QUESTION: The entire story of Job confuses me. What is the real point in Job?
COMMENT: The Book of Job is, in a sense, the first biblical drama—a play in which a number of characters observe and debate the character and fate of Job, an apparently "blameless and upright" man who seems to become a plaything in a debate between the Lord and Satan. While the Book of Job is often read as a justification for suffering—an indication that God's Will may be totally unrelated to human ideas of merit or worthiness—its metaphysical depths are clearer and more positive.
The central question is probably "What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him?" (21:15). To Job's friends it seems clear that mortal blessings are a sign of God's favor, and challenges are signs of disfavor. Job tries to accept that guidance, but it doesn't seem to fit his personal experience. Finally it is in a personal relationship with the Lord that Job finds his guidance and the answer to the always pertinent question of why bad things happen to good people. "That which I greatly fear has come upon me." In other words, we create our own challenges by misunderstanding our own divine nature and our intimate relationship with the Light and Love of God. The good news is that when we allow our creative partnership with the divine to guide our lives, those same challenges become opportunities for healing, growth and spiritual empowerment.