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What is the main message of the Book of Job?

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  • What is the main message of the Book of Job?

    I read this answer to this question on Quora when I was asked to answer the question. This man's answer is truly a profound revelation from The Holy Spirit. It reveals the humble nature of God and why Jesus was a Man of Sorrows.

    Michael Lee
    Michael Lee, studied at Humboldt State University
    Answered Jul 18

    What moves me most about the exposition of The Book of Job is the underlying melancholy of lonliness. Loneliness in that none of Job's friends seek to truly understand what Job is going through on the inside. They try to explain away the causes and condition of his situation and suffering, but do not seem to seek to understand him. Lonliness is not so much about being alone, as it is about not having those you care about seek to understand you. This theme comes to a head in the chapters 38–41 when God is asking Job how he presumes to understand what its like to know solitarty witness and loss, which nobody other than God has witnessed of His own creation. Job is seeking to understand why God has allowed such misfortune and suffering to befall him, yet like his friends and Elihu, is not seeking to understand what it is like to be so solitary and misunderstood as God. We get this sentiment and almost tender vulnerabity until:

    Job 41:10b (ESV)

    “Who then is he who can stand before me? (11) Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole of Heaven is mine.”

    -When God reclaims his decorum, or does He? This moment breaks my heart. His longing to be sought, witnessed, and understood. Yet God, in this moment seems to be accepting no one will ever “get” Him, truly.

    That's what makes it so lonely and melancholy. Because deep down we all feel misunderstood in this way.

    Who can understand Him? The point is that we try to seek and understand Him, through our hearts and compassion, because WE wish to be understood. We wish our hearts, suffering, wonder, and loss, and loneliness to be witnessed. To be seen. Despite ourselves.

    This is probably one of the most tender and intimate moments in all the Old Testament, we have with God.

    Then, in chapter 42, Job repents with a kind of “I see you now. I had no idea that's what it was like for you. I am ashamed that I presumed to imagine. I was as big a hypocrite as my accusers.” He responds with candidness, tenderness, and reverence:

    Job 42: 5–6 (ESV)

    I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

    Something similar to Job 38 - 41 begins to happen at the end of Jonah 4, but lacks the poignancy it has here. Possibly due to how abruptly that passage ends.