Nothing new in the human condition

The Book of Job is apparently the oldest book in the Bible - thousands of years old.

It tells of a good man, very successful and wealthy, very devout. But his children were spoiled brats, and rather than deal with it, he prayed to God to protect them despite their selfish, "carnal" ways.

To try to explain what happens next, the writer of the story comes up with a cockamamie story about God and the devil making a wager as to whether Job can be morally broken or not. We discard this as we are certain the writer had no evidence that there was a God or a devil like that.

The rest of the Book of Job is quite plausible, Job loses his children, his wealth, his health, and naturally is in a bad way - trying to figure out what he did wrong to deserve such misery. He was, after all, a very good man. Although he cursed the day he was born, and recognized the farce that is mortal existence (which previously he valued immensely,) he refused to curse God. His friends were no help as they lacked spiritual depth, and could only come across with blab. After a lengthy, fruitless interchange, the youngest guy, Elihu, finally butt in and broke the logjam. Unlike the others, he was not stuck in the human, limited sense of things, but had an understanding of God as something more than a big man in the sky!

This brought about the turnaround in Job. He acknowledged that his self-awareness as a good man was false - "repented in dust and ashes," and that only God is good, and that he was nothing without his Principle, God. After this, when Job refused to hold any resentment against his self-righteous friends - he gave up all sense of a self apart from God, he was rewarded with greater blessings than before. To me, this last part is questionable, as someone who comes to such a wonderful awareness of true being, hardly needs to be loaded with "material" blessings - bigger family, more wealth... I suspect that the author of the Book of Job used some license to give more impact for the more materially-minded.

Thousands of years later, this story is as relevant as ever. But I must say, Mary Baker Eddy's revelation explains it far better than I ever knew before. "The ghastly farce of human existence" is what each of us must come to realize, sooner of later - this self apart from God, this intelligence apart from Intelligence, this life apart from Life!