Christians: About God and suffering?
The other day I realized something: the bible gives examples of God inflicting suffering on humans in four clearly defined episodes and degrees.
1. the world suffers - Noah's Flood
2. the nation suffers - the Plagues of Egypt
3. the city suffers - Sodom and Gommorah
4. the individual suffers - Job
In all four instances it is clearly intended that we understand that it is God who is causing the suffering.
The most clear example is Job, where Satan challenges God's faith in Job's devotion. To prove Satan is wrong, God inflicts unimaginable suffering on Job. This is to show Satan that Job will not turn against God.
Why claim God does not inflict suffering when there are these four well-defined examples of God doing exactly that?
- Steve HustingLv 41 decade agoFavorite Answer
Yes, why claim that God does not inflict suffering when the clearly says He does? Fact is, I don't know of anyone, Christian or otherwise, who says that God does not inflict suffering (and I am a Christian).
Can you tell me what Job's view was toward God while he suffered? Can you tell me what God did in Job's life at the end of the book?
- Da MickLv 51 decade ago
1) Noah; The strange thing about that is the fact that the ark door was open for seven days. In those seven days, not one soul came up to Noah and his family and said, "I believe you." Now Noah, a servant of God, would have invited this person inside.
2)Egypt: Egypt was a world power, with the help of the Hebrews, which pretty much built their empire at that time. But note they were slaves to Egypt. And the plagues were aimed at the Egyptian gods. (The blocking out of the sun was a direct blow at Ra, the Egyptian sun god. Look it up.)
3) Sodom and Gomorrah: Lot tried to please the mob by offering his two daughters. (When he invited the two angels to his house.) Now to offer your own daughters to "Please" a mob means that this must have been a wicked place to even suggest such a thing. And of course, Cain is responsible for those cities.
4) Job: Now most people say that God punished Job by letting the devil "do his thing." But when a man becomes a rock for something righteous, his faith will lead him out of any darkness. My meaning is that no matter what terrible things were done to him, he stuck to his guns. And note he was very rich after all that madness he went through and lived a quiet life after-wards.Source(s): =)
- 1 decade ago
1. The world during the time of Noah suffered, because They were wicked.
2. Egypt suffered, because they would not let God's people go.
3, Sodom and Gommorah were destroyed because of their evilness.
4. Satan caused Job to suffer. God allowed it.
Job could write about wounds...He could describe intense inner suffering in the first person because of his own pain.
How could anyone handle such a series of grief-laden ordeals so calmly [seeJob 1-2]? Think of the aftermath: bankruptcy, pain, ten fresh graves...the loneliness of those empty rooms. Yet we read that he worshiped God, he did not sin, nor did he blame his maker.
Well, why didn't he? How could he ward off the bitterness or ignore thoughts of suicide? At the risk of over simplifying the situation, I suggest three basic answers:
First, Job claimed God's loving sovereignty. He sincerly believed that the Lord who gave had every right to take away (Job1:21). Stated in his own words, "Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble" (Job 2:10). He looked up, claiming his Lord's right to rule over his life.
Second, be counted on the promise of resurrection. Do you remember his immortal words: "I know that my Redeemer lives...I my self will see him" (Job 19:25,27). He looked ahead, counting on his Lord's promise to make all things bright and beautiful in the life beyond....Job endured today by envisioning tomorrow.
Third, he confessed his own lack of understanding...Listen to his admission of this fact: "Surely I spoke of things I did not understand" (Job 42:3). He looked within, confessing his inability to put it all together. Resting his case with the righteous Judge, Job did not feel compelled to answer all the questions or unravel all the burning riddles. God would judge. The Judge would be right.
Charles R. Swindoll
- UlrikaLv 51 decade ago
1. It pays to listen to God. Noah did.
2. It pays to listen God. Unless you like plaques.
3. It pays to honor God. Lot did.
4. It pays to honor God in all circumstances. Job did.
Or you can disobey and not to listen God, then the world suffers, the nation suffers, the city suffers, the individual suffers. Noah and Moses and Lot and Job were rewarded for their faithfulness. Do yo want to complain or honor God? To me it is easy to choose, I honor God.
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- 1 decade ago
Noah's flood was to teach the people a lesson. If you'd read you'd learn. The plagues of Egypt was a punishment for bad behaviour and praising a God who doesn't exist. Suffering is punishment for our sins. He died for our sins, and for us to sin is like stomping on Holy ground. It is unruly.
- HawaiianBrianLv 51 decade ago
Great analysis! Although I'm sure they'll just drag out the always reliable: "God works in mysterious ways" "Who are we to question?!" Then they'll go to great lengths to prove that each of your examples deserved their fate for disobeying or offending God.
I did notice you left off #5 though...
1. the world
2. the nation
3. the city
4. individual man
And let's not forget #5: Family!
5. son of god - crucifixion
"Jesus' last words on the cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" which btw hardly seem like the words of someone who planned to take the sins of humanity on his shoulders. He's crying out to his father asking him why He has abandoned him.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Yes you are correct. It is absurd that some people think like that.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
i applaud you for this is a fabulous point.