Vindication of God

A while back, Wonders for Oyarsa chimed in on a post of mine and shared a link to a podcast that he took part in. (Check it out here.) In it, he speaks with the host, Emery, an atheist, about the book of Job. In their conversation, Wonders points out that God is vindicating Job in front of Satan, which might have been a point that was lost on Emery, I’m not sure. While I think that’s true, I don’t think it’s the primary vindication of the story. (Maybe Wonders doesn’t either, I dont’ recall him saying.)

The primary vindication is of God. God, creator of men, holds up Job as an example to Satan. It’s like God says, “I know you think men (whom I made) are worthless, but have you seen Job? He’s an excellent example of what men can be.” So, Satan attempts to show God that He’s wrong and accuses Job of merely seeking the gifts and not the Giver. His questioning of Job is really a questioning of God’s wisdom in creating men and lavishing his love attention on them.

God allows Satan to inflict all kinds of suffering on Job within specific limits. When Job stands his ground and refuses to be disloyal to God and dishonest about himself, God shows that all of Satan’s accusations were without merit, vindicating his wisdom, love and affection for men.

I think God, in his love, then turns and vindicates Job before his “friends”, who (like Satan) accused him of being secretly wicked in some way and too arrogant to confess it.



Filed under Reflection

4 responses to “Vindication of God

  1. But then, this is the beauty and glory of the Imago Dei – that the vindication of man is the vindication of God. For when we look on the man with whom the Father is most pleased, we realize that he is none other than the image of the invisible God, and that we have seen the Father. Man’s faith in God and God’s faith in man come together in the same person, once and for all.

  2. I am not sure the Lord feels the need to vindicate himself – perhaps that is why some critics of the “God Speeches” don’t feel satisfied. where is the answer to the problem of evil or the suffering of the righteious? It seems the answer is God himself.

    Like the s=Sermon on the Mount, i hope to understand this passage better by the time I turn 70.

  3. Like you, I’m also not sure that the Lord “feels the need to vindicate himself”. That’s not something I think we can surmise from the text. However, it seems fairly clear to me that this is exactly what happens. Satan accuses Job of being loyal to God only because God fills his life with good things, and indirectly accuses God of buying Job’s loyalty. When Job does not “curse God and die” and refuses to act dishonestly by admitting to a guilt he simply does not possess, God is proven right in what he has said about Job and Satan is proven wrong.

    As for the answer to the problem of evil and the suffering of the righteous; you might be right in saying that God’s answer is Himself.

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