Job 1:21 – “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
Not everyone thinks this famous confession, uttered by Job after all his sons and daughters had perished, is good theology.
Ben Witherington, whose daughter tragically died in 2012, wrote this:-
This reflects Ben’s Arminianism, but it does not accurately reflect what the book of Job is actually saying. Andy Naselli paraphrases the teaching of the book on this point:-
- Meanwhile, unknown to Job, Satan joins the sons of God (apparently God’s angels) when they present themselves before God, and God initiates a discussion with Satan about Job (Job 1:6–8).Satan accuses Job of serving God merely because God has blessed Job, and God gives Satan permission to test Job but not touch him (Job 1:9–12).
- Again Satan joins God’s angels when they present themselves before God, and again God initiates a discussion with Satan about Job (2:1–3). Satan accuses Job of serving God merely because God blessed him with health, and God gives Satan permission to touch Job but not murder him (Job 2:4–6).
- God allows Satan to afflict Job, but he does not merely allow it. The epilogue describes Job’s Satan-inflicted calamities as “all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him” (Job 42:11). This is consistent with the prologue where God twice initiates discussions with Satan about Job (Job 1:8; 2:3). The end of God’s statement in Job 2:3 implies that God himself is the ultimate cause of the calamity since he, not Satan, is the one who destroys Job: “you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.”