Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

job and the myth of certainty



The story of Job is an example of having to relinquish the idea of knowing absolutely what is true and rightfully exercising control over our lives. Initially Job thought he had a handle on life. He was prosperous. He was respected. He had a wonderful circle of family and friends. He was certain of his own uprightness and opinion. By almost every measure he was at the top of his game and superior to all others.


So what happened, and how did that change Job? With all the losses he experienced, Job was forced to give up on the idea of knowing it all and being in control. Suddenly he questioned everything he had assumed previously. His discomfort with no longer being certain of anything is completely evident throughout the story. His supposed friends and would be advisers try to maintain their own appearance of personal certainty; but, at every turn, Job and his circumstances put their opinions of truth to rest.


Then, how does the book of Job end? Does God provide the answers so Job can return to his former state of self assurance. Does God promote Job's opinion of reality above that of his peers? Some may think so because God condemns his advisers for being incorrect, while saying that Job was right. But right in what? Were all of Job's words in relation to his situation, perfectly true or only those he spoke at the end? No, I think Job was left the same place as his friends, uncertain of the absolute rightness of his own view of reality. God was in control, but how all that worked remained a mystery to everyone. Job may have received a double blessing in the end, but it is reasonable to assume that he learned a powerful lesson in humility and empathy along the way