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.