Of course, Christians will remember the best worst luck story of them all. Job’s bad luck was caused by God giving Satan permission to do almost anything to test his faith. The one thing he was not allowed to do was take Job’s life – but he took pretty much everything else. At the end of it all, God rewarded Job for his faith by not only personally answering some of his questions, but by giving him back the things he had taken – twice over. I don’t think Job ever really got past loosing his first family, no father would. It’s unfortunate that we don’t know any more of his story, but we know enough.
I might say “fortunately” “unfortunately” “luckily” or “unluckily”, but only in the context meaning “it was a good thing that” or “it was a bad thing that”. I don’t really believe in either good or bad luck. To do so would validate forces other than God and negate His promises. Remember, “All things work together for good for those who love God and have been called according to His purpose.”
Job might not have asked, “How can it be a good thing for me that all of my sons and daughters have been killed?” I would likely ask the same thing in his shoes knowing that no answer would relieve my pain.
What is karma’s answer for Job’s situation? First we know that he was wealthy. He had likely received a portion of that from the family inheritance – built up over centuries. Some of that was from his own hard work. We also know that his herds increased so much so that he a lot of staff to watch over them all. He was a righteous man, making sacrifices on behalf of his children in case they had partied and sinned. It was likely he was taking the rest of scripture just as seriously, giving to the poor, feeding the hungry, etc. For which of these things did that impartial force called karma punish him? Did it give out equal punishment for his bad deeds? Was it overkill?
In the midst of Job’s misery, he has lost pretty much everything but his life. His sons and daughters – dead. His servants and shepherds – dead. His house – destroyed. His health – diminishing. One of the few things to survive – his wife – suggested that he curse God and die. He wouldn’t. He didn’t. He did have a lot of questions, and he put up with his three friends trying to explain away his troubles. One of the least helpful points: “If you hadn’t done something wrong, you wouldn’t have been punished. So you must have done something wrong.”
Then karma swept in and said, “I’ve been awfully bored, this has all been a joke. If you look behind curtain number two, everything that was taken from you is waiting to be restored to you.” Actually, that’s not what happened. God had a conversation with Job. He told him what He felt he needed to know. He reward him for being faithful when he had every earthly reason not to be.