Saturday, March 29, 2008

Evil comes also from the biblical God (Book of Job).

The folktale part of Job is one of the most interesting parts of the Bible (in my opinion). There are so many fascinating elements in it:

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.

- God is not living out of time ('there was a day' and time obviously goes by)

- There's a kind of assembly or court in Heaven with regular reunions

- The 'sons of God' report to God there and the the Satan (literally 'the accuser') is one of them

Job 1:7 The LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it."

- God either isn't omniscient or is simply faking not to be to get a discussion going

- The Satan is walking around the Earth, it's not implied here that he's doing evil stuff there

Job 1:8 The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil."

- God is boasting and taunting the the Satan

Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 "Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 "But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face."

- God plays favorites for some reason, being wealthy is the result of God blessing you

- The Satan rightfully questions Job's allegiance given that it hasn't ever been tested

Job 1:12 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him." So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.

- God gets defensive and seems to think he has to justify himself (why would he?)

- God gives the Satan the permission to harass and abuse Job to prove his point

- The prohibition to kill Job is superfluous because that would effectively rob Job of the possibility to curse God

Job 1:13-22

- A lot of innocent people (the servants and Job's children) have to suffer and lose their lives because of God's bet with the Satan. And that's not even mentioning the grief of their relatives and friends.

Job 2:3 The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause."

- God continues to boast about Job in front of the Satan

- God can be incited ((that doesn't really make him look poised, does it?))

- God takes the responsibility and blame himself for ruining Job although the Satan did the, well, job.

Job 2:4 Satan answered the LORD and said, "Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. 5" However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face."

- The Satan continues to challenges God

Job 2:6 So the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life."

- God allows the Satan to make Job suffer even more

- The prohibition to spare Job's life again isn't noble but necessary for God to be able to prove his point

A little jump to the end, where this story continues:

Job 42:11 Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that the LORD had brought on him. And each one gave him one piece of money, and each a ring of gold.

- God was responsible for the adversities that Job had to suffer, not the Satan.

Job 42:13 He had seven sons and three daughters.

- People seem to be as replaceable as camels or oxen. Don't worry about the first sevens sons and three daughters who had to die senseless deaths. They'll simply be replaced by new ones! (would that really comfort you over the loss of your other, murdered children?)

So, in conclusion, the book of Job really doesn't put the biblical God into a good light. It's beyond any doubt that God is to blame for the evil that happened (he even admits it). Either because he has committed it himself or because he ordered Satan to do it so he (God) could prove his point. So God obviously can't be 100% good.