Where on earth is Uz?
Job 1: Job was a man who lived in Uz.
So begins the ancient story of Job. The land of Uz was likely in today’s northern Saudi Arabia. No other information is given us, and that doesn’t matter much because the location of the story is pretty much irrelevant. Some folks get all wrapped up in proving that Job is a historical figure but that doesn’t matter very much either. As they say, “there are bigger fish to fry” here. While I lean toward the “historical” side of the debate, I’m much more interested in learning the God-lessons that are taught here than I am in the silly “Job has to be real or the whole Bible’s not true” debate. Here’s a story about suffering; and not just suffering in general, but undeserved suffering. Job doesn’t suffer quietly and he doesn’t just go along with the conventional wisdom of his friends. He complains persistently and loudly: to God! If I spend my time debating the location of Ur or whether or not Satan has face to face consultations with God I miss the whole point of this story. If I’m willing to just let the story be told without my attaching some personal agenda to it, I find myself in some pretty challenging material, dealing with big issues of undeserved suffering and life and death.
Take Away: Every story in the Bible is, ultimately a God-story. To make a story into something else will cause us to miss the point.