Why doesn’t God tell Job the reason for his suffering?
In the book, Satan puts God on trial (Job 1:9-11). Job is a sinner, Satan says. Job may intend good, but for selfish reasons. Therein lies his motive and his sin. Job does love God, but only for what he can get from him: the good life now, and eternal life later. That is not true love, not selfless love; it is manipulation. And You, God, missed that. You should get down from Your throne. Since selfishness makes a meaningful relationship between God and man impossible both in this life or the next, You should allow for the destruction of all mankind .
God defends himself by authorizing the creation of the world in which we find ourselves, a world filled with undeserved evil and unremitted suffering (1:13-19; 2:7-8). For, if we knew for certain that God exists and that he rewards those who serve him, we couldn’t settle the question of whether righteousness exists separate from reward.
Therefore, God cannot tell Job or us the reason for the evil that befalls him or us. That would give Job or us a reason or a motive to love God selfishly.
We welcome Rob Sutherland, Counsellor at Law, to write this guest blog. His answer to this difficult question in his book, Putting God on Trial, 2004, deals with this question from a unique perspective. We’re grateful to him for sharing his thoughts with us.
What do you think?