The book of Job is essentially one that tests faith. Job was a righteous man of God and lived a prosperous life. Sadly, a series of unfortunate events caused him to lose everything; his source of income, his family, and his health began to suffer. Even though this test was prompted by Satan, God allowed it because he wanted to see if the many blessings he bestowed upon Job were the reason for his loyalty. However, the conservation that transpired between Job and his friends left God very angry.
The views on God seem to be neutral as Narrator slightly mentions that “…God only knows if there’s any sense in my looking for a job any longer! All these refusals, these partial promises, simple noes, hopes built up and knocked down, new tries that ended each time in nothing” (Hamsun 5). Narrator believes that God is omnipresent and confess that only God understand what he is going through. But narrator’s view on God turns into anger as more misfortunes befall upon him and he states that “I came on the weightiest objections against the Lord’s arbitrariness in letting me suffer for everyone else’s sins” (Hamsun 20). The narrator suddenly changes his attitude toward God and goes into delusion like thought that God has chosen him to suffer and he thinks the God is the root of problem and that he is the problem for all his unfortunate ends regarding his living conditions and job status.
Elie is an ever-changing character: his struggle for his faith and conflicting himself about it, his struggle between his faith and the other inmates, and his struggle between God and his relation to Job; even though the underlying conflicts are between Elie and God solely. Elie had once believed that God was the almighty and contained all of the higher power. But, as the concentration camps changed multiple people mentally and physically, the camps had changed Elie too. No matter how strong Elie had once believed in God, that strong belief had dimmed down to a dull minimum, a slim-to-nothing belief left behind. They say change is for the better, but that always isn’t the case.
When a person begins to wonder why God is taking so long to hear their prayer, they begin to think they are not a fault. For example, Job became angry at God because of everything bad that was happening to him and he blamed God. God visited Job, as he listened to God, he realizes that God had given him everything. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21) Job repented of his questioning of God’s goodness, “Job was healed and restored” (Hiles & Smith,
In his famous book, Confessions, Augustine confesses that in his younger years he “lived in misery, like every man whose soul is tethered by the love of things that cannot last and then is agonized to lose them.” (Confessions IV.6.1). In this way, he suggests that suffering occurs when people love other things more than they should, and don’t give enough love to the only immortal being that will never disappear, God. In the same case with Job, he believes that his main priority is God and that he should not worry about the destruction of his material belongings because they have little significance compared to the significance of God. Job’s understanding of suffering alters drastically once God allows Satan to physically harm Job. Job still does not denounce God, but he does demand an explanation for his suffering.
Due to his incompetence of not getting seeing Jesus he later mentions that he would just get up but doing this caused him to regret doing that. This is where he said, "I had deceived everybody in the church" (p. 184). This is Hughes way of showing that pressure is something of great importance because he did something that he knew was wrong and he was doing it to please other people rather than staying true to
Towards the end the accounts however, the characters go in search for God’s blessing, unlike their early counterparts they demand or challenge God and their enthusiasm is rewarded. The different episodes show the gradual change between God and humanity. Throughout the accounts in the Bible God has loses favor with man, and this loss of favor is due chiefly to man’s failure to obey God’s laws. God’s selection of His chosen people reflects clearly God’s love for the early patriarchs. God did love the later characters, but towards the end of the accounts God loses a tremendous amount of faith in humanity.
Johnny states that he is “still a Joseph” and “was a Joseph then” (439). This reveals the guilt and hopelessness that is keeping Johnny from living a normal life. Although he has regained his faith, his life is being controlled by his depression despite witnessing a miracle. He fails to realize that Joseph is a watcher which is what he resembles. As a protector who oversees everything, wisdom is gained which Johnny gains in the end.
As a Christian Lewis believes God is good, so His allowance of pain and suffering seems to contradict that goodness, and often causes even Christians to question and doubt God. Lewis quickly replies saying that suffering is the fault of man as God has given man free-will, and through his choices man has brought about all this pain. Freud brings the argument to a more personal level: “Is that your excuse for pain and suffering? Did I bring about my own cancer? Or is killing me God’s revenge?”(33).
Finally, a friend in the barracks tells Elie, “it’s over. God is no longer with us” (76). Elie’s faith is hard to conclude- although he may have begun to regret his decision he still is betraying God and no longer trusts Him... but rather doubts Him. Formerly, the idea of giving up faith would have seemed surreal when Elie was a strong believer in God. Nevertheless, after enduring all of the trepidation, dismay and shock through his voyage in the death camps, Elie truly does become angry with God and doubt His existence when the terrors of this nightmare come to a halt and he is freed at last.