In Chapters 26 and 27, Job offers some final words to his friends. As I have read through their discourse, I see two different perspectives. First is that of the friends. They are apparently free of the pain that Job is experiencing. Their perspective is one that says God loves them, and their proof of that love is based upon the fact that they are doing well. Therefore, they see Job's misfortunes as the result of Job's lack of favor from God. They label Job a sinner. But are these conclusions valid? Can God be put in a box? Can we expect God to handle people in only one manner?
Then there is Job's perspective. He sees himself as innocent, blameless. He struggles with the way that God is treating him. He cannot accept that he is a fault in what has happened. He rejects the condemnation and advice of his friends.
So what is the truth? Job is angry with his current lot in life, he sees God as in control and responsible. Yet he also understands that God is not to be trifled with, and that God is not answerable to him. He seems to feel that God has the right to do as he pleases. Imagine that! He seems to understand that while he can question God, God can choose if he wants to answer him.
So which is truth? Does God punish sin? I think the Bible is clear about that. From the flood to the death of Ananias and Sapphira, there is punishment for disobedience. Yet there are stories of suffering for those who did not seem to deserve it either. Did John the Baptist deserve beheading? What about Moses not entering the promised land, does that seem right?
One thing I learn here is about perspective. While it makes sense to view things from my perspective, I also have to realize that my perspective is not the only one there is. If I want to know the truth, I have to be able to view things from other perspectives as well. What is God's perspective? What are the perspectives of others? Maybe I should stew on that, and keep reading.