Some Thoughts on the Conclusion of Job

The “non-conclusive conclusion” of the book of Job–no direct answer to Job’s complaint is provided; but rather, the conclusion is just to trust God–is not a cop-out after all, but an incredibly satisfying response if you understand the profundity and appropriateness of that conclusion. It’s appropriate because it’s consistent with the finiteness and humanness of humanity and recognizes the Godness of God. It may not be the most philosophically satisfying conclusion in that it does not explain suffering; but that is not the purpose of Job. Although it does not provide a philosophical answer to suffering, it does provide a legitimate answer nonetheless, and an answer I might say is even more satisfying than any philosophical answer–there is a purpose to suffering; and it is rooted in the wisdom of God even if access to or comprehension of that wisdom and purpose is beyond our reach. That it is beyond our reach, and that we are instead to reach to God for whom it is in reach, is the opposite of problematic. We don’t need to know the exact reason for suffering in order to know that there is a reason for suffering that is known, directed, and controlled by God.

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