What was the Book of Job?
To understand the Book of Job, you have to know that it was written against the historical backdrop of the Exile: the Babylonians had conquered and enslaved the people of Judah, and carried them off into exile. They were forcibly separated from their beloved home.
Keep that in mind when you read the Book of Job. There is a parallel here, since this Book dealt with the misfortunes and catastrophe falling on Job, a blameless man. He is the nation of Judah personified.
Why do innocent people suffer?
Job has a unique place in biblical literature – and in world literature as well – because it asks a fundamental question about God: why, in a world controlled by God, do innocent people suffer? Surely this does not make sense? Yet it happens all the time, as we can plainly see.
It is one of the great mysteries: why does an all-powerful God, generally believed to act with justice and righteousness, seem to behave with such wanton cruelty.
After all, Job is blameless and the terrible things that happen to him are undeserved.
The mystery of human suffering, the Book of Job proclaims, lies deeper than a simple question of punishment for sin.
God is not unjust, yet a man who suffers in not necessarily a sinner. This mystery remains unresolved by the Book of Job.