Job and the Boston Bombing

News outlets continue to pour out details of the Boston Marathon bombing. With three dead, 264 injured, including 25 amputee victims, we strain for more information as to accomplices, plans, possible international connections, and especially motive. Why? Why? Why? we want to know.

A disaster such as this one (and there are many others) brings home a number of lessons. One is the fragility of life, and the certainty of death. We usually refuse to look at that aspect of living–we all die. Another is religious martyrdom. In the faith of the perpetrators, the one sure way of obtaining eternal salvation is to die a martyr–and to bring unbelievers with you. Otherwise there is no certainty: you can only hope. In our increasingly secular culture, such religious motivation escapes us. It’s poverty, radicalization, or the Internet. Factor in also usefulness to the goal of world domination and attacking religious enemies. Those may all play a part, but the driving force is the glory of martyrdom and the assurance of salvation.

The Book of Job deals with such tragedy. Two of the four disasters which wiped Job out of his businesses, employees, and children, are brutal attacks from marauding tribes. “The boys were put to the sword” (1:15, 17), the sole survivors say.

The sudden reversal of happy, productive life is a theme of Job. When Job is the victim of such carnage, what will he say? Will he curse God? When we are victims of such carnage, what do we say? How strong is our faith in a God who knows us, counts the hairs on our head, and loves us?

In your most recent test, how has your faith fared ?

About Grose

Gordon Grose loves most to write, speak, and preach on the message of hope from the book of Job. Using drama, video, and PowerPoint, he has preached and presented this message of hope to churches around the country. Grose pastored three congregations 25 years, then served 12 years as a pastoral counselor in a Portland, Oregon counseling clinic. He now serves with Good Samaritan Counseling Services, Beaverton, OR. A graduate of Wheaton College (IL), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, and Boston University, he comes from a rich and varied background in theological and counseling training. In 2015, Gordon published Tragedy Transformed: How Job's Recovery Can Provide Hope For Yours, a book about turning to Job for hope after tragedy. If you have experienced life challenges or personal tragedy, visit his Transforming Tragedy ( blog to learn more. provides a sample of Gordon's speaking as well as an opportunity to purchase copies of his book.
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