A Reflection on Job – Part 1

Gochugaru Girl has been watching a Korean Drama called It’s Okay, That’s Love (괜찮아, 사랑이야).

It's Okay, That's Love 04

This happy, smiling picture belies the mental suffering that the main couple are going through.

To be honest, it took a few episodes before I realised the central problem of the story – that the main character (Jae-yeol) is suffering from hallucinations brought on by a severe childhood trauma. Mr Gochugaru astutely pointed this out. The woman Jeu-yeol loves (Hae-soo) is a top psychiatrist  but she too suffers from a deep-rooted psychological fear.

Our Bible Study Group is working its way through the Old Testament book of Job. Study 1 laid the foundation with chapters 1 and 2: responding to a challenge by Satan, that humans only worship God because of God’s benevolence, God allows Satan free-reign to make Job suffer intensely.  That is to say, if the good things that God has given you are taken away, then it would be natural for you to curse God. That is Satan’s premise.

So in quick succession, Job loses everything he has: 500 oxen, 500 donkeys, 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, his large number of servants and his seven sons and three daughters. He is then afflicted with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. This was so unbearable he took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it.

What remains is his wife. Obviously Satan doesn’t think it was worth removing the old nag. She has her uses, for she encourages Job to end it: “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”…to which he replies, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

Enter Job’s friends Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar. I don’t find ancient biblical names easy at all and to make myself remember I had to think of elephant, bill dad and sofa.

In Study 2 we read through chapters 3 – 27, concentrating on what Job’s friends had to say. They were united in two things: their grief for Job’s sufferings and their contention that this was because Job had some undeclared sin in his life, hence the sufferings were a punishment from God.

As I will discuss in a future post, what your friends say to you when you are facing adversity is very important, as is your own response. Studying Old Testament texts is quite challenging but it has a lot of relevance to modern life and everyday situations. It’s just easier for me to see it through the prism of some good acting: Vive la Korean Drama.


Jae-yeol and Hae-soo: is it possible to be happy when you are suffering?