Thursday, March 12, 2009

Allow Me to Retort

My response to Zophar was nowhere near as biting, as clever, as—dare I say it—inspired as Job's was in chapter 21. But reading it doesn't leave me jealous.

It leaves me wondering how they left this passage in the Bible.

I'm not questioning the chapter's place in the canon. I'm just wondering how a group of God-fearing men would allow an argument so seemingly damaging to their faith to survive for so flippin' long. I mean, the ancient nation of Israel wasn't exactly founded on 1st Amendment rights like Freedom of Religion, Freedom of the Press. and Freedom of Speech. So allow me to restate Job's rant and then tell me if you would have kept it among your sacred scrolls had you had a vote in the Bible Hall of Fame.

Okay, I already know what you're gonna say, so shut up and let me finish. After that you can mock all you want.

If I were depending on you losers to improve my lot in life, it would go without saying that I'd have to wait awhile. But my beef isn't with mere mortals. Look at me, take it all in fellas. When you hear what I have to say, you can look all shocked again. I know I am.

You know wicked people? Yeah, turns out they don't suffer as much as you think they do. Their kids don't die like mine did. Their livestock is doing fine and spitting out calves and is not being wiped out by pestilence. Their homes are still standing. Their kids are still playing. Their bulls and cows are just reproducing away while I sit here and suffer. This being righteous thing is not all it's cracked up to be—and I'm beginning to understand the significance of the phrase "wicked awesome." 

Their lives can be pretty darn good, and when they die, their bodies are protected in beautiful tombs that are a lot more decked out than this hole I've wound up in, surrounded by you idiots. What is the point in serving God if this is the reward? God answers prayer? REALLY?!? Because I don't recall praying for this crap. Did you?

You talk about all this awful stuff that happens to evil people, but I'm not seeing it. Oh, and I love the part about, "His kids will inherit his evil." So what? He won't have to live to see that, what difference does it make? Why can't the evil guy himself get punished? Your theories about what happens to the wicked . . . maybe you should run those by God next time you're instructing Him on how to run the universe.

Because here's how I see it: one guy has a great life; another guy's life absolutely sucks; and they bury them both together. So go ahead and tell me what difference being good and living well really make. I'm sure you're gonna tell me I've got all this wrong, because in your sheltered little church world you have it all figured out. But if you ask around to people who actually know these so-called sinners, you'll find out you're dead wrong. Evil people live it up, they die in peace, and they rest in peace.

How do you expect to make me feel better with your ridiculous crap?

Now let me remind you how the book started out: "In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil."

As far as I'm concerned, it took a whole lot of faith to preserve this book. You have to be really in love with God to want to accept that an upright and blameless man can be brought to this kind of exasperation in the blink of an eye. I don't think this message could have endured if the people who carried it along didn't believe with all their hearts that there was something on the other side of suffering.

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