Monday, November 29, 2010

Job 1-4

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

1:2 - Job had seven sons and three daughters.
1:4 - His sons used to go and hold feasts in one another houses in turn; and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.
1:13 - Job was visited by a messenger on a night that the sons and the daughters were eating and drinking wine.
1:18-19 - While the messenger was still speaking another one came and said, "Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house, and suddenly a great wind came across the desert, struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; I alone have escaped to tell."
1:21 - Job tore his clothes and shaved his head and said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

2:9-10 - Job's wife said, "Do you still persist in your integrity? Curse God and die." But he said to her, "You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

3:10-12 - "because [the stars] did not shut the doors of my mother's womb, and hide trouble from my eyes. Why did I not die at birth, come forth from the womb and expire. Why were there knees to receive me or breasts for me to suck?"

Job 4 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

Sorry, Job, but I'm with your "foolish" wife on this one. I've never understood this story. How is this supposed to make me see Job as some sort of righteous man or God as loving? Job just looks like a dumb ass who thinks abuse is love and God looks like a douchebag because he lets Satan go down and completely destroy Job's life. Yeah yeah, I know in the end Job gets rewarded for being continually loyal to this asshole of a deity despite his entire life being ruined. But how does this help the lives lost just because God thought it'd be fun to test him? They died all because God wanted to have a dick measuring contest with Satan.

Yeah, I can totally feel the love.

And why can't Job be angry and upset that his kids are killed by God? Why can't a child be upset with their parent when their parent meddles with their life or denies them something? I would make a comparison to a child being angry when a parent denied them something harmful (like putting a metal bracelet in the wall socket to make "fireworks") but I think that would really be offensive to good parents everywhere. Nothing God is allowing to be done to Job is redeeming in the slightest. And yet, we do not begrudge the child's anger when his parents tell him to not play with the wall socket. Even when that anger is completely unjustified not many parents will punish a child because it's upset that it didn't get it's way. They won't be happy about the anger directed at them, sure, but the child's anger isn't a sin against the parent.

God, on the other hand, slaughters all of Job's children and Job isn't allowed to say any ill word about God or what God has done. Job HAS to accept this because to do otherwise would apparently mean he doesn't really love God.

Think about that. That child may be angry at his parents but does that automatically mean that the child doesn't love them? I know I've said horrible things to my parents in my life, many things I wish I could take back, but I still love them and I don't think they ever thought I really hated them. In the heat of the moment people will say a lot of shit to each other even when the smallest thing happens. Teenagers say they hate their parents when their curfew is 10pm instead of midnight. Toddlers scream when their parents won't get them a lollipop. It's the way children work.

Of course this isn't the case with all parents. Some parents are very vindictive to their children when the child lashes out at them. They would be more God-like, in this case, assuming just because their child is angry right now means that that child never loved them. And some parents rightfully deserved to be hated for things they have done to their children.

But if human kind's relationship with God is supposed to be some sort of idyllic parent/child relationship, I would expect it to look more like the understanding relationship between parent and child I gave as an example. If God created us he knows how our psychology works. And if God is all knowing he would know that a moment of rage does not equal an eternity of hatred.

But like I said before, any comparison of God I make to a parent/child relationship you would find around you does a great disservice to the vast majority of parents on this planet.

The only way to compare God to any living person is to create a complete sociopath who managed somewhere along the line to have children. Like say a parent allowed their child to pick out a few pets at the pound, to take them home, then feed them and raise them all on their own, and then one day, years later, that parent lets their neighbor come over and and slaughter all of the pets outside. THAT would be more like what God has done here.

I would not expect any person, normal or not, to be okay with this.

Yet God does ask you to be okay with this. God comes into the house, let's you know that your much loved pets have been killed by your neighbor, and expects you to say, "God's will be done. The Lord gives and the Lord takes, so we must take the good with the bad."

I'm sorry, but I call bullshit.

Wednesday: More Job

I hope this made some sense. I may go back and look through it when I have more time, but I'm still recovering from the holiday and am trying to get most of this out at work. :\


  1. This here's the book that takes a look at life on Earth, realizes it doesn't jibe with a loving parent god, examines suffering, explains that mere mortals can neither perceive nor judge the infinite, then Job gets a cookie. Well, a new family that's shinier and nicer than the one Satan crushed into paste, anyway.

    I can't recall if the same woman bears these new offspring for Job or not. If so, that's a lot of children for her. Then again, I don't even know if his wife is the mother of all of the first ten or not. The text doesn't say.

