done away with and changed. The relationship cannot be even nearly the same. Just as Jesus said, we are now in a whole new covenant with God based upon the blood and sacrifice of Jesus (Luke 22:14-20). And how did this covenant come into effect? With Jesus offering himself up as a free-will, sinless sacrifice to the rulers and principalities of this world, thereby wiping out the power that Satan had over the rest of us through sin.
Satan can no longer hold us prisoner to our sins and have dominion over us because His kingdom has been robbed of its power through Jesus’s atoning work on the cross. And now, for those who freely come to Jesus in faith, any spiritual authority or material claim that Satan had over us has been done away with through the work of the cross. Satan cannot hold us in contempt of sin because we have the full forgiveness of our sins, our old self has died and been raised anew, and our life is fully hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3). And now it is not Satan who has power and authority over us, but it is we as believers who have been enabled through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who have the power to stand, resist, fight against, and undo Satan’s works (Mark 16:15-18).
Therefore, to take the relationship that we see between Satan and God as depicted in the book of Job and apply that to our present lives, POST-RESURRECTION, would be to completely invalidate the finished work of Jesus on the cross. To disregard Jesus’s work on the cross, as to how it changed relationship with the devil, would indicate that one has not fully come to understand the fundamental intention and the very purpose behind Jesus even going to the cross. Missing that foundational truth would undoubtedly give us the wrong impression concerning God’s current relationship with Satan.
A Christian cannot apply the traditional interpretations of the story of Job to their own life in light the new relationship Jesus enacted by defeating Satan on the cross.
ANSWERING SOME OF THE QUESTIONS ARISING FROM BOOK OF JOB
Now then, addressing some of the tougher questions in Job becomes a little easier when first taking the work of the holy cross into account:
Q: What kind of relationship did the devil have with God back in Job’s day, given that God allowed and gave authorization to Satan to destroy Job’s life?
If we take the text in Job chapters 1-2 to be recording an actual and literal event it would be truthful to say that the exact mechanics behind the relationship still remains a mystery. What kind of a loving God would do this?
But to try to answer that question using only the Old Testament would be nothing more than conjecture or a shot in the dark. There just isn’t enough information for us to make a definite conclusion. Nor do we as humans have enough insight into the rules and processes that govern the spiritual realm of angles and demons to come to a conclusion.
But thankfully, regardless of however that relationship worked, it has no relevance, or bearing for us who live in this post-resurrection time. Christ’s death and resurrection forever changed that relationship. And whatever it was, or how it worked exactly back then during Job’s day, certainly is not how the relationship is today.
As stated earlier, to embrace an Old Testament view of how God and Satan dealt with each other would be to be completely ignore Christ’s work on the cross. And again, what we can confidently say is that whatever God/Satan relationship that did exist in the Old Testament, strange as that relationship may seems as we read Job, no longer exists.
Therefore, we certainly do not need to trouble ourselves with wondering if the suffering we are encountering in our lives today is a result of God allowing Satan to come against us for a sovereign purpose. This is the case even if you continue to believe that it may have been so in Job’s example.
Q: Does God use Satan and evil to bring about His secretive, beneficent purposes?
No. As we read in Matthew chapter 12 God’s Kingdom is not divided. According to Jesus it is actually impossible for it to be divided. If it were, then God’s very own kingdom could not stand and would be, as Jesus said, “put to waste”.
Can God bring good through a bad situation? Of course! But He doesn’t author or allow them to happen intentionally. He works with us to eliminate and mitigate any negative effect the enemies kingdom has upon this world. Why? Because the negative effects that Satan’s kingdom brings never originated from God in the first place. Those effects are solely an independent product arising from agents possessing the attribute of free will.
Secondly, God’s mysterious purposes have now been revealed. They are solely fulfilled in having us receive and be conformed to the person of Christ (Romans 8:28-30, Ephesians 1:4-10, 2:4-10).
Satan, and his power over us via our sins, were the obstacles that held us back from God’s eternal purpose in Christ, not a means by which to bring about His eternal purpose.
Jesus defeated the devil so that God’s purposes in Christ could be manifested.
Q: Doesn’t God have full control and complete sovereignty over Satan? And if He does, how can an all-powerful God have an enemy? Why does God allow even allow Him to exist?
