Job suffered the loss of his temporal things, his children, and his health, in that order. His experiences involved extreme suffering during which his wife and his friends condemned him. He was alone in his agony. His temptation was to demand of God a reason for his experiences. He wanted to know God’s justification for permitting him such agony.
Who may demand answers from another? A king has every right to ask the reasons behind his subjects’ actions. A parent can certainly require a child to explain his behavior. An employer may explore an employee’s work conduct. But a servant may not demand anything from his master. Were a servant to do so, he would essentially be making himself equal to or above his master. Job did not have the right to demand God’s reasons. And that was exactly how God answered him in Job 38 – 42:6. The why of Job’s or of our experiences may not be understood by us. But we do know that all of our experiences are under the supervision of God’s infinite wisdom and love.
When we review Job’s character, we see an upstanding man. He pleased God very much. God even shared His perspective with Satan in Job 1:8, “Then the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” What a beautiful complement God gave Job.
Job’s subsequent agonizing experiences have served as an example of maintaining trust in and obedience to God even in the midst of horrible pain. Every single person who has ever lived has suffered. Some lose those who are dearest to them. Many have severe temporal losses: losing their homes or enduring poverty and hunger. Illness, cancer, and pain ravage the lives of multitudes. Yet few have experienced all these losses and still maintained their faith in God. This fine man has been a comfort to many in that he has taught us how to endure horrible experiences faithfully. God did reprove him, but then He rewarded him greatly. (see Job 42:12-16.)
In the resurrection, I believe thousands of people will thank Job for his faithful, submissive spirit. They will tell him that his story gave them the strength to endure their griefs. Some will say that they too were able to maintain their faith because of his example. What do you think Job will do? I believe he will smile and thank God for giving him the opportunity to comfort these multitudes over thousands of years. He will recognize that his agony over a brief period of time was a help to those in need.
Why did God permit Satan to tempt Job? A partial answer may be so that Job might be a comfort to all mankind.