The Doctrine of Divine Retribution [Job 14-17]

Hello, Scroll Eaters! Today we look at what the debate between Job and his friends was all about. After seven days of amazing silence, Job, in chapter 3, begins to lament his condition, and it’s brutal. I don’t mean the situation is brutal. It is, but I mean Job’s speech in chapter 3 is brutal. When he finishes, his friends begin to tell him their idea of what must be going on. In a nutshell, they believe in the “doctrine of divine retribution.” Divine retribution is the idea that God will return vengeance or justice for wrong-doing. In short, God punishes sin. In simplistic terms, the divine retribution sees all negative situations as God’s punishment, and all positive situations as God’s blessings. If seen in these simplistic terms, this leads to the question, “Why does God bless the wicked and punish the righteous?” Why do the wicked prosper in this age if the doctrine of divine retribution is true. And by the way, it is a true doctrine; it’s taught all over the Bible, but specifically in Proverbs. The missing element in the three friends’ arguments is time. God will bless the righteous eternally and curse the wicked eternally, all in good time. Until then, we have to trust that God knows what he’s doing when we see “innocent suffering” and “wicked blessings.” In other words, we have to trust God’s sovereignty. Oh, and God makes this exact point to Job, which is why I bring it up!
“I couldn’t tell you why good people suffer.
I couldn’t tell you why the bad ones are free.
God showers blessings on the righteous and the wicked.
I only know that that covers me.”
– “Why Good People Suffer” by the Christian band Stavesacre.


For tomorrow, read Job 18-21.

The Lord bless you and keep you.

This entry was posted in Bible, Bible 2011, Bible Reading, Bible Reading Plan, Christian, Christianity, Ketubim, Ketuvim, Navi'im, Naviim, Old Testament, Religion, Theology, Wisdom Literature, Writings and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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