In my opinion, this, what we theologians call “the problem of evil”, is the crux of the whole issue with the book of Job and one of the most confusing issue with all of the Christian faith. Numerous volumes have been written about the problem of evil and there is not enough space to provide a full exposition of my opinion on this topic in this one post.
However, this is one of the main points I wanted to address, so let’s set up the question in part A and resolve it with the answer in part B below.
To summarize, the whole issue about God allowing Job to suffer at the devil’s hand firmly revolves around the traditional teaching of God’s omnipotence, (a.k.a the Sovereignty of God doctrine that we talked about in part 1 of this series–which is the belief that God is all-powerful in the sense that He can do anything, at any point in time, upon any part of creation, for any reason He wants, without their consent).
Operating in this doctrinal position pretty much forces one to surrender to the notion that God could just do away with Satan at any point in time, as easily as waving a magic wand or having God just thinking the thought, and in doing so God could destroy Satan in a way that would not bring about any consequences to the rest of creation.
Then, both Satan and the problem of evil actually become a complete non-issue for God Himself. God is just doing what He wants to do in allowing Satan to exist for His own unknown reasons. However, accepting this position leaves for us the question of why? We ask why because so often we humans suffer terribly at Satan’s hand for reasons that continue to fail to elude us. For it stands to reason that if Satan’s kingdom is just a weak force that God could have simply annihilated it from the get-go, then it makes absolutely no sense to us as to why Satan is still permitted to hang around. We say, “Come on God, just eliminate the guy already God with a snap of your finger! Can’t you see we are suffering down here!!”
But despite God’s apparently limitless sovereignty, we continue to see the Bible showing that Satan exists. With that we ask:
“Why allow Satan to even exist God? Why let Satan wreak havoc on the earth? Why let evil run amok when you have the power to stop it?”
Seldom are we given concrete answers to these questions from the pulpit. Instead, nebulous platitudes are lobbed up citing God’s infinite wisdom and prerogative as Creator.
We are left in the dark. We are to just embrace the divine “mystery” of suffering.
Bible teachers who promote this view continue to say, “We don’t know why God does or allows this…but God knows, and we need to trust that Satan serves a purpose in God’s unfathomable divine wisdom and eternal plan” (the unseen, mysterious, heavenly purpose doctrine). They say this because, without embracing the notion that there is a God-ordained “mystery” to suffering, we as humans simply cannot fathom in any reasonable sense why an all-loving God would ever allow Satan and his horrible evils to continue to exist when God has the sovereign power to put it all to an end at any moment.
One thing I will say before moving on: The unseen, mysterious, heavenly, purpose doctrine can work for some folks. It does good by acknowledging our vast lack of knowledge about the heavenly realm (which keeps us from making the same mistake of arrogance that Job had made and to which later God blasted Him for having in Job chapters 38-41), and it also leaves space for us to take comfort in the possibility that there may be some kind of heavenly redeeming purpose behind suffering and tragedy even if we can’t see it now. We say, “…well, at least my brother didn’t die of cancer for nothing. God must have had purpose in it.”
Embracing this view can provide a sense of peace for some when an evil situation looks altogether purposeless. It does carry at its heart a Biblical truth that in fact God is with us even when we suffer.
Despite the lack of situational understanding that this doctrine brings in embracing it, it has actually helped many people of faith over the past millennia to press on and not lose complete hope in the midst of their suffering.
However, for many of us who critically analyze this teaching, or have gone through our own intense trauma and absolutely unimaginable situations without it leading to any sort of glimpse of a redemptive purpose, it seriously challenges our understanding of an all-loving God. Many people reject or abhor the Christian faith for this very reason. And in my opinion that attitude is understandable.
Is there any other way to interpret God’s sovereignty concerning Satan in a way that better explains God’s purpose in allowing evil without relegating it to just a mystery?
Yes, I fully believe that when we bring this confusing issue into the wonderful revelation and mystery of Christ incarnate the answer is actually clearer than what we have been traditionally led to believe.
