I recently received the following Email from Job of Uz. He requested I share it with you.
Dear Mr. Graygoose,
It is true that I have a reputation for being patient, but 3,000 years is quite long enough. I can wait no longer to correct a legend, deficient in accuracy and incorrectly attributed to me. Your blog has convinced me that you are the one most likely to spread the word and clear my name.
The legend, at first seemed nothing more than a mere grain of sand in my sandal. It went unnoticed as I enjoyed early millennia in the celestial magnificence of Heaven. As the centuries flew by, with the speed of a falcon scattering doves, this tiny grain of sand increased not in size, but in its irritation to my tender soul. Finally I was unable to take another step on the bejeweled paths of Heaven with the discomfort of knowing that my story, as it is written in holy books, compromised the good name of our Heavenly Father. I was moved to correct a long-standing misconception.
I do not write these words out of personal interest or to enhance my own reputation. As everyone knows I suffered greatly and withstood the rebukes of my friends with humble piety in full confidence that earthly suffering is acceptable if it leads to the everlasting grace of God.
True, I was a righteous man who was struck down, but I am not bitter. Without unduly rehashing old news and reopening old wounds, I readily acknowledge total ignorance of The Lord’s mysterious ways. I accept His will and judgement without question, for what small intellect have I compared to His infinite wisdom? In spite of a profound humility, my devotion to God’s own truth compels me to tell the true story, as the flame compels the moth to its destiny.
My sojourn in Heaven provided me with time to think. I no longer have my wealth; 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 she asses to occupy my time. Singing praises to The Lord presently takes up half of each celestial day, so I find myself with ample time to review my story, The Book of Job, as written in the Hebrew and Christian holy books. Unfortunately they are sadly lacking in accuracy. In all honesty, I am bewildered. Why has The Lord not seen fit to correct the tragic misrepresentations of my story?
Perhaps, in his wisdom, He patiently awaits for me, his faithful servant to reveal the true essence of the Book of Job to mankind.
The book itself was written by an obscure author, whose name I will not denigrate. He has already suffered for his gross errors and I am unworthy to judge him. Nevertheless, I feel The Lord wishes me, at this time, to reveal the truth. I do not try to comprehend the mysterious ways of The Lord and I can never hope to fathom His wisdom. I am content to follow His wishes without question or complaint.
The following explanation, I trust, will clear up accusations concerning The Lord’s role in events leading up to my suffering, just as the rising sun dissipates night’s darkness and morning’s mist. Oral legends suffer in the retelling as evidenced in much of what is now called The Old Testament. Legends lose their quintessence over time as does wheat mixed with chaff loses palatability and nourishment. Unfortunately, such was true for my story.
And now, my story. Certainly, the Good Lord and Satan did converse concerning me. I admit, Satan’s suspicions were correct. My blameless behavior, righteous life and love of God were, in part due to my receipt of God’s generous dispensations. I do not deny that I was grateful for His blessings to my family and myself.
I routinely sacrificed animals to him in behalf of my sons and myself. I was aware that my sons too often sinned so I thought it prudent to pacify The Lord and insure their wellbeing by sacrificing an abundance of animals. Boys will be boys you know. I assumed, for good reason, that all was well and that The Lord was pleased with me until that fateful day.
At first I thought it was just bad luck that the Sabeans stole my oxen and asses, not to mention the slaying of my slaves. Shit happens. Again, I suspected nothing more than bad luck when a fire incinerated my sheep and more slaves. Yes, I must admit I had many slaves, but their keep was condoned by the Good Lord. But when the Chaladeans stole my camels and slew the rest of my slaves, I began to wonder what was going on. Were these misfortunes just bad luck or had I unknowingly displeased the Lord?
Still I uttered not a word against The Lord. Finally when a great wind collapsed the home of my eldest son and killed my ten beloved children, I began to suspect that a supernatural power was at work against me and that my misfortune was most likely something more than just bad luck. I knew in my heart that this evil could not be The Lord, for surely a loving Father would not abuse his innocent son. Nor does a loving father allow thieves to steal the possessions of His son and slay His children and slaves. Such events could not possibly be the works of a just and loving God. I have it on the highest authority that my afflictions were other than godly in origin. The Lord, himself, came to me in a whirlwind and denied any complicity or knowledge of the aforementioned events. The allegations that He had a wager with Satan are totally without merit. I knew in my heart that the Lord would not give Satan permission to test my faith. The good Lord already knew my heart and did not need to test me as misstated in the holy books of humans.
The circumstances were simply: The Lord was occupied in the maintenance of His many wondrous creations, including the care and feeding of leviathans and behemoths; tilting the water skins of Heaven; binding the chains of Pheldes and loosing the cords of Orion, as so stated in the holy scriptures. While my Lord was at His Heavenly tasks, Satan took everything I had, my wealth, my animals, my children and all my many slaves. If that were not enough, Satan afflicted me with loathsome sores from the soles of my feet to the crown of my head. When I was rebuked by my friends for having displeased The Lord, I proclaimed my innocence and blamed not The Lord for I knew He had no knowledge of my great suffering. My story, as written in the Holy Scriptures of the earth’s great religions is patently false, the result of human error of oral and written nature. Of equal import is the repetition of this false story by arrogant men who believe they know the mind of the Lord! It is beyond my comprehension that there are those who believe that The Lord had a hand in this injustice against me.
The Good Lord, having discovered my utter desolation, denied any involvement and laid the blame totally upon Satan. Shortly after these events, Satan was expelled from Heaven and directed to rule over a new creation of The Lord, the Underworld. There, Satan could no longer tarnish the good reputation of The Lord. Never again would humans confuse the benevolence of The Lord with the malevolence of Satan. In all humility I am proud that my suffering played a role in the banishment of Satan from Heaven.
As testament to The Lord’s total innocence in my misfortune, He restored my wealth two fold, and gave me seven new sons and three new daughters to replace my children who were slain by Satan. I would have preferred the return of my original children for I loved them dearly. Still I did not complain to The Lord when he provided me with these total strangers. I eventually grew to love then as my own. I still wonder why he did not replaced my wife who did not support me when I was in need.
I don’t mean to complain but I must admit I was totally overwhelmed by the huge numbers of sheep, oxen, asses and camels The Lord bestowed upon me because He neglected to provide me with the slaves to care for them. Nevertheless I did not complain, but instead went cheerfully about acquiring more slaves on my own with his blessing. I suffered through many long hard-working days for my remaining one hundred forty years, caring for my abundant new possessions.
I pray that these inscribed truths shall replace the false legend portraying The Good Lord as an accomplice or a dupe of Satan in the affliction of such terrible agony upon me, His most devoted child. The Lord God is not a capricious God, nor a cruel God. Neither did He contrive with Satan to test my devotion to Him. He has been falsely accused of atrocities that no loving father would ever afflict upon His children.
I do solemnly swear that all I have written is the truth as I experienced it and will eventually be affirmed to be true to by The Lord.
Please spread the word, the real story about the legend of Job.
Faithfully yours, Job of Uz