Our pastor is taking us through a study of the book of Job, and of course one of the questions that arises from Job is the problem of suffering, especially seemingly undeserved suffering. That’s a question too big for one small blog post, but I wanted to share one outline that our pastor shared with us that was helpful to me.
He had titled it “How Does God Mesh Good and Evil?”
1. Sometimes He prevents it:
Gen 20:6: And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.
2. He permits it:
Psalm 81:12-13: So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!
3. He directs it [redeems it, uses it for good]:
Genesis 50:20: But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Romans 8:28: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
4. He limits it:
Psalm 124: all, sample 2-3: If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us: Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us.
God put limits on what Satan could do to Job: Job 1:12, 2:6.
I think you could also add that He punishes it — not immediately, always, but He promises that He will take care of justice and vengeance.
Pastor has encouraged us to journal what we’re learning as we go through Job. I haven’t done that in connection with Bible study in a long while, but decided to do so this time. I’ve been thinking of putting those thoughts in a separate blog just for that purpose but I haven’t decided — it’s more in a rambling style of jotting things down as I think of them, of snatches from sermon notes, etc., rather than well thought-out and put-together posts. But we’ll see.
In the meantime, I just thought I’d share this one little section of things I’ve found helpful so far.