Jesus’s incarnation proves that at minimum there is something more going on behind the scenes concerning the existence of evil. Jesus’s incarnation proves that we ought not to just assume the existence of evil to be one of God’s omnipotent, sovereign, mysterious choices. Two examples:
First, the book of Hebrews teaches that Jesus had to become a man, born under the law and under sin, in order to break the power the works of the enemy plaguing mankind:
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:14-17 emphasis mine).
The idea of God needing to become incarnate in flesh as a man is presented to us as a fact needing to be accomplished—an action that must happen in order for certain circumstances to take place.
This is further echoed in the words of the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 2:8 where he says,
“None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.“
These verses together very clearly support the idea that Jesus’s death on the cross was so absolutely vital to God’s plan of redemption, so vital in that it had to be done, that God’s work of salvation though Jesus would have been thwarted by the enemy if the crucifixion hadn’t taken place. And thus, the plan had to be kept a secret from the dark rulers of this age from the beginning of time until they were revealed in Christ’s resurrection.
This affirms the plausibility that there are mechanisms, or spiritual laws, that God created that govern both the heavenly realm and our realm, to which He also abides as well. And I don’t believe He abides in these laws out of His choosing necessarily–meaning that a real choice exists for Him to abide in them, but they exist because those mechanisms and laws reflect the love, character, and justice that actually make up His very nature of being. They are the expression of who God is. And since God cannot change, neither can nature of the fundamental laws of His Kingdom change since they naturally emanate out from who God really is.
These spiritual laws then somehow made it altogether entirely necessary, not optional, to bring salvation to the universe through the person of Jesus.
Does God not have enough power to destroy the devil unilaterally? Would the circuit breaker in heaven blow a fuse because Satan is somehow more powerful than God? Certainly not.
But, were there spiritual laws enacted at the time of creation that God is bound to Himself (for example, in perhaps giving free will to agents) that limit his available responses to evil? Perhaps yes. Let me explain:
If wiping out the devil sovereignly came with the unfortunate consequence that all of creation, including all of His beloved mankind, would be annihilated along with the devil, then perhaps God would choose to allow evil to exist for the sake of saving His creation. If Satan was holding the world and mankind in perhaps more of a hostage situation, then He would need to find a way to take out the hostage taker without taking out the hostages along with him.
” Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house.“
And praise God, Jesus went in and tied up the strong man, robbed Him of his power, and carried we as believers out from under Satan’s hostage!
Secondly, in the garden of Gethsemane we find Jesus praying to the Father asking “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will…My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done. (Matthew 26:39 + 42 NIV).
Jesus, who on the night before His death saw His own life about to be handed over to the satanic powers of this world and nailed to a cross, cried out to the Father pleading for there to be any other way to accomplish this work.
So we must ask ourselves this question:
“Would God put Jesus through the depths of the tortuous cross if there was another, less painless way?”
Who in their right mind would purposefully give up their only son or daughter and watch them suffer excruciating pain if all along there were a sovereign wave-the-magic-wand-like option entirely possible that could avoid the whole bloody mess.
In Jesus continuing to go to the cross despite His pleas to God, I believe that God’s answer to Jesus’s prayer was exhaustively clear: yes Jesus, you must endure this cup because the cross IS the only way to free our beloved mankind from the powers of the devil. It is the only way.
To believe anything less would be to believe that God would rather watch His very own Son–who is perfect, righteous, innocent, and free from deserving any punishment–be crucified on the cross and handed over to be tormented by the satanic rulers and powers for “kicks,” when all along God could have accomplished the very same outcome by some alternate sovereign act.
If the latter were the case , then who God is in His very nature is frankly one of the worst sadists of all time. A God who clearly seeks only to entertain Himself and appease His own interest by coercing others, including His very own Son, by choosing to afflict the misery and pain of others for His own pleasure. This sounds more like the gods and goddesses of the Greek and Roman cultures more than the loving God that was revealed in Jesus Christ. This sounds more like a god that we humans would come up in with on our own rather than with the God who describes His type of love toward us as “not self-seeking.” (I Corinthians 13:5).
We lock people up in jails and hand down the harshest punishments for those of us who would act like this on the earth. Do we really think God acts likes this as well?
