This week we read the Book of Job and enter into one of the most interesting sections of the Old Testament, the group of books referred to collectively as the wisdom literature. The books of the bible classified as wisdom literature are: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs,Wisdom (also known as Wisdom of Solomon),Sirach (also known as Ben Sira or Ecclesiasticus).
Unlike some cultures who express their philosophy in lists of principles, the wisdom literature of the bible present the wisdom in stories, narrative not written to recall history but convey what we are and what we should be. The book of Job is written as a poem in a prose framework.
The story of Job opens with a man who has everything from a material standpoint, and is virtuous. Satan puts forward an assessment of situation still heard. From his point of view it is easy to be virtuous, when you have everything, when God has answered your every prayer. What if all that were taken away? What happens to faith when we experience loss?
Satan is convinced that Job will abandon faith. Today we get the famously simple response of Job:
Naked I came forth from my mother's womb,and naked shall I go back again.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
blessed be the name of the LORD!
In two simple sentences he offers the beginning of real wisdom.