Gutierrez’S Analysis Of Book Of JobFrank Bottino
On Job: God-Talk and the Suffering of the Innocent
In Gutierrez’s analysis on the book of Job, the justice of God seems to be the primary issue of his argument. Throughout his argument he justifies that God’s way of doing things is outside the comprehension of the human mind. He states that, “God indeed has a plan, but it is not one that the human mind can grasp so as to make calculations based on it and foresee the divine action (73).”
In the book of Job, God tests Job’s faith by putting him through a series of trials and tribulations. Job initially doesn’t understand why God does this because he has always been righteous in the sight of the Lord. His friends believe his suffering is a direct result from the sin in Job’s life but as the text explains, they are clearly ignorant. Job questions God directly, however God challenges him to explain how the universe was created and how it is ordered. Job’s error is his presumption that God’s ways and his omnipotence are humanly comprehensible. God both rebukes Job and makes his most direct reply to Job’s earlier question: “What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him? (21:15)” Gutierrez states that here Job realizes he has spoken out of ignorance and that he may come no closer to God than his vision of him, therefore Job repents.
In conclusion, Gutierrez main point is clearly that in order to understand God and his divine plan, one must avoid “…the temptation of imprisoning God in a narrow conception of justice (91).” The book of Job reminds us that God is outside time and space and that He does whatever He wants despite what we as humans think is just.
I feel that Gutierrez’s argument is right on target. As we have studied in previous chapters of the Old Testament, God’s way of doing things is not what we as humans would expect to be logical. For example, in Exodus we see that God chooses Moses to be the deliverer of the Israelites despite the fact that he is the second son, a murderer, and “slow of speech and slow of tongue” (4:10). This is strange because one would expect God to appoint someone of ‘higher stature’ like his brother Aaron. Another example is seen in Genesis when God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. This seems illogical to us at first because it clearly goes against God’s promise to Abraham. Abraham soon realizes when an angle of God stops him that it was only a test of his faithfulness to God.
However, despite Gutierrez’s strong argument, I believe that sometimes God’s ways are predictable and logical. For example, we constantly see throughout the Old Testament that whenever the Israelites break their covenant with God, we can be assured that they will be punished. This is clearly seen in the book Samuel when Saul defies God and his reign is slowly stripped away from him. On the other hand, when one obeys God, it is reasonable to conclude that they will be blesses. For example, because David followed God’s instructions, he was certainly blessed.
In conclusion, sometimes God’s plans are logical and other times they are not. Therefore we as humans should never assume to know what God is going to do next. And no matter what God chooses to do, we should not be surprised because He certainly works in mysterious ways.