Job and Psalms: A Small Thing

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Budgie
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Job and Psalms: A Small Thing

Post by Budgie »

While I was reading through the Bible, I had gone through both Job and Psalms in order. I had previously felt that there were strange parallels and potential thematic contradictions between the two, but was able to satisfy my questions with a more thorough reading, though as a relative beginner to in depth reading of the Scripture, I may be incorrect, so take this with a grain of salt. I'm also not a good writer, so I apologize if things get too obtuse or wordy. Also, I do feel like this topic might be obvious to others, so apologies for potentially treading obvious territory as well.

My first issue was with how Job's prayers and some psalms were generally very similar in tone and message, yet Job was chastised and the psalms are seen as good. Both can deal with despair and suffering, as well as calling for God to save them from their pain, though Job takes a more fatalistic tone than most psalms. But I failed to notice that, even with similar messages and meanings, there were sections that clearly set apart the two and explained Job's wrongdoing.

Job originally wrote with God's power and strength in mind, acknowledging his weakness and lack of knowledge before Him. This is more in line with Psalms. But as he continues to lament and argue with his friends, he slowly begins to assert his own innocence, even asking for God to let him testify before His court. Job doesn't understand the reason for his pain, despite the readers getting background on the matter, but still places his own thoughts above God's, proclaiming even to the Lord that he had done no wrong, and that God had made a mistake, even if he didn't mean to say that initially. This hubris, unintended or not, is the reason for God's chastising, with Job understanding his sin and repenting. Yes, he was a godly man, and he didn't deserve what had happened to him, which is why his friends were admonished as well, for putting words in God's mouth and judging Job because 'he had to have been sinning to receive this punishment', even though this wasn't the case. In comparison, the writers like David, even while lamenting and moaning about their pain, don't put themselves before God, but instead ask for his help, to deliver them from their difficulties.

Another small thing I resolved was the difference between Job's message and Psalms' messages. Job shows how unjust the world can seem, while David and the other psalmists write about the inevitability of judgement against evildoers and the triumph of the weak and righteous. It seemed off at first, but I realized the multiple ways in which God can distribute justice, whether it be immediately during their life, or even after they pass in the form of the final judgement. Nobody will escape their due, but the manner in which they receive it is up to God, and since his plan for humanity is for us to love him and be loved in return, we can trust in God to deliver the right punishment when the time is right.

TL;DR - Don't place yourself in front of God, Humanity's knowledge is and will always be limited on Earth, We can trust God to do what's right at the right time.

While these things seem obvious, it did take me a while to connect these ideas with the Books of Job and Psalms. I hope this makes sense and isn't a misread, but if there is anything to add on or fix, please tell me so I can better understand Scripture.

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Re: Job and Psalms: A Small Thing

Post by ccgr »

Good summary,. If you ever thing you're having a bad day, read Job..

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Re: Job and Psalms: A Small Thing

Post by Beastbot »

Great connection, I never realized the difference between the laments in Job and Psalms and how one was good and the other bad until now and the reasons why. Nice insight!
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