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Scripture reading – Job 42

Job had remained silent since he confessed, “I am vile” (40:4). Being reminded of the majesty of God, he “answered the Lord, and said, 2I know that thou canst do every thing, And that no thought can be withholden from thee” (42:1-2). He had complained, but now he resigned himself to God’s sovereignty. He acknowledged he had spoken in ignorance (42:3), and accepted the LORD was not obligated to answer his questions.

In a wonderful expression of humility, Job confessed, 5I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: But now mine eye seeth thee(42:5). Though dreadful to have experienced the afflictions, the trials, troubles, and sorrows moved Job from a theoretical knowledge of God (“hearing of the ear”), to a personal and practical familiarity (“now mine eye seeth thee”) of his God and Creator. Job confessed, 6Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes (42:6).

God Rewards Faithfulness (Job 42:7-10)

Having accepted Job’s penitence, the LORD turned His focus to his foolish “friends” (42:7-9). “Eliphaz the Temanite” had been the first to challenge Job, and “the Lord said to [him], My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath” (42:7).

Then, God commanded Eliphