Who’s to Blame? – Wrong Question

A segment of the Christian culture seems to be preoccupied with finding fault. Observing this tendency in the context of the book of Job, it appears that a key lesson has been missed. In this book, God established the principle of His Kingdom that calamities such as accidents or natural disasters do not implicate the unwitting victims as the cause. Also established is that trying to convince the victim that their sin is to blame is a misrepresentation of the Kingdom and a mischaracterization of God.

Interestingly, it was Job’s “friends” who worked to convince him that he had done something wrong. At a time when he needed strengthening from his friends, they actually increased his suffering with a wrongful challenge to his understanding of God.  While trying to uncover sin in Job, they sinned against God and gave us a case study of where not to go in our thinking about innocent victims’ suffering from destruction or evil. God did us all a favor by completely condemning their words with the requirement of a sizable sacrifice to atone for this sin.

There is no pass for Christians when it comes to the potential to suffer from events out of our control. In the Garden of Eden through Adam, creation chose evil. God continues to allow this freedom, which is why He is glorified by those who choose Him. Suffering we bring on ourselves from the consequences of our decisions is different. In that case we are called to respond to God’s conviction about the condition of hearts that caused our predicament. In both cases, God offers redemption. Our role in the suffering of others is to love them and encourage them to access healing and strengthening in the truth and love of God.