Chapter-3  Making Sense Out of Tragedy 

The book of Job in the Old Testament of the Bible is about a righteous and very wealthy man named, Job, who suffered all kinds of horrible afflictions and yet remained true to God. His children were know to drink and party on occasions, so Job would offer sacrifices on their behalf and pray for them. On what was probably the worst day of his life, he was immediately confronted by four messengers bearing bad news. The first told him that after killing Job’s servants (with swords) who were responsible for watching his thousand oxen and five hundred donkeys, Sabean raiders then fled with the animals. The second reported that fire had fallen from the sky and destroyed Job’s shepherd’s and his seven thousand sheep. The third reported that three Caldean raiding parties slaughtered Job’s servants and made off with his three thousand camels. The fourth informed him that while his sons and daughters were feasting and and drinking wine at the oldest brothers house, a strong dessert wind swept in knocking the house down upon them, causing them all to die.

The fact that this passage (Job 1:13-19) begins and ends with statements regarding the party at the oldest brother’s house, to me, elevates it’s significance in the story. But I lack the Devine insight to do more with this than just ponder.

Job’s suffering moves into a new realm after this — that of physical ailments. It gets so bad, that his three friends come and sit with him in his affliction and as they all try to make sense of it, and try to offer explanations for it, a friendly dispute emerges. His friends insist that Job’s sufferings must be tied to some sin in his life, and Job insists that that is not the case!

The story ends with God intervening and confirming Job’s position, and with Job recognizing in a new way the sovereignty of God. After Job prays for his friends, God then restores and greatly increases Job’s wealth that had been lost and blesses him with several more children.

There are countless take aways from the story of Job which I hope you will all read, but to me, the greatest is that we cannot see someone suffer and conclude with accuracy that sin is the cause of that suffering!

So, can we make sense out of tragedy? Not always. But as we shall see, sometimes we can.
–©️2018, Dale Petersen, all rights reserved. Published for Non-profit by