Book of Job
Ever notice that the guy in front of you always gets the last apple fritter at Starbucks? On a Monday morning? When you skipped dinner the night before?
And why does the subway train always leave just as you get through the turnstile? Does it know that you're already running late and it just wants to spite you?
Why do you always get stuck in the middle seat on planes, no matter how far in advance you book? And why does the lady next to you always forget to wear deodorant that day?
The Book of Job, written at least 2500 years ago, deals with these exact issues. Well, not these exact issues, but the millennia-ago versions. If you think about it, these questions really get to the heart of most religious thought. If you believe in a righteous force that governs the universe, then why isn't activity on earth righteous? And didn't God say that the righteous would be rewarded and the wicked punished with fire? So why didn't you get your stinkin' apple fritter?
Job is a nice guy who's been doing pretty well for himself out on the ranch—he's got a wife, some kids, and enough sheep to last him a lifetime. Then, suddenly, he loses it all. Does he whine and complain? No. He takes it one step further: he calls out God for letting all this misery happen to a righteous man. Yes, that's right—he calls God's bluff.
We know you're ready to read it, so go ahead. And the next time you're asking "why me?" just remember—Job was there first.
Why Should I Care?
Did you know that the Andromeda Galaxy is eventually going to collide with the Milky Way? Pretty nuts.
How do we know this? Um, it's obvious: humans know everything. We mean, really. If we know about things that are 2.5 million light years away, there can't be anything we don't know…right?
Job learns that he can't ask the universe for justice because he doesn't know how the universe works. And as much as we know about the mechanics of the world millennia after Job's time, we still have questions galore.
Whether you're a priest or a scientist—or both—you'll agree: we can't know everything. Thanks, Job.