Scriptures

Job 42

Introduction

‘Then Job replied to the LORD: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:1-6

Job’s Response

As mentioned earlier, Job has often requested an opportunity to speak with God but the question still remains, why did God answer Job in this way? The answer is not easily found but it appears that clear Job was satisfied with what God told him.

Slowly but surely, Job has learnt along the way and he understands God’s whole purpose. The purpose was that man must learn to trust love and in a devoted way serve the Almighty no matter what, Romans 8:28. If God has to arrest man’s attention by some means then He will do it.

Job humbly affirms that God is omnipotent, he is now saying he can realise that God can do all things. Job’s view that the Lord was unjust was not a fair treatment. He has taken a big step closer to God because God’s omnipotence cannot exist apart from His righteousness, that is not separable.

Job goes to this penetrating question ‘who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’, Job 38:2, he has been thinking about it and stands up and admits it. He confesses he was very wrong to complain.

He thought his reasoning was clear but having listened to God, he has seen it wasn’t so clear. All knowledge of God came from the creation, Romans 1:20, and His revelation of Himself through the fathers of families, Hebrews 1:1-2.

The eye is a much better teacher than the ear. What Job sees gives him a much fuller understanding and knowledge of God. Is he literally seeing God? No. God answered out of the whirlwind and storm. Job is using the Hebrew expression to ‘see’ to mean discern or understand. In other words, his wish has been fulfilled, Job 19:24-27.

Like Job, when the book is read, we can see that there is so much that man will never understand. Job doesn’t say he hates himself, but that he loathes the things he has said in the past. He has learned a tremendous valuable lesson, that the spiritual must always take precedence over the physical, Isaiah 6:5.

Epilogue

‘After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” Job 42:7-8

God now turns to Eliphaz because he was the oldest, but the words are generally directed to all three, even in doing this there is a tremendous encouragement especially for Job.

The encouragement is like what the Lord did with Peter, even though he denied Him, he was always encouraged by Him. God doesn’t forsake or slap Job around for his rash statements but He gives him encouragement.

God hasn’t liked what the friends have said about Him. They have made God an inflexible and predictable dictator. They have presented God as one who ruthlessly pursues man in order to punish him. Although Eliphaz and the friends are condemned by God, God does extend to them His mercy, which is something they were not willing to extend to Job.

It was his friends with all their self-confessed wisdom that were the ones who were told to repent. Notice God calls Job ‘my servant’ twice. This tells us that Job’s words were acceptable. God verifies this by saying what Job said about Him was right. To think that Job even spoke more right than them and they had a lot of good to say but it was cancelled out by all their misconceptions.

Job in more ways than one again became a priest. He had to offer up their sacrifices and make intercession, James 5:15-16. God accepted Job’s prayer of intercession for the three, and Job doesn’t hesitate in his prayer for them despite their behaviour earlier on. It is a sign of his spiritual depth and explains why God chose Job. Job forgives others as he has been forgiven.

The friends had foolishly thought God had rejected Job and had accepted them. They also thought they were needed by God to correct Job. Now the truth is known. Job was the one who was right and they were the ones who were wrong. In addition, instead of Job needing them to correct him, they need Job to pray for them.

‘So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer. After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so Job died, an old man and full of years.’ Job 42:9-17

Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar did what the Lord commanded them to do but notice the words, ‘the LORD accepted Job’. We would have thought the text to read the Lord accepted ‘them’ but accepting Job would mean accepting them because Job is going to pray for them.

Since Job is a righteous man, his prayer is heard by God, James 5:16. We must note that the restoration of Job’s fortunes didn’t come for any other reason than that he prayed for his friends.

The friends consistently maintained God’s wrath does not turn away from the wicked but now the friends are learning that God’s wrath can be turned away from the wicked by the prayer of a righteous man, Genesis 18.

Notice that Job wouldn’t allow himself to be filled with bitterness, anger and hostility with the way they treated him, the way they crushed his spirit. Job is too great a man to hold grudges.

It was customary for relatives to bring money to the person who is restored. This is an unknown custom or tradition, or perhaps an act of charity to help Job restore his estate.

The Lord blesses Job, and Job works to restore his fortune. Job was the wealthiest man of his time before, Job 1:3, now he is even more so.

Jon had 10 children, Job 1:2, and Job is given 10 more children, of all the 20 children, only three are named. Jemimah, which means little dove, Keziah, which means sweet smelling, that is, the pleasure of a good life and Keren-Happuch, which means horn of pigment, that is something which is used as eyepaint to beautify.

His daughters were the most beautiful in the land. The whole idea of the naming of his children is to show that Job has gained peace, happiness and the good life again.

Job’s life could equally have been doubled too and if this is true, then Job was seventy years old when the story began, lived another one hundred forty years, and died at the ripe old age of two hundred ten years, full of years, Genesis 15:15 / Genesis 25:8 / Genesis 38:29.

Satan is defeated and Job lives a full life, he was once craving to die and now he has things he could never even dream about in his depressions.

Conclusion

It is not wrong to question your faith in God. Never does God condemn Job for asking questions. If you don’t question you will never learn. Job’s somewhat brash questioning came because of the position he was in. Until we die we should always question and always be students.

When Job was asking these questions, we need to remember we are not dealing with a man who when things go bad begins to blaspheme God or wants to give up. But we are dealing with a man who is struggling with his faith and struggling to hear more and learn more what God wants us to do with our lives, or what God wants us to do.

Nothing is too hard for God, so we should be impressed by His power. No one on the face of this earth can attain wisdom in any degree apart from God revealing it to us through His Word, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

God is in control. No matter what people think or believe, God does notice the conduct of the people whether Christians or not, so it is best if our conduct is pleasing to Him. Suffering is not just about pain it can teach, discipline and strengthen. It should not be seen as just punishment.

We should not expect our questions answered immediately. The devil is our enemy, God is not. He seeks to destroy the whole of human kind, he doesn’t want hope and salvation for us, he wants to take us to him.

No matter how bad things are we need to learn to trust uprightness wins in the end. Unlike Job’s family and friends God will not forsake us. And hold no grudges, but pray for everyone. It is said people often act in bitterness in the face of adversity.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

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