Daniel Raus on the book of Job


Suffering is one of the great paradoxes of life. It is both our greatest objection towards God, as well as the most frequent reason to search for Him. The book of Job illustrates this contradiction perfectly. It is about a man who is afflicted by unthinkable pain that leads to an urgent desire for God, as well as a fatal fight with him.

It is not only suffering that is at stake here. Job is touched by evil and has no doubt about its supernatural source. The touch of evil is described as something mysterious and puzzling, as a great power against which man has no chance. Yet, as powerful as the evil is, it is limited, and there are borders that it cannot cross.

Even more interesting are the questions that the suffering brings out in Job and his friends, such as those about the picture of God. No one in the story doubts the existence of God, but their debate is about what God is like, and above all, what happens when one’s image of God falls apart.

The Book of Job is about these great topics. It is unique in that it breaks down the conventional taboos through Job as he throws them away as something useless when feeling under pressure. He loses his points of stability in his life, which multiplies the chaos in his mind and contributes to his suffering. He isn’t afraid to call the situation what it is, and another paradox of the story is that in the end, God appreciates his honesty.

This timeless story about Job is about man as such. He lives life between the natural and the supernatural world, works hard to have a secure place in life only to lose it a second later, asks questions far beyond his understanding, searches for hope because he cannot live without it, and gives up the old to find the new. At the end of the book, what remains is wisdom. And maybe that’s what the whole story is all about.