Why was God so cruel to Job?

If God's nature is cruel - how can anyone desire to worship Him except out of fear? How can anyone see the Book of Job as enlightening? It's a terrifying story

ps I am an agnostic but also a bit of a pantheist/Deist... I don't believe that God is cruel, I suspect He just does not intervene too often...


but I am curious.. I want to understand why people keep quoting the book of Job at me when I bring up the question of free will..

and why did God accept a challenge from Satan?!?!

Update 2:

Sure Job had faith, but he had faith in an uncaring, terribly insecure deity

Update 3:

does this not sound crazy? :

"2. Satan challenges the truth of God’s judgment on Job. (Job 1:11) By implication, Satan is saying God has erred, lost his authority to judge and should set down from the throne of heaven. Further, God has erred in creating humankind in the first place. Human beings are incapable of a completely selfless love of men and women for God. They love God only for what they can get from him. The entire human project should be destroyed. Satan has put God on trial.

3. God accepts Satan’s challenge to create a world of undeserved and unremitted suffering in order to settle this question of righteousness and reward. (Job 1:12; 2:6 ) God chooses Job as his personal champion in this trial by ordeal and authorizes his destruction. (Job 1:13-19; 2:7-8)"

Update 4:


Update 5:

but Hannah, why would God feel the need to prove anything to Satan?

Update 6:

I don't understand how you can see Job's restoration as making up for God's betrayal - putting the lives of his follower's loved ones in the hands of Satan. Job lost his beloveds, but then was given all sorts of new stuff to make up for it so it's all OK... that explanation isn't enough, to me

18 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Tell me how God was cruel to Job? What did God do?

    As the book reads, Satan is the one who torments Job not God. So why does God get blamed? Just like Christ i guess, He was persecuted for loving people,caring for people,

  • 1 decade ago

    The same reason that you don't kill your child when they rebel against you. You can let them do things their way (of which you know is wrong) and therefore prove that you are right. Killing your child simply because they challenged you is cruel. God has myriads of angels watching all that is taking place or all that took place when Satan challenged him. How would God appear before his angels if he handled matters that way? Cruel, unfair, unjust etc.

    He was not cruel to Job. Satan was! God knew that Job would prove his loyalty to him. A boss may allow his best employee to be placed under a tight deadline...he allows him to be put to the test because he knows he will prove his worth etc. Job was rewarded tremendously for his integrity.

    We do feel that he doesn't handle matters in a time manner soon enough for us but we have to trust Him. Those who are faithful to Him do desire relief from this current distressful state of life but we have faith that he will take care of it the way it needs to be.

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't believe that God was being cruel to job. After all, he survived, and all he lost was returned to him ten times over. I think the real point of this story is not that satan challenged God, but that he was forced to get permission from God BEFORE he could test Job. This happens again between Peter and Jesus, when satan asks for Peters soul to sift....but notice, he had to ask.

    And for the record, God intervenes all the time. Look with different eyes. Be well.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Job was a very prideful man and I believe that God used satan to dispel the pride out of his life. I have had times when I became too prideful and God brought me down a few notches, which I am thankful. I want to stay humble and know that God is a wonderful caring person and loves us all. What you see on the earth is man reaping all the sin that has been sown down through the ages. If everyone quit sinning and turn their lives over to Jesus the world would be a better place.

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  • 1 decade ago

    In the beginning, Satan tested Jehovah's soverntity when he told Eve: "is it really so that god said you must not eat from every tree of the garden?....."you positivley will not die. fo r god knows that in the very day of your eating from it your eyes are bound to be open, knowing good and bad." (gen. 3:2-5) He tested Jehovah's soverntity, making Eve feel as if, God was holding something from her.

    So when it came to Job, Satan also called in to question, Jehovah's soverntity. He said: (job 1:7-12) So he was in a sense saying that Jehovah's followers would only serve him out of fear, and if things were to happen to them, they would turn right around and "curse god to his face"

    Jehovah did not have to show Satan, and all the other angels that were in heaven watching them (job 1:7) that it was not only that Jehovahs earthly children would serve him because of fear of going through turmoil, and pressures of the world, But he knew that satan was wrong. So his point had to be made. He didn't have to, but he did to prove Satan a liar.

    All of us go through so many things in our daily life may it be sickness, death etc... this is just the times we are living in. It has nothing todo with if Jehovah has a vail over us protecting us from everything bad in this world.

  • 1 decade ago

    Actually God was not being cruel! He knew Job loved Him and God also loved Job! But Satan was so jealous and told God that if Job lost everything he had and suffered he would stop worshiping God! and God allowed satan to put Job through this suffering but Job was always for God and at the end He was given more than he had in the begining so this is really wat trusting God is all about! He actually is not the only one there are a lot of other believers in the Bible whose faith was tested but they prevailed because they knew that no matter wat God will never leave nor forsake them!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In the Book of Job, the Will of God may be viewed as a metaphor of the cruelty of mortal existence. There are no natural laws guaranteeing economic and social stability. Job displays the Old Testament virtue of resilience and temperance in the face of evil, of the denial of temptation.

  • 1 decade ago

    Your whole explanation of Job misses the last chapter where God restores Job to double or triple !!!

    Brief Summary: Why do the righteous suffer? This is the question raised after Job loses his family, his wealth, and his health. Job's 3 friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, come to comfort him and to discuss his crushing series of tragedies. They insist his suffering is punishment for sin in his life. Job, though, remains devoted to God through all of this and contends that his life has not been one of sin. A fourth man, Elihu, tells Job he needs to humble himself and submit to God's use of trials to purify his life. Finally, Job questions God Himself and learns valuable lessons about the sovereignty of God and his need to totally trust in the Lord. Job is then restored to health, happiness and prosperity beyond his earlier state.

  • 1 decade ago

    And God is omniscient so he already knew the outcome well in advance. It was a pointless exercise that destroyed the lives of Job's wife and children.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm also agnostic with a pantheistic leaning.

    What might help is to remember that this bible story may be symbolic. Also, the bible was written my men and human beings are so narcissistic that they will give their God human qualities like jealousy and anger.

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