The third type of reader is the one that needs it the most. They are the victims of calamity. And, especially those victims who have been told “you must have done something to deserve this”, or something like that.
One purpose for which Job was written was to teach the three friends not to speak like this. But, what of people who hear it anyhow? After all, not everybody has learned this lesson.
A corollary to that is that the recipient of such a message should first ask God why. But, if God doesn’t answer (which is typically the case), then the book has the answer: the calamity is punishment message is wrong. If God were really punishing someone, He would say so!
Disasters, calamities, hardships, and other such circumstances are primarily a result of the sin of ALL people, not just the victims.
But, couldn’t God stop it? Of course He could. And, in fact, He will. But it will happen in His timing, not ours. For, to stop calamities requires stopping sin. Not “my sin” or “your sin”, but the collective sin of all Mankind.
However, the only way to stop sin is to end the universe, and call time for judgment day. Is that what we really want? Well, yes and no. We Christians long for judgment day. We look forward to His coming with aching hearts.
But, what of the others? When that day comes, calamity will cease. But, it will cease rather abruptly: the entire universe will be destroyed and remade. And, those who do not know Christ will suffer eternally from that point forward.
Yes, we look forward to it. But, to rush it? No, that’s not a good idea.
So, we suffer hardships, grief, calamity. And, we know for sure that if God hasn’t spoken to us, then calamity is NOT punishment. Do not listen to those who believe calamity is punishment, for they need to learn the lesson that Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar had to learn. Ouch!