Posted by: The Simple Guy | April 2, 2013

A key to God’s purpose in suffering

Hey all,

Just a short post to say I have not dropped off of the face of the earth.  Just sort of ran out of things to say.

However, in studying Job lately, I happened upon a neat little thought I wanted to share with any of you who might happen to still be reading. . .

Job is a book in the Old Testament, which would classify as wisdom literature.  It is written poetically, and follows the pattern of a play.  It is actually a very involved and beautiful play, and as such is beyond me in so many ways.

I have been looking at the different characters in the book of Job, and made a little discovery.  Let’s look at them.

The first character in the book of Job is:

Job.  He lives in the land of Uz.  (this means that he could have been a descendant of Uz, the oldest son of Aram who was the youngest son of Shem.  Or he could have been the son of Uz who was the oldest son of Nahor (Nahor was Abram’s brother)  I think this is more likely, as we also have a descendant of Buz in this story, and Buz was also a son of Nahor.

The second main character in this story is:

God.  (He needs no introduction)

The third main character is:

Satan.  He is the accuser in this story, that is actually what the name for him means in each instance of the story as well.

The next characters:

Job’s 3 friends:  Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite.

Eliphaz is most likely not the one mentioned in Genesis 36 (the oldest son of Esau) because the son of Esau had a son named Teman.  The Eliphaz in Job was probably a namesake of the Eliphaz in Genesis, and a descendant of  Teman.

Bildad the Shuhite was most likely a descendant of Abraham’s youngest son Shuah mentioned in Genesis 25:2.

Zophar the Naamathite, well we don’t know who the Naamathites were.

There is a fourth friend who shows up toward the end of the book.  His name is Elihu.  (another form of the name Elijah)

Elihu is a Buzite.  Buz was the second son of Nahor.

I introduced each of these characters to you, so you will notice what I saw.  None of these people were Israelites.  I do not see one Israelite in the whole book.

So the children of Israel had a prominent book in their wisdom literature about suffering and God’s purpose for it, and it did not have a single Israelite in it.  Every other book in the Old Testament had their countrymen in it, and to some extent was about them.  But this book was not.

What did I get from this?  Among other things, “It’s not about you. . .”

One of the first things I need to remember when I am dealing with suffering is that God does all things for His purposes.  It is not about me.  Everything is for His glory.

Just my thoughts. . .





  1. “It’s not about you. . .”

    So simple. Yet not so easy to remember sometimes. It’s always hardest when I’m using my feelings and personal experience to gauge whether God’s really got things under control.

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