Job’s suffering creates questions, accusations and criticism from the four friends who had come to sit with Job to bring him comfort. The accusations made by the friends as to the reasons who Job is suffering, and the remedy to stop the suffering, are not in line which what God is doing. This situation demonstrates that we cannot judge the righteousness of another merely on the basis of their life situation.
Part 1 - The Ultimate Challenge
The difficulties in life are not what cause us to suffer. It is our response to these difficulties that cause us to suffer. The ultimate challenge in the book of Job is:- Will I Trust God ... Or Not?
Part 2 - Eliphaz’s Answer: You Have Done Evil
Eliphaz has a one sided view of God which turns God into a cause-and-effect God. We see that only focussing on one aspect of God’s character will give us a skewed view of God.
Part 3 - Bildad’s Answer: Get Back In Line
Bildad believes that the way to respond to difficulties is to recognise that we have stepped out of line and that God is getting us as a result. Bildad’s answer is that we get back in line. What does the Scripture say?
Part 4 - Zophar’s Answer: Pick Up Your Performance
Zophar’s answer to Job’s situation is to tell Job to pick up his performance – work harder and all will be well. But this is not a correct portrayal of God.
Part 5 - Elihu’s Answer: You Are A Hypocrite
Elihu shows that Job has allowed himself to start sinning because he has not responded to the suffering the way God expected. Through his actions Job acts in a hypocritical way.
Part 6 - God's Answer: I Know It All
Through a series of questions God gets Job to understand that he does not need to understand – Job needs to trust God. Job realises just how insignificant he really is.