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 libel Job but rather to learn from his mistakes.
Then Job answered the Lord: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted; you asked, ‘Who is this who darkens counsel without knowledge?’ But I have declared without understanding things too wonderful for me to know. You said, ‘Pay attention, and I will speak; I will question you, and you will answer me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye has seen you. Therefore I despise myself, and I repent in dust and ashes! (Job 42:1-6)
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 the Lord had spoken these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My anger is stirred up against you and your two friends, because you have not spoken about me what is right, as my servant Job has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job will intercede for you, and I will respect him, so that I do not deal with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken about me what is right, as my servant Job has.” So they went, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, and did just as the Lord had told them; and the Lord had respect for Job. (Job 42:7-9)
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” (1) 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!
So the Lord restored what Job had lost after he prayed for his friends, and the Lord doubled all that had belonged to Job. (Job 42:10)
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 Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. So the Lord blessed the second part of Job’s life more than the first. He had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female 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 could women be found who were as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance alongside their brothers. After this Job lived 140 years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so Job died, old and full of days. (Job 11-17)
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 firstborn is double inheritance (Deuteronomy 21:17) and in Christ, all Christians have the right of the firstborn! (Romans 8:17. 1 Peter 1:3,4) I believe God desires to restore double 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.
The Book of Job Series:
- Job, Suffering is Part of the Job
- Job, God Planned a Happy Ending from the Beginning!
- Job, God is not Your Problem… Satan is!
- Job, God is Your Solution!
- Job, With Friends Like These Who Needs Enemies?
- Job, Do not Despise the Wisdom of the Youth!
- Job, Brokenness is the only Way to Godliness
(1) Left-click on the 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? (1) by Anne Lawrence.