Saturday, April 10, 2010

The angry young man boldly corrects his elders

Why do we suffer? Why do the "innocent" suffer?
Why don't the wicked get what they deserve?
Is there justice in God's world?

Job experienced great suffering. His friends had a simple answer. It was because Job had sinned and needed to repent. They claimed there was a simple equation, "The righteous prosper. The unrighteous suffer." The "friends" lectured Job at great length. But, Job claimed his integrity.

The painting is Job and His Friends by Ilya Yefimovich-Repin 1869. I found it here.

In Chapter 32 of Job, a new character enters the conversation.
1So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 2Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God. 3He burned with anger also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong.4Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he. 5And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he burned with anger.
Why was he so angry? Was he scared that the questions did not have the simple answers he clung to.

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