Job suffered several catastrophes in one day. His ten children were killed and his fortune lost. Later, he himself was afflicted with severe boils. Job prayed to die. Job's three friends and later, a young man named Elihu, tried to make sense out of Job's sudden destruction. Finally, the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. God's presence overshadowed even Job's terrible sufferings, and Job was rendered speechless. This book does not explain the meaning of suffering; rather, it points to the overshadowing power of God's presence.

Key word    SUFFERING
Key verse    "Then Job answered the Lord and said: 'Behold, I am of little account; what can I answer You? I put my hand over my mouth. Though I have spoken once, I will not do so again; though twice, I will do so no more.' " —40:3-5
Command verse    "Therefore I disown what I have said, and repent in dust and ashes." —42:6
Promise verse    "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!" —1:21
Difficult verse    "But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives, and that He will at last stand forth upon the dust; Whom I myself shall see; my own eyes, not another's shall behold Him, and from my flesh I shall see God; my inmost being is consumed with longing." —19:25-27
Surprise verse    "Then his wife said to him, 'Are you still holding to your innocence? Curse God and die.' " —2:9
Prayer: Father, may "I consider the sufferings of the present to be as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed" (Rm 8:18).