PASSAGE: Job 42 ”Then Job answered the Lord:
2‘I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3“Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?”
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
4“Hear, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you declare to me.”
5I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;
6therefore I despise myself,
and repent in dust and ashes.’
After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: ‘My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. 8Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt-offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has done.’ 9So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the Lord had told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.
10 And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11Then there came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they ate bread with him in his house; they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him; and each of them gave him a piece of money* and a gold ring. 12The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys. 13He also had seven sons and three daughters. 14He named the first Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15In all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers. 16After this Job lived for one hundred and forty years, and saw his children, and his children’s children, four generations. 17And Job died, old and full of days.”
QUESTION: I love the book of Job, but I've always been bothered by the ending. God finally shows up to speak to Job, and He seems to say: "Sit down, shut up, I'm in charge! You can't possibly know what it all means, whippersnapper!" Granted, there will always be mystery in creation, but Job beats himself up for even asking questions of God. Since Unity encourages questioning and considers humans to be divine and co-creators within the Universe, I wonder if there is another way to interpret this.
COMMENT: We'll be discussing Job over the next two weeks of Bible Alive! so there might be something interesting in those discussions. Basically, I think we can see the telltale germ of fear in Job in the very opening of the story, when we're told that he “always” made burnt offerings for his grown children because "It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts." (Job 1:5). It's this seed of human fear that ultimately grows into the manifestations of fear that result. And after all the tribulations, and all the debates over what it all means, God is essentially saying, 'It's the Law. You can't understand the reasons behind the Law, you can't fully grasp how the universe works.' I think that even our Christ nature—even the Christ nature of Jesus—cannot fully grasp the intricacies of the Allness of God. If we could, there would be no distinction between Father and Son, and clearly for Jesus there was a very important distinction, right up to the end of his life. I don't think Unity asks us to question the Law. But we are certainly encouraged to question the ways in which we express the Law in the world. It isn't about fair or unfair, right or wrong. It's about God and God. And more God. If we resist God and judge God our lives will be painful and—even worse—basically useless. It's the ultimate surrender, isn't it—surrendering to a God that is, and a God that will never explain itself or justify itself—or change itself because we think we have a better idea.