God showed up in a whirlwind to meet with Job
The finger pointing at Job continued chapter after chapter. Finally, God showed up in a whirlwind. How did God explain Himself to Job? How did God solve the puzzle of pain? Would God pull back the curtain of eternity and let Job see into the wings? No. God came down to Job to give him what he asked for – an audience with his Creator. God began by not answering, but asking questions. For two chapters God asked Job questions about how the Earth was made, where light comes from, and how the animals got their instincts. God bombarded Job with questions designed to humble him and remind him that he didn‟t know as much as he thought. Job covered his mouth and fell to his feet. Job had seen God and realized that he had been presumptuous to think that he knew all the facts. He realized, “Who am I to correct God?” Job realized that God really is wise, powerful, and all-knowing. Job saw the extent of God‟s love for creation. God reminded Job that He sees the deer giving birth, the cloud that rains on unseen land, and the silly ostrich running across the plain. While God never answered Job's questions directly, God revealed that He can be trusted during tragedy. God confirmed that karma is wrong. God reminded Job that He was steadfast and loved him dearly.
Job's friends felt justified. They thought they were right: Job was arrogantly trying to boss God around. God rebuked them for their poor theology, which was inappropriately placed into Job's life. God confirmed that Job was right. In the mysteries of this broken world, sometimes bad things happen to “good” people. In this sliver of time we live in now, good things even happen to bad people occasionally. God reminded them that He will set all things right. He will judge the evil doer and He will reward the good. God was not happy with Job's friends. God humbled these "experts" by telling them they can only find forgiveness if Job, the righteous man, prayed for them. Job's humility and forgiving attitude was on display again as he forgave his friends, prayed for their forgiveness, and suggested they cling to God in adversity themselves. God honored Job's clinging by restoring his fortune and health, and blessed him with more children. Job showed us that evil and pain are complicated, but the only way to push through the pain is by clinging to the source of hope.
The message of the Bible offers the only satisfying answer to the problem of evil and suffering. All the other philosophies and religions of the world can be boiled down to four phrases: Not Really, Not Ever, Not Again, and Not Yet. When you ask the Buddha for a solution to suffering, he would tell you that suffering is “not really” happening. Buddha said that this world is a dream and an illusion. Atheism, which critiques the problem of pain as a reason to abandon the Bible‟s claims, offers a very unsatisfying answer to the problem of suffering. Atheism says that evil will “not ever” be fixed. According to this view, the world has always had suffering and will always have injustice. Hinduism has an answer to the problem of evil. It says suffering will be fixed through a reoccurring cycle of reincarnation whereby mankind is punished through karma over billions of years. The universe punishes evil with suffering through karma until evil is beat out of each individual. You might call this view, “Not again” because evil is slowly destroyed again and again through reincarnation.
Christianity offers a radically different view from these three. The Bible teaches that God will deal with evil, just “Not Yet.” God sees the pain in this world. He counts the tears. He promises that He will reset everything correctly. Just not yet. While it‟s frustrating to live in the “not yet,” there can be real hope that justice will prevail. There is real confidence that evil will not get away with it. There is great comfort in knowing God sees and rewards unnoticed acts of goodness.