God allowed Job to suffer to prove that Job’s love was true. God did not explain to Job the reason for his suffering, but Job remained faithful to God. Job’s suffering was not a punishment for sin.
Love or interest?
Job was a man of integrity and a fear of God. In Job 1: 8 God Himself confirms that Job was blameless. Job did not deserve punishment because he did not sin and his heart was good.
See Job’s story here .
Satan accused Job of serving God only because of the blessings he received. Job was prosperous and happy, had children and was respected by everyone. But if he lost everything, he would certainly curse God ( Job 1: 9-11 ). Satan was suggesting that Job was self-serving, did not really love God, with unconditional love.
God knew that Job’s love was true. To prove this, he allowed Satan to attack Job, stealing his goods, killing his children and taking his health. But Job remained faithful to God and did not sin ( Job 1: 20-22 ; Job 2: 9-10 ). Satan was defeated.
Also read: why does God allow suffering?
Sin or injustice?
But Job did not know the reason for his suffering. He did not know about Satan’s accusation or that God was proving that his love was true. Job and his friends only knew that God is Just, so they did not understand how an innocent person could suffer. They thought that suffering was always a punishment for sins ( Job 4: 7-9 ). Whether that was true, either Job was in sin, or God was being unjust.
Job’s friends assumed that he had a hidden sin that he needed to confess. But Job, who was innocent and knew this, began to understand that suffering is not always the result of sin.
Job demanded an explanation for his suffering but God showed him that there are things greater than us that we cannot understand. When God spoke, Job understood that the most important thing is not to understand why and he regretted demanding explanations ( Job 42: 1-3 ). He trusted God, even though he received no explanation.
See also: is it a sin to question God?
God declared that Job’s friends were wrong, proving that Job was not in sin. In fact, it was Job’s friends who sinned, saying the wrong things about God! But when Job’s friends repented and Job prayed for them, God forgave their sin ( Job 42: 7-8 ). God restored Job’s fortune, rewarding him for his faithfulness in the midst of so much suffering.
Job’s suffering was not because of sin nor was it God’s injustice. Job suffered for reasons that he could not understand but he remained faithful and God did not abandon him. Job’s big question is not, “Why does God allow suffering?” The big question is: do you still love God?