The author of the book of Job has tried to imagine what might be going on in a supernatural realm. The author imagines there are beings called God, Satan and angels. The author writes words into his characters mouths. It is actually quite clever in having people talking to each other then God speaking to these people. Pity that the author doesn't manage to make his God character say anything particularly helpful to humanity. Infact the author gives the impression of a God who is a bit dim.
For many years I accepted that the words written as being from God could have actually been from the very mouth or inspiration of God. Now I just see them as being words of a playwright. Looked at this way the book of Job makes a lot more sense.
A job lot, doing a job on job, it's a job
Ch 1v3 'He was the greatest man among all the people in the East' and yet he is unrecorded in the writings or statues of other cultures.
Ch1v5 He sent his children to have them purified ? What did that involve ? Sounds superstitious nonsense
Ch1v5 Job sacrificed burnt offerings ? I doubt a real God would require that. I sacrifice burnt offerings every morning- burnt toast.
Ch1v6 How could Satan get into heaven if only holy things can go there?
Ch1v14 The 500 yoke of oxen and 500 donkeys were stolen by Sabeans
Ch 1v16 'The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up 7000sheep', what exactly could this fire have been? A volcano ? Yet it didn't affect Job or his children.
Ch1v17 The Chaldeans made off with 3000 camels
Ch 1v 19 a mighty wind blew down the house
Ch 1v20-22 Job is being servile, how come he didn't think to himself- I knew I should have built that house to a higher specification and probably I should have trained my servants to fight off attackers, improved security.
Ch2v9 You won't die from cursing God, plenty of people do that all their life and live to old age.
Ch 2v10 Job says to his wife, 'You are talking nonsense'. Why doesn't Job suggest that maybe Satan is responsible for the disasters? Well the author thinks that there is a God in control of the wind, also the actions of other tribes. Well the narration subtly lets the reader feel superior in seeing behind the scenes to 'what is really going on'
Ch 3v13-19&26 Job wishes he had died at birth. Odd that, why not wish not to be born. If you have been born you might as well make the most of life. Anyhow Job thinks there is nothing to worry about from death.:
For now I would be lying down in peace, I would be asleep and at rest with kings and counsellors, why was I not hidden in the ground like a stillborn child, there the wicked cease from turmoil and there the weary are at rest.. Captives also enjoy their ease, they no longer hear the slave drivers shout. Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than treasure, who are filled with gladness and rejoice when they reach the grave ?
Ch 4v7 Consider now: who, being innocent has ever perished? Where wre the upright ever destroyed, as I have observed . those who plough evil and those who sow trouble reap it? Does anyone see this in the real world, sometimes? but not as a rule
Ch 9v6&7 god moves the mountains, shakes the earth from its place, makes its pillars tremble, speaks to the sun and it does not shine; he seals off the light from the stars ??? v11 when he passes me I can not see him ? Maybe that is cause he isn't there?
Ch 9v17 He would crush me with a storm & multiply my wounds for no reason?
There are reasons why things happen, if you know what the risks are it is possible to avoid some of them or at least minimise the risk. Life is a matter if recognizing the opportunities and trying to achieve them without being knocked down by the risks.
Ch 12v10 In his hand is the breath of all mankind
Ch 12v15 If he holds back the water there is a drought
Ch13v7 will you speak wickedly on God's behalf? Will you speak deceitfully for him?
Ch 14v10 but man dies & is laid low, he breathes his last and is no more
Ch 14v 12 so man lies down and does not rise;
till the heavens are no more, men will not wake or be roused from sleep
Ch 14v 14 If a man dies will he live again ?
Ch 14v16 surely you can count my steps but not keep track of my 'sin'
Before you decide about doing something you could do a risk / benefit appraisal, you could ask- do the likely advantages from doing this outweigh the likely disadvantages of doing it, do the pros outweigh the cons ?
If you have an illness then you need to ask whether the drugs / surgery are likely to result in a better situation than if you did nothing, is there a risk that the surgery could go wrong ( infection ) or that the drugs have side effects which are worse than the condition they were trying to cure.
In life there are conflicting priorities, it is an envelope where there is a trade off between maximising for one aspect that compromises another aspect, you often can't get everything. If you look at car design you can have sporty or economic or spacious, or the looks or environmentally friendly but not everything together.
Ch 16v22 Only a few years will pass before I go on the journey of no return.
