We begin this article starting after the test has been administered and now begins the debrief facilitated by God. We find Job acknowledging his weaknesses and at last he is motivated to change.
Disclaimer: If I were in Job’s shoes I probably would have done far worse. This series is not to slander and libal Job but rather to learn from his mistakes.
Then Job answered the
Job admits that what he said in chapters 1-41 was in error. Eureka! We have the tested admitting that they have room for improvement. This is always a major victory! Look again at what Job said. He did not just say I have made a few mistakes but am as good as any and better than most (i.e., norm referencing or rationalization). He admitted fundamentally of being flawed and incapable of being any better in and by himself. Oh, what joy! When we acknowledge our weaknesses it is then that we most clearly see God (1) (Job 42:5. Matthew 5:8)
Although what Job said was in error this is not implying error in the Bible. The Holy Spirit recorded "without error" all the "errors" that were made by Job and his “friends.”
After Job repented, then the Lord turned to Job’s three friends. These are the ones that planned to comfort Job (Job 2:11) ; however, they condemned him (Job 32:3) instead of "mercying" him. Job had repented of blaming God for being the source of his problems. Notice how completely God forgives and chooses to forget! (Micah 7:19. Psalm 103:12. Isaiah 1:18. 1 John 1:9. Romans 8:1)
Father God has the same heart towards us. He loves us, He trusts us and He sees in us what He has created. Yes, we may fail. Yes, we may mess things up, but that doesn’t change His love towards us or His knowledge of our true potential and destiny. When we are loved like that, how can we fail to be drawn to Him and to want to honor him and obey Him?) (2)
Next, God goes to the first friend and states that Job has spoken right about Him even though Job spent most of this book talking wrong against God - as we will see in this study. In reality, Job spent only a few verses speaking right about God and he receives full credit!
Notice it was only after Job forgives(1) his friends (demonstrated by praying for the friends that condemned him) that the Lord restored Job’s losses. Job could have chosen to let them pay for their rough treatment in his hour of need. In addition, there was one young man that visited Job (Elihu) and God did not address him as speaking wrongly. We will have to look into what Elihu said during this study as well.
Application: Search your heart: Are you forgiving others even as God in Christ forgave(1) you? (Ephesians 4:32).
So they came to him, all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they dined with him in his house. They comforted him and consoled him for all the trouble the
I love happy endings! Job was given double everything that was taken away (Job 42:10)! Technically, he received one-for-one for the children but remember the children that died were waiting for him on the other side! (Job 1:1-3) The right of the first born is double inheritance (Deuteronomy 21:17) and in Christ all Christians have the right of the first born! (Romans 8:17) I believe God desires to restore doubly everything that He “judges right” to be taken from us during testing and will.... if we pass the test (Isaiah 61:7). Remember, God’s purpose for the test(1) was exactly what happened at the end of the story (James 5:11)... Job was corrected and restored better than before the suffering! (Jeremiah 29:11. Isaiah 44:2,3). Later, after Job successfully completes the trails, he is categorized by God as one of three powerful prayer warriors (Ezekiel 14:14,20. James 5:16).
In future articles we will look at the conversation of Job and friends to find out what they said wrongly about God.
(1) Left click on underlined phrase to open another article in a different tab with more explanation.
(2) Seeds of the Kingdom Daily Devotional, January 24, 2014: What Is God`s Perspective On Us? by Anne Lawrence.