A “punishing God” doesn’t sound like the God that Job knows but hears it so much he starts to think that maybe his friends are right, maybe everything happens for a reason.
This phrase is so prevalent in our culture, it has become the go-to thing that people say when something bad happens, when there is some sort of suffering people say: oh well everything happens for a reason, God must have a plan for this.
I want to say this very clearly: This idea that everything happens for a reason is a misrepresentation of God and it needs stop.
I hope we can each do our part to call it out as violation of the third commandment, which is to misuse or misrepresent God, because that is exactly what it does. No wonder so many people have turned away from Christianity, I would too if the impression I was given was of a God that caused bad things to happen.