Is God guilty of neglect?

No. But to those who have hit bottom and feel abandoned, God might appear to be neglectful.

In his despair Job paints a horrifying—and incorrect—picture of God, saying that He afflicts for no reason (9:17), overwhelms people with misery (9:18), destroys both the righteous and the unrighteous indiscriminately (9:22), laughs at the pain of the innocent (9:23) and allows injustice (9:24). Job’s fear of this tyrannical deity could even force him to confess to sins he had not committed (9:20)!

But these are the words of a despondent, discouraged Job. On the whole, Job had a higher view of God than this. The major difference between Job’s view of God and that of his friends was his belief that afflictions in this life come to both the righteous and the unrighteous—that suffering could not always be explained in terms of what one deserved.

Severe and sudden calamity is no more a sign of disfavor with God than sustained prosperity indicates God’s approval and blessing. But in the next life God promises to balance the scales and make right all that has been perverted by sin here on earth. God is not guilty of neglect, but He may allow some suffering to accomplish His greater purposes, often beyond human comprehension.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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