    Back on topic, I also think Job should have listened to his wife. Then again, I've never been a subject of an absolute ruler. Maybe that would color my thoughts on the matter. In any case, he didn't need to call her foolish. That's just insulting.

  2. Well you know it's not insulting if it's true, amirite? -_-

    I too am curious to see if his wife bears his future children. Though from what I understand Job loses everything so I always assumed that meant his wife as well...

    I never liked the "explain away horrible things that happen to people by saying God is just mysterious and you can't perceive his infinite wisdom" thing. Never have. I'm perfectly fine with an impersonal world that just doesn't care about me at all and shit just happens. When it's nature then that's just how shit works. When God does it then suddenly that shit's personal. I'd rather believe that if a being really did create us it wouldn't treat us so callously.

  3. When my cousin died, my aunt found solace in this book. Somehow. She could barely cope, otherwise, but this gave her some comfort.
    After I stopped being a Christian, I read this in its entirety. I was repulsed. Might does not make right, yet this is what the story (and the entire Bible) would have you believe.
    I don't dare tell my aunt, so she'll continue to turn to Job. But I promise you, that even if God gave her another son, as God replaces Job's children, she would not be satisfied--she might even be in more agony, for the guilt of loving another child while hers is gone.
    (And Job is such an early story, this was before the concept of "Heaven". The dead, and only the righteous, went to Sheol. Heaven and Hell derived from the Persian influence of duality...even here Satan isn't some evil figure, just some Fool of God's Court, or the other lawyer. My bible prof at Harding went to great lengths to tell us HERE, it wasn't evil that Satan was here (or existed). Of course it wouldn't be evil, here of all places--here, God agrees with him, and that would put some sin on God. Better to redeem Satan for a bit. prof was really confusing, explaining Satan. He'd explain about Lucifer being an allusion to a ruler of the time, he'd explain all the Old Testament appearances...but in the New Testament, well, he is The Evil One...who was influenced by the Persians...somehow...

    *sigh* Much easier to look at it from "It's just a story" perspective.

    Speaking of which, there's a book out by the guy who does the Skeptic's Annotated Bible. This one is called Drunk with Blood. It lists all the deaths in the Bible, attributing them to God or Satan. Biblical numbers ONLY, God kills upwards of 2 million. Satan kills 10. (the ten being the ones he kills in Job)

    Sad. So, so sad.

  4. Yeah, I am still of the opinion that maybe Christians are worshiping the wrong god. If you kind of look at it a different way, you could spin it so that Satan is the one testing God in this story. Satan wants to see if God is really willing to allow so much harm to befall even God's biggest fan.

    If you look at it that way, then God failed this test miserably.

    It's definitely easier to read this crap when you think of it as "just a story". But then why follow this story for your moral teachings and not others? I think you could get way better morals and stories from reading Harry Potter or Winnie the Pooh or The Canterbury Tales. Despite these books having far superior moral tales in them (at least compared to the Bible), people still don't worship Winnie the Pooh or Harry Potter or Chaucer. Though the world might be a little better off if people did...

    I would hope that if more people realized just how different the death tolls are between God and Satan they would seriously think about just how good their God really is. But then again that's just wishful thinking. I know every time I've ever brought up God's killings it's brushed off as "those people deserved it because they are wicked and God is moral and just." No wonder the US composed of mostly Christians is so war happy when Christians can so easily justify the slaughter of thousands/millions of people.

    And I totally understand, Lurker, about you not bringing up Job to your Aunt. I have a difficult time talking to my father about religion since he turned to it after his near fatal surgery for a heart aneurysm (he is convinced God pressed on his chest which prompted him to go to the ER where they found his aneurysm, and I always want to tell him that having a grapefruit sized aneurysm waiting to pop in your chest would probably have the same effect). It was a trying time for all of us, so it's difficult to talk to him about his faith because he will always bring up his aneurysm. I don't want to take away whatever his faith gives him to cope with his near death experience, but at the same time I miss the dad who raised me and listened to heavy metal and watched Aliens with me when I stayed home sick from school. Plus I hate sounding like I'm lessening the impact his near death experience had on all of us when I argue with him about how God didn't have anything to do with him surviving, that it was all doctors and his own human body reacting to the problem letting him know something was wrong.

    It's just difficult when someone latches on so hard to their faith because of a very traumatic experience. :\


Anyone posting anonymously is very likely to not have their comment published. If you do not have a Google/Blogger account you can use the Name/URL option to attach a name to your comment. And remember to try and stay on topic. :)