Some thoughts on Job 29-31

Job, by Leon Bonnat
Job, by Leon Bonnat

Job was a Godly and successful man who unexpectedly suffered a loss of family, health, money and status.

These chapters contain Job’s final discourse in which he laments his loss of position and holds up is honesty, integrity and godliness before God. Since his suffering began he has been accused by three friends – so-called comforters who try to discern a reason for his suffering. ‘You must have done something’ is their general refrain. ‘God punishes the wicked’. The accusations that he has abandoned or wronged God are simply incorrect.

In these chapters, we would like to see a resolution of God showing up, and some sort of resolution is coming towards the end of the book, but never does God explain or justify the suffering that Job is facing. He is simply restored.

Perhaps we shouldn’t either. Maybe searching for answers as to ‘why’  is not what people need when they are in the midst of suffering. In my experience, ‘Why?’ is generally an onlookers question. ‘Help!’ is the cry of the one in the centre of it. We’d do better to offer company, support and comfort without offering ill-thought-through explanations like the comforters of Job.


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