Does God promise us justice? The short answer seems to be no. Well, maybe. Probably not.

The Book of Job, which we’ve been delving into in the Twible these past few weeks, raises all the requisite questions about suffering — the most important one being: if God is just, then why does life so often suck eggs?

What’s interesting about the book to me is that however often Job criticizes his so-called “friends” for their shallow theology and desire to make God over into a good fairy who grants lovely blessings to the righteous, Job shares in this mentality too. He’s able to critique their superficial “if-then” approach to religion, and he knows that God is about so much more than wish-granting. And yet he turns around and rails at God for falling down on precisely that particular job. God has taken his children, his health, his wealth, and all of these losses have shaken Job’s faith to the core.

As Nathan Lane wails in The Producers, “Did I mention I’m betrayed?”

I see a lot of my own ambivalence in Job’s response. It’s easy for me to criticize shallow theology; in my class on religion and popular culture, for example, we’ll spend some time on the “health and wealth gospel,” highlighting the many churches, preachers, and movements that promise that God wants us to be abundantly rich and eternally young. I can stand apart and criticize it, yet when the chips are down and my own life feels decidedly un-blessed, don’t I turn around and storm the heavens asking why?

Sat 1/22/11
#Twible Job 24: Q: Why does Donald Trump prosper & OJ Simpson go free after murder? Why, G? A: Um, we’ll get back to you on that. Or not.

Sun 1/23/11
#Twible Job 25: FOJ #2 finally says something worth listening to: “Job, G is all-powerful, & YOU’RE NOT HIM.” Well, if you put it that way.

Mon 1/24/11
#Twible Job 26: Job: “Again w/the blame-the-victim schtick. But since you mention it, G IS pretty amazing, huh? Who are we to understand?”

Tues 1/25/11
#Twible Job 27: Death comes even to the rich. This is a good thing, or there’d be no justice at all. When it does, can I take your vineyard?

Wed 1/26/11
#Twible Job 28: We’ve had a lot of heavy philosophy, so let’s interrupt w/a lovely song to Dame Wisdom, who rocks. Gold & silver can’t=her.

Thurs 1/27/11
#Twible Job 29: Job offers closing argument as his own defense counsel: “My life used to be so blessed. I helped the poor. WTF happened, G?”

Fri 1/28/11
#Twible Job 30: “Now I’m mocked & hated; why? And why is G not answering my calls? Oh, & my skin is falling off. What’s up with THAT?”

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