I enjoyed this thought provoking article and the fictional dialogue based on what we read from the scriptures. But does it really answer the "why" of Abraham and Jobs dillemas? I remember reading that "President Hugh B. Brown said that God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac because “Abraham needed to learn something about Abraham” (in Truman G. Madsen, The Highest in us). I think this is the reason we are all here. God already knows how we will react to certain circumstances. He wants US to see why we react that way and learn from them to improve ourselves under his divine tutelage. I do like pointed out here a truth: each man learned what they needed to learn - although both of them learned in different ways.
This was wonderful. I have Julie's marvelous book about the Gospels and Michael Austin's excellent and extensive book on Job and cannot wait to add this collection to my, well, collection!
I thought the same thing as Chad. The imaginary conversation between Job and Abraham, as well as the final conclusions of the article, seemed to be based on a superficial or incomplete reading of Job. Though Job struggled in the middle of his trial, he evidence great faith at the beginning and end. Also, his "comforters" weren't so much defending God as accusing Job and possibly justifying themselves.
Job answers the age-old question of why bad things happen to good people. The story starts in heaven with Satan accusing God of being unfair. In the end, Job is vindicated for his goodness, and God demonstrates, before angels and other witnesses that Job is faithful, exactly as God said at first.
"Christians, of course, read the story typologically: God required Abraham to sacrifice his son in anticipation of God’s own sacrifice of Jesus Christ."
Oddly, with the sole exception of one ambiguous reference by Benjamin in the Book of Mormon, this interpretation is found nowhere in our New Testament, Doctrine and Covenants, or elsewhere in the Book of Mormon.
According to my reading of Job, God did not commend Job for challenging Him.
Job_38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Job_38:2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
And for the next 4 chapters God reprimands Job.
God challenged Job to admit his hopeless ignorance vs God's omniscience; hopeless weakness vs God's omnipotence.
When Job next speaks he repents of what he said previously.
Job_42:6 WHEREFORE I ABHOR MYSELF, AND REPENT IN DUST AND ASHES.
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