Did Job suffer because he sinned?2
Frederick K. C. Price, a popular author and spokesman for the Word of Faith / Prosperity gospel, insists that Job suffered because he sinned. It was Job, says Price, not God, who lowered the hedge around himself (1:10). "As long as Job walked in faith, the wall – the hedge – was up. But when he started walking in unbelief and doubt the hedge was pulled down. Job pulled it down."
But there simply is no basis in the text for concluding that Job suffered because of some specific sin that he had committed. Several things confirm this.
(1) There is nothing in the text which asserts or implies that Job was living in unbelief, doubt, or disobedience. To the contrary, Job 1:1,8 and 1:22 testify to his holiness.
(2) If Job had been living in unbelief and rebellion, Satan would have lost his reason for afflicting him. Satan wanted to prove that Job's obedience was conditioned on the blessings God bestowed. If Job was in fact living in disobedience, what reason would Satan have had for carrying through with his scheme?
(3) God's own testimony is clear. In Job 2:3 we read, “And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.’” Here God repeats the affirmation of Job 1:8 concerning Job's character. God asserts that in spite of what has happened Job still holds fast his integrity. And God says that Job was afflicted without cause, i.e., apart from any fault in Job himself that might have justified his suffering.
(4) Finally, after Satan's final assault Job refused the counsel of his wife and declared: “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” And "in all this Job did not sin with his lips" (2:10).
Is it ever the case that we suffer because we sin? Yes. But not always, as the experience of Job clearly teaches.