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Larry M. Lounsbury

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Why wars and suffering
9/24/2007 10:02:32 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

You always hear the cry after every great earthquake, famine or war; Where was God in all of this?
Understanding God

Job's suffering

The book of Job shows that the God of the bible has an accuser of man, who likes to test out God's favored. We find that in the bible text of Genesis, as well as in Job, the interaction of Angels with man's earthly realm. Some believe the "sons of God" in the context of Genesis 6:6-5 and Job 1:6 was actually a direct interaction with man and fallen angels. We saw that God has a point where he judges man, in the case of the flood, as well as the tower of Babel. "...And the Lord said...go to, let us go down, and there confound the language of all the earth..." (Simon, p. 63). God is a righteous, just and loving God who draws a line in the sand. Often Satan will look for the innocent to burden with his oppression. When God saw the corruption in the Earth in Noah's time, he flooded it. When he saw the corruption in Nimrods time, he corrected it by confounding their language. Each time some great leader tried to lead the world in the wrong direction. In the time of the flood, it was a type of evil lead by so-called giants. "...There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare them children...' (Genesis 6:4). After the flood they tried to replace God with their own glory, a type of ancient secular society where man would build " a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven, and let us make us a name..." (Simon, p. 63). .

In both cases man did what was right in their own minds. it was a time where they followed their own conscience, rather than a direct relationship with God, as had been the case in the Garden of Eden. The races of Shem, one of Noah's sons was given a blessing that would be fulfilled in later years by his progeny. "...Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant..." (Genesis 9:25-29). Satan had other plans, for he saw fallen man as part of his own worldly kingdom. A kingdom in which the world was under his influence as long as the final everlasting daystar withheld his coming. The children who were not of God, in some instances were called the children of pride. Hence came the trouble with Job. Satan argued, "...Thou has blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put force thine hand now and touch all that he has, and he will curse thee to thy face..." (Simon, p. 78). Satan knew that fallen man was full of pride like him. However, God knew that Job was "...a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil..." (Simon, p. 77).

What we see here is a God that wants his children to love him regardless of what befalls them. Like the traditional bride and bridegroom who vows to stay together through sickness and health, through richer or poorer, or better and worse. Their bond remains one spirit as long as they both shall live. Theirs is a marriage of freewill. God took the hedge down around Job, as he did in the Garden of Eden, in order to give man free will
to choose which path they wish to follow. "....Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand...(Simon, p. 78). I find that ultimately God teaches Job that "...behold, he puts no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly: how much less in them that dwell in the house of clay, whose foundation is in the dust..." (Genesis: 4:18-19). God teaches Job to trust in him alone. Rewarding Job with
twice as much as he had before..." (Simon, p. 93).

Job understands that God did not punish him because of his own Iniquity. "...Thou art my confidence; if I rejoiced because of my wealth was heart secretly enticed...this also was an iniquity to be punished by the judge...Oh that one would hear ! Behold, my desire is, that the almighty would answer me, and that my adversary had written a book..." (Simon, p. 89). God made Job an example of what a righteous man can go through and still give glory to God. Job was not written into the book of his adversary (Satan). Satan was defeated by the contrite spirit that Job had manage to retain throughout his ordeal. Instead Job was written into the Holy scriptures so man can gain confidence that even in our darkest times , God hears us. Job was rewarded by hearing and seeing the Lord in a whirlwind !
His righteousness was as filthy rags to God, yet God knew Job had faith. His faith was counted as righteousness to God. "...Behold, I am vile, what shall answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth... (Simon, p. 91). Job had heard of God by ear, but now he had a personal encounter with the Everlasting God ! It was far mo wonderful than any soul could imagine. The Holiness of God was so wonderful that Job must have fell to his knees! "... Therefore have I uttered that i understood not; things too wonderful for me. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes...(Simon, p. 92). Later, in the book of Ezekiel, God mentions the righteousness of Job once again. "...Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliever but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God..." (Ezekiel 14:14 ).
After reading Job for the first time I pondered the question of whether or not God was cruel. Doe his testing Job justify human suffering? Well, I look around me and see a world that has both pain and happiness, Sickness and Health. Some may ask, why God allows such things. When I examine the text closer I see a mirror image of our world. There are those who seek earthly wealth and those who seek the wealth from above. Yet, God provides for the birds of the air, as he provides for us as well. The richest man in the world could have everything, yet without the love that God gives in the form of an abundant life, he has nothing. It would all evaporate away as soon as he was dead. But God promises a life that goes beyond just physical abundance, he promises eternal life. The life that was lost in the Garden of Eden is the whole context of the entire bible. The Adamic nature of Man is a period where he must learn by freewill, a faith in God. He will face sickness, wars, and unhappiness like everyone else. Yet, if he trusts in the Lord God like Job, in the end, he will receive twice as much as his reward. "...The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined..." (Isaiah 9:2).

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• owards a nationalisation of parts of the US banking system - Monday, April 07, 2008
• Over 100,000 hits! - Thursday, January 31, 2008
•  Why wars and suffering - Monday, September 24, 2007  
• Why I believe in True Love - Monday, September 24, 2007
• Arctic ice melt opens Northwest Passage - Sunday, September 16, 2007
• Question of Love - Saturday, September 15, 2007
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• Logic Ahead of Its Time - Wednesday, February 21, 2007
• Picking The Next President - Wednesday, February 21, 2007
• Life's Simple Pleasures - Tuesday, February 20, 2007
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I was a Pan Am Princess of the Sky by Fumiko Takahashi

Told by a stewardess who flew for Pan American Airways for 16 years. From Japan's post-war survival to Pan Am's training school in Florida and around the world, this book covers th..  
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