The book of Job is often correctly understood as a poetic treatise on Theodicy, within which various theodicies are offered up as explanations as to why Job suffers as greatly as he does. The internal theodocies almost seem to be set against one another, and this has led many to believe that the book does not give a clear answer to the problem of suffering.
However, this simply isn’t true.
As we examine Job, we see that the book argues upon the basis of assumed fixed perspectival epistemological limitations.
Briefly, these are:
1. Human Knowledge: Human knowledge is limited in three domains: (1.)Theology (cf. 42:1-6), (2.)Science (cf. 38-41), (3.)Others (i.e. their minds and hearts/intentions, etc. cf. 1:1-5, spec. v.5).
2. Angelic Knowledge: Although Satan’s lack of intimate knowledge regarding Job’s intentions in worshiping God are clearly seen in 1:6-12, he – acting as God’s agent in judgment and Job’s spiritual growth (which I’ve argued elsewhere) – is aware of how such trouble came upon Job, and (to some limited extent) why it does. The “sons of God”, moreover, are also presented as having a superior epistemological perspective to that of Job/humanity in 38:1-7 (spec. v. 7), having been present with the Lord at the moment when the foundations of the earth were laid.
3. Divine Knowledge: Chapters 38-41 clearly present God as omniscient in Theology (implicitly) and Science, they do not explicitly show His omniscience regarding others (i.e. the minds and hearts of others), but do implicitly do so by dint of relaying to us God’s Nature as Sovereign Creator of All Things – including the minds and hearts of men. Job’s incapacity to know the heart of his children, as well as his wife and friends’ inability to empathize with him can be set in contrast to the Lord’s sovereign usage of Satan’s ill will (cf. 2:3b) and complete knowledge of the minds and hearts of others (as evidenced in His judgment upon Job’s children, and His words of rebuke for Job’s friends [cf. 42:7-9]).
These three perspectives are not superfluous details, but the very foundation upon which the theodicy of the book is built.