Peter Barnes | Bible Study | Download : Bible Studies – Job
The problem of how one God can exist who is sovereign, good, and loving has long been recognised as one of the most difficult ones for the Christian faith to explain. The ancient Latin poet Lucretius wrote:
Had God designed the world, it would not be
A world so frail and faulty as we see.
In the 19th century John Stuart Mill wrote: ‘Not even on the most distorted and contracted theory of good which ever was framed by religious or philosophical fanaticism, can the government of nature be made to resemble the work of a being at once good and omnipotent.’ Before he became a Christian, as an atheist, C. S. Lewis used this argument against the Christian faith. Later, as a Christian, he sought to answer it in The Problem of Pain. The relationship between God and the suffering of the righteous and the prosperity of the wicked is an issue which is often raised in Scripture (Habakkuk; Jeremiah 12:1; Psalm 73).
The date of the book of Job is unknown, but it is usually regarded as early, with good reason. Job carries out his own sacrifices, which points to Israel’s situation before the institution of the Mosaic priesthood. Ezekiel 14:14 also refers to Job. Tennyson called it ‘the greatest poem of ancient or modern times.’