Solidly researched and documented, Norman MacRitchie’s book explores the story of the Man Who Lost Everything in an arrangement between Satan and God to prove his devotion. Written in a casual style with broad vocabulary, God’s Perfect Man separates the speeches of Job and his friends into three cycles, drawing on portions of scripture while concisely summarizing scenes, characters, and themes (“Can a man be righteous for the sake of righteousness and not for the sake of reward? God says yes, Satan says no!”).
MacRitchie writes clearly and directly and invites readers to ask the sort of questions Job might ask (“Whatever might be the reason for his punishment… does he not have a right to know the cause?”). And the author is not afraid to state what may have been on Job’s mind when his so-called friends address his situation. (“It distresses Job that his friends challenge and chastise him so vehemently…But Job is convinced that …there can be no wrong, no disrespect, and no sin in voicing his complaints—especially since his conscience is clear that he has done no wrong”).
The only question that appears glaringly absent is: “What about Job’s wife?” The woman who asked her husband to curse God and die is not mentioned in the text, leading to some curiosity as to why MacRitchie omitted the information. A brief parallel story from Buddhist literature concludes the book, seeming out of place.
The volume—clean, well-written, and grammatically on target—sheds new light on an age-old story. In sifting through the ancient verse to get to the meaning of the classic tale, readers who have previously shied away from studying the book of Job will find MacRitchie’s text extremely beneficial.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.