I don’t think so. For it is not ourselves but He who has instilled these very senses of justice, right and wrong, and compassion, that we humans continually have impressing on our hearts! This is why when many people who think of a God who causes suffering when suffering doesn’t need to exist run from the faith. It goes against the fabric of our being.
IN CONCLUSION, rather that providing you with a metaphysical apologetic that hypothesizes exactly how God’s omnipotence is also somehow paradoxically limited and confined to the laws that govern the spiritual and physical realities He created, I would rather submit to you this one thing as proof that there is, at minimum, something more going on than the traditional view of God’s self-serving sovereignty at play: the simple and humble crucified Christ.
A Christ who was sent by His Father to accomplish a deed that somehow, despite how we might think God’s omnipotence works, needed to be done in order to satisfy the conditions of the spirit and physical realms that God created them to operate in.
And, so, it is my opinion that the very cross itself, the center piece of the whole of Christian faith, actually demands us to interpret God’s sovereignty in a manner that challenges our traditional view. The cross challenges us on how we ought to look at the relationship between God and Satan.
At minimum, when we see the cross, it should tell us that there is something more behind the scenes at play between Satan’s existence and the accompanying problem of evil than having to surrender to the notion that God merely allows evil to take place in the word solely for His apparent beneficent, secret pleasure or redemptive purposes.
Understanding the Book of Job, Satan, and God’s sovereignty MUST be viewed from the perspective of Jesus and the cross.
A FEW QUESTIONS REMAIN
Some of the other questions that arise out out this discussion will be handled in another post. Such as:
- What about II Corinthians 12 and Paul’s thorn in the flesh? Doesn’t this passage say that God still used Satan as a messenger to afflict Paul?
- What do I do with New Testament scriptures like I Corinthians 5:5 and I Timothy 1:20 that speak of handing over someone to Satan?
A NON-LITERAL APPROACH
Up until this point, we have been operating from a point of view that embraces the book Job from a literal interpretation–literal in that we take it that the author of Job was accurately recording real historical events, real places, fully accurate heavenly conversations, and real earthly people. This is the favored viewpoint within many conservative Evangelical churches.
However, this hasn’t necessarily been the only way theologians have looked at Job and other Old Testament stories.
Early church fathers such as Origen (184-253 CE)) and Augustine of Hippo (354–430 CE) both asserted that there were sections in the Bible that would be ridiculous to take literally (i.e., the literalness of an actual place called the garden of Eden). And even though the Catholic tradition as a whole may not categorically deny the idea of a historical Job figure, they do consider the Book of Job to be mostly an allegorical story whose focus should be on God’s sovereignty toward mankind in addressing the “why does God allow bad things to happen to good people” question.
The great, revered, medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides didn’t even believe that a Satan actually existed, but rather that the idea of Satan was just a symbol God used to convey the human inclination toward sin. The entire Book of Job to Maimonides, and most mainstream branches of Judaism, is fictional, intended merely to elucidate certain truths about divine providence.
Additionally, in my understanding, it seems that, in the centuries prior to the 19th century, Christians applied more liberality to the Old Testament. The intent behind the reading/study of these ancient stories was more focused on the practical lessons and applicable take-aways that naturally arise, rather than the promotion of the historical accuracy of the characters and situations in the text. It wasn’t till the rise of biblical literalism in the 1800’s, which was most likely exacerbated by the conclusions drawn from Darwin’s research and his publication “On the Origin of Species”, that some Christian sects began stressing a greater importance on proclaiming the sacred texts as fully literal regarding the events it recorded and commentary the Bible provided on the natural world. It seems that before the last few hundred years there was certainly less of an all-is-literal-or-nothing approach to scripture.
So, there is certainty a vein/branch and historical precedent within mainstream Biblical interpretation that allows us to plausibly look at Job outside of the “literal” box that some conservative Evangelical’s place it in.
In addition, if one softens the literalness of Job, it also helps to deal with some of the other passages in Job that are absolutely ridiculous to consider literal in light of modern day science and discovery– i.e. the world sits on “pillars” (Job 9:6), there is great sea creature named “Leviathan,” and a great land creature named “Behemoth” (Job 3:8, Job 40:15-41:26), and so on.
