Job 1:1 to 6:4
1:1 Once upon a time there was a rich man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. He was indeed one righteous dude. He was very afraid of the Lord, which is wise, and also he hated evil. So that was essentially Job’s stand on the subject of human morality, fear and hate. He had a generally vague fear of God, and a hatred involving a rather nebulous nondescript conceptual definition of evil.
Job had a large loving family and lots of material worldly possessions. He routinely burned animal carcasses for the Lord’s enjoyment. He burned extra animals a lot on behalf of his sons, just in case they secretly cursed the Lord in their hearts. Maybe the Lord would cut them some slack if he smelled enough burnt flesh and smoke.
1:6 One day the Lord’s sons all got together for a little family therapy session and Satan was one of the Lord’s sons in attendance. The Lord said “Oh hey Satan my boy, where have you been lately?” Satan said “Oh you know dad, been down to Earth and junk. It’s crazy down there.” The Lord said “Did you see my homey Job? What a righteous dude that Job is. He’s so afraid of me, and he hates evil too. That’s a great combination. I really love that about Job.” Satan said “Well sure, I can see that. But he has good reason to fear you. He knows how bad it would be if you didn’t totally favor him and pump up his crops and protect him from any bad luck coming his way. But if you place the awful horrible withering touch of your treacherous hand on his life he will turn and curse you like a rabid dog.” The Lord said “Oh really? You think so? Care to bet on that Satan? I seriously doubt that is the case so I’ll tell you what, you go ahead and take his stuff, take it all away. But not him, don’t touch him personally this time around, just his stuff. We’ll see who is better at predicting human nature, you or me.”
1:14 Satan accepted the bet and performed the evil deeds that his father had commanded him to do. Suddenly all of Job’s stuff, like his livestock and slaves, were all stolen or killed. Then a heavy wind came up and blew down a house killing all of Job’s innocent daughters whom everyone agreed were the hottest babes in the land.
Job tore off his clothes and shaved his head and said to the Lord “I came into this world buck naked and I’ll go out buck naked. The Lord he gives you stuff, and then the Lord he takes your stuff away.”
So far both the Lord and Satan thought Job was handling the bad news pretty well.
2:1 The sons of the Lord all got together again to discuss the game’s progress. Satan reported that he had been down to visit the Earth and check on Job. The Lord said to Satan “That Job, what a guy. He’s afraid of me and maintains his attitude in spite of the fact that you talked me into killing all his beautiful daughters and sending thieves to steal his wealth for no reason other than creating some trite demonstration of the philosophy of Persian Dualism, and a thumbnail sketch of its Judaic version.”
Satan decided it was time to raise the stakes in this cosmic poker game over Job’s soul. “Oh sure Job is holding up now. All you did was kill off his daughters and take all his money. But a man will give anything he has to save his own life. Reach out and touch his body with your biologically weaponized finger and he will cuss you right to your face.” The Lord said “Oh yeah? Ok fine. Go ahead and do whatever. Touch him with my finger. But don’t actually kill him. Just make him physically suffer intensely and unnecessarily.”
Acting on the Lord’s instructions, Satan went back down to Earth and gave Job painful sores and boils on his skin from head to toe.
2:9 Job’s wife said “Oh honey, why be so stubborn? Haven’t you suffered enough? Just get it over with. Cuss God out to his face and die.” This practical recommendation made Job furious. “That’s just silly woman talk!” screamed Job. “Now shut up and make me a sammich!”
Three of Job’s best friends came to visit him. They were from each of the three most influential neighboring cultures and they conveniently provided those three perspectives on moral dualism, i.e. a primitive and simplistic cosmic struggle between the forces of good and evil. But first they tore their own clothes as a show of respect and then sat there in silence for a whole week.
3:1 Job said “Goddamn me. I wish I had never been born at all. I wish that terrible day of my birth never even existed. Life sucks. It sucks hard. Why didn’t I just die inside my poor mother’s womb? Where is the relief for those in search of sweet sweet death. My bowels don’t even work. My worst fears have come true. I was not safe when trouble came and now I can’t even poop.”
4:1 One of Job’s visiting friends finally stood up and contributed a foreigner’s foil to the philosophical debate saying “Excuse me Job old buddy, but does God truly ever punish the innocent? I mean, isn’t it always the wicked that he makes suffer? It seems like they are the ones who are always getting killed by a snotty blast from God’s nostrils, or shredded by random lions or something. Now I’ll tell you a little secret. One night I was sleeping deeply and I had a dream that a ghost came to visit me. I was so scared my bones rattled and shook inside my skin. My hair stood straight up on end.
The ghost was slightly out of focus and I couldn’t make out very much detail but I heard the voice clearly. The spooky spirit said “Is a man a God? No! Of course not! Man is more like dirt. Man is less than dirt. When it comes right down to it man is just a pig-headed scum-sucking bottom-dweller. Nobody compares to God. Even the angels don’t compare to God. And just try calling for a damn angel when you need one. They’re never around when you need them. The point is, God is cool and man is a fool. That’s the rule.” He sat back down and muttered to himself “Stupid angels.”
6:4 Job sighed as he took in his friend’s perspective and said “I feel like God has personally shot my body full of poisoned arrows. God has thoroughly terrorized me and he is so good at it. If only God would grant me just one request. If I could ask for anything it would be only this one thing. If God is not going to help me, then he should please just leave me alone. Just cut me loose and leave me alone. How strong does God think I am? I’m not made of stone and metal. And the weird thing is I have been such a loyal worshiper all my life. Everyone says what an upright guy I am, you guys all know that. God, if you are even listening, you know I’m telling the truth. Please let up on me. Back off. What I mean is, don’t all men die someday anyway? Meanwhile I can’t sleep, I have nightmares, my flesh is full of worms, my skin is grotesque. I’m hideous don’t look at me. God how long must you stay and torture me? Please go away. What must I do to satisfy you? Just forgive whatever the hell it is I’ve done to piss you off and let me die.”
The Lord and Satan planned their next moves. Meanwhile down on Earth these were bitter days for poor defenseless Job.
Next: The Good, The Bad, and the Fugly
The Bible According to Brad
October 21, 2012
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