Among literatures ancient and modern, the Bible’s astounding realism is sui generis.
The biblical literature manages to defy all religious restraint in order to press into YHWH’s reality. It will settle for no less.
The prophet Jeremiah is remarkable, if otherwise unexceptional in this respect.
Righteous are you, O Lord, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive? (Jeremiah 12:1 ESV)
He dares to ask, privately and then in an excruciating way, publicly: Why are things not as they ought to be? As they have been promised to be? As you, YHWH, have led us to believe that they will be?
Only the artificial wisdom of sophomores at life reads these as easy questions. In fact, they are not.
That the biblical literature invites us to observe its protagonists pressing these questions against a God who has claimed to be both good and great is something close to astonishing.
The answers—YHWH’s answers—will be no less simple than complex reality requires. Yet, in time, those answers will come.
Somewhere, tonight, a battered soul believes it may not be quite right to ask: ‘Why does life hurt like hell? Why do the wicked prosper? Why am I here tonight, aching and alone?’
From the biblical angle of view, it would be a shame not to ask.
Answers, in time, will come. YHWH, good and great, promises no less. Keep faith.