With both historical precedent and the obviously non-literal interpretations that we must make in light of advancements in science and exploration, it should at least give us room to consider that God’s purpose in inspiring this book what wasn’t necessarily to provide an exact historical account of past events but instead to convey spiritually true concepts/understandings using a fictional narrative–similar to when Jesus used parables in His ministry to explain and convey teachings on the Kingdom of Heaven.
Just as when Jesus used them, a parable is always focused on the moral of the story, not necessarily the literalness of the characters or situations described in the story. Jesus told many parables that don’t lead us to believe that He was describing an actual historical event (i.e. the story of the good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37, or the story of the two sons Matthew 21:28-32, or the story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:19-31).
Furthermore, one cannot escape the poetic nature of the Book of Job. Nowhere else in Biblical scripture do we find God himself speaking directly, out of a whirlwind mind you (poetic case in point–what does a whirlwind mean?), for four full chapters of detailed colorful poetic imagery (Job 38-41). Herein, God shares with Job in artistic metaphors of “storehouses of the snow” (38:22) and tipping over the “water jars of the heavens” (38:37). Are these to be taken literal? Certainly not.
PICTURE ABOVE: A everyday example of how even a screenshot from the random Bible app on my mobile device even places Job in the poetry category.
So, it stands to reason that if some of the other contents from the book of Job are figurative and/or metaphorical, then it is also equally plausible that the conversation taking place between God and Satan as depicted chapters 1-2 is not a literal word-for-word discourse, but rather a parabolic expression that was simply written through the lens of how ancient people understood the relationship between God and Satan at this particular time in history.
Taking a parabolic interpretation of the book of Job makes it easy to understand that the book is not focusing its teaching on the inner-workings between how God and Satan actually work. The truth behind God and Satan was only fully revealed in Christ incarnate. Instead, the book of Job is an inspired revelation that directed the Jews during the Old Testament time period to help them come to correct conclusions when seemingly unmerited evil occurred.
-Should we blame all evil on the sins we have committed, as Job’s four friends tried to advise Job? The book of Job firmly instructs us that we should not.
-Should we assert that it is better off being dead than to follow God as Job did, believing that all of this turmoil was ordained by God? And that despite our best attempts at moral living and righteousness our lives will only be met with unfair misery from God? The book of Job firmly concludes that this is not the case.
-And, what God actually says at the end of the book in the final chapter can be summarized as such, “Don’t listen to your friends telling you that these calamities are your or your family’s fault. They are not. And, while I’m at it, the conclusions you are coming to about the situation are just as wrong.”
CONCLUSION: Should we consider the book of Job as just a fictional story used to bring about an inspired truth regarding suffering? I don’t know. But at minimal, I think it is a valid argument. Some would disagree.
There are some common arguments to why Job shouldn’t be considered to be just a fictional story. One of those arguments hinge on the level of detail found within the story. For example, at the end of the book God restores to Job all that was lost twice over. Included in that restoration the book says that God gave Job three daughters, “The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch” (Job 42:14). The logic from this goes that if Job is only figurative then why would God inspire the author go through the trouble to be as specific as to give the exact names the three daughters? There are a few other details with that level of specificity that can be found in the text as well.
All in all, whatever we believe about the literal or parabolic nature of Job, I believe there is enough merit to weigh both possibilities of interpretation equally. If the story from the book of Job is in fact the latter, then it becomes perhaps even easier for some of us to loosen our grip on Job and fully embrace the notion that the God/Satan relationship, as displayed through Jesus Christ, is an immensely more supreme revelation which would supersede any content found in the parable of Job. Considering Job then as a parable takes it out of contention with any New Testament realities that Jesus revealed about Satan. And so then, what is usually regarded as a strange conversation between God and the adversary in Job chapters 1 and 2, when taken literally, becomes less confusing parabolically because we see that God wasn’t using the story to reveal absolute truth about the nature of how these two spiritual kingdoms operate, but rather to provide hope in the midst of unjust suffering in a story told through the lens of an author who never understood in full what the relationship between God and Satan really was.
Now, on to the final post in this series where we will discuss how a new perspective on Job can be applied to our everyday lives –> part 4
*As always, I’d love to hear what’s on your mind so please drop your thoughts in the comment section below!