If you could sue God, what injustice would your complaint report?
Recently I’ve been reading The Prophets by Abraham Heschel. In his analysis of the prophet’s view of God’s Justice, Heschel pointed out a new thought (to me). Among the many differences between the views of the gods among Israel’s neighbors and that of the God of Israel, God’s Justice stands out. The Greeks and other peoples of the ancient world, on the one hand, saw power as the essence of the deities. One stood condemned for trespassing “against divine power (p. 199).” In Israel, on the other hand, Justice is “inherent in His essence and identified with His ways” (p. 200). Although his book is on the prophets, Heschel also cites passages from Job: “Will God pervert the right? Will the Almighty pervert justice?” asks Bildad with incredulity (8:3); “For God surely does not act wickedly; Shaddai does not pervert justice,” asserts Elihu (34:12). That God should pervert justice runs counter to his very nature as righteous.
The extent and intensity of Job’s losses compel him to speak out to God, by appealing to his justice. Job’s complains that God has dealt unjustly with him. Job, therefore, will not only speak out, but initiate a lawsuit. He explores the idea in Chapter 9 and brings it to a climax with an written affidavit in Chapter 31.
Reading Heshel today brought up the thought that Job sues God for redress of grievances over his losses because, in spite of his experience, God is a God of Justice!
If Job could sue God for injustice, what, I wonder, would you sue him for?