Ch 18 Be sensible
Ch 19 v17 my breath is offensive to my wife
Ch 20v7 the mirth of the wicked is brief, he will perish for ever, like his own dung
Ch 22 There is no link between caring behaviour and being spared from raids from neighbouring tribes. Job should have given weapons to his servants, trained them to fight and defend better, build your house stronger. On the other hand maybe he could have made stronger realtions and peace treaties with the neighbouring tribes.
Ch 23v8 If I go to the east God is not there, if I go to the west I do not find God---maybe because there is no God
Ch 26v4 whose spirit spoke from your mouth??
Ch 27v 3 as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils
Ch 28v 20 where does understanding dwell ? As if it were a self sustaining thing. but then the insights of others can be passed on to others verbally and through writings.
Ch 31 v1 I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl ? This chapter is about the goodness of taking care of those around you
Ch 33v4 the breathe of the almighty gives me life v7 no fear of me should alarm you
v15 For God does speak in a dream, in a vision of the night
Ch 33v28 redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, I shall lve to enjoy the light
Ch35 where is God my maker who teaches more to us than to the beasts of the earth & makes us wiser than the birds of the air
Ch 36v27 he draws up the drops of water which distil as rain to the streams
Ch35v30 see how he scatters lightning about him, bathing the depths of the sea, This is the way he governs the nations and provides food in abundance. He fills his hands with lightning and commands it to strike its mark, his thunder announces the coming storm. WELL IF GOD IS COMMANDING THE LIGHTNING HE IS NOT USING IT EFFECTIVELY, TRY STRIKING THE DESPOTS LIKE HITLER & HUSSEIN OR THOSE ABOUT TO MURDER.
Ch 37v2 Listen, listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth, he unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth.. After that comes the sound of his roar; he thunders with his majestic voice, v10 the breath of God produces ice, v13 He brings clouds to punish men or to water his earth and show his love, v17 can you join him in spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze. SORRY THIS IS ALL FALSE, NO GOD IS CONTROLLING THE WEATHER
READ CH38-42 AND ASK YOURSELF WHICH IS MORE LIKELY, THAT THESE ARE WORDS THAT A PLAYWRIGHT HAS IMAGINED A GOD MIGHT SAY or that they are actual words of God himself. The author tried to paint a picture of what he imagined a God might be like, his picture is like a childs painting of people all abstract, distorted, exaggerated, very odd. To me the image the bible authors create is of a sort of frankensteins monster, a despot, a hitler. They were guessing, I think there is no reason to think that any of what they say is true, it is primitive, superstitious guesswork. Yet they try to call the image they made 'Good'
The author of book of Job does not make 'God' tell us the reason why this planet is the way it is. He has God say that Job has no right to ask since Job wasn't around since the start of life and does not know how life on earth formed or how nature works and since God is greater than a thunderstorm and mightier than any creature- able to fish out a levithian then Job has no right to know the answer. The real reason is that the author can not think what the answer could be. His guess is that suffering is the fault of a devil character.
Have I got an answer. One thing is certain we are all going to die, something is going to get you sooner or later, illness or accident or old age. You just have to study what the hazards are and try to avoid them as long as possible. Try to enjoy life until your time is up. Lifestyle, diet, excercise, healthy environment, health and safety, good career= wealth = strength & happiness, & time for socializing!
Life is about knowing what the rules are and playing by them to optimise your experience of life.
The Bible is a cross section of the possible ideas about what happens when you die . Some authors think you cease to exist , others in the N.T. think you live on in some manner. You could guess without inspiration- you either continue or cease just by logic. The Bible is guess work.
The author of the Bible imagined that everything that was happening was controlled by a god who lived just above the sky, whose voice was the mighty thunder. They had no idea why things happened.
Ch 38v8 Where did the water on this planet come from, probably not from springs beneath the surface, that would only be a matter of redistribution. The author can't think of how a God might have put the water on this planet. Scientists wonder if a meteor struck earth.
Ch 38v10&11 it is gravity which holds the water in place- in the dips
Ch38v12 The author thought that the dawn passed across a stationary earth
Ch38v19 What is the way to the abode of light- I would think that was fairly obvious- the sun
Ch38v25 cutting channels in the sky for rain to fall, I doesn't need it
Ch38v32 The constellations don't move, it is earth travelling around the sun which make it seem like the constellations move.
Ch38v35 The lightning is not controlled, it is random
Ch38v39 Do you think a god provides the prey for lions?