Job, Faith and God

Re-reading Job and rummaging around among some of the old notions in the corners of my brain, old notions waiting for a call to action whether or not they are still fit for duty, I stumbled upon one that I had almost thought about. In the story as I read it the question does peek up if we are willing to see it stirring beneath the covers of common understanding: Who has Faith in Who?
We know that Job has faith in God, through the terrors of losing what he owns, and those he loves. Only as his friends continue to badger him is he forced in self-defence to insist on his innocence and thus back into the inexplainable: If God is both Just and Responsible for all that happens, and Job is just and has always had faith and done right, than how can this tragedy be happening. Something doesn’t fit. Either God is not Just or He is not Responsible, and with that tearing of the fabric of his understanding, Job cannot stop his Faith from spilling out.
And at that moment, what happens to God? And what happens to God’s faith in Job, the faith that permitted him to bet on it, challenging Satan, eventually to do just short of his worse. God had Faith, that Job would keep the Faith, no matter what.
God appears to have no choice. He too has been backed into a corner by His Faith, but He cannot allow that to be seen or understood. So He comes at Job, He reveals HImself as the Master of All things, large and small, of Creatures that can torment poor mortals, of Storms, and Sunbursts, of Life and Death. In essence, and in the language of the street, God bullies Job into submission; and then rewards him with new riches and new children. Everything, including the children apparently, is better than before, and God, refusing to admit He lost the bet, takes back the mantle of Authority as an Interventionist God, who not only made the world, but punishes and rewards his servants, as He sees fit without regard for the goodness of their character or their loyalty to HIm. Not a very satisfying story from that point of view.
But perhaps there is more that we can find in the story. Perhaps this is a story of Who is made in Whose image, and who has responsibility for who.
The confusion may occur because although we claim to be made in God’s image, in practice we behave as if God is made in our image, only bigger, and stronger, and smarter. God is Who we would be if we could be God. Listening to Job and his friends argue it seems that is really the basis for what they say, no matter how skillfully they mask it.
Suppose for a moment, stepping back from our need, as Da Vinci said, to make ourselves the measure of all things, we imagine this short message from God, to Job:  ” I am a creative force that continues to work its way in the Universe. I cannot do that, and be limited by the right and wrong that I require of you. You are made in My Image. That means that you too are a creative force and as such, you too are let loose to work your way into your world. But in order for you to do what I need you to do, you need to learn to manage your creativity so that you can be a good steward of all that I have and will continue to create. Have faith that We share the same creative process, but our tasks are different. I am Self-governed by rules that cannot be broken to intervene directly in your life. You must learn to govern yourself, as best you can being guided by the wisdom of those who seem to hear Me most clearly. Tune in as best as you can, and let love and reason be a part of you judgement.”
If we imagine the beginning and end of the story as necessary to “wrap” it in an acceptable package, then it seems to me the center can be understood much as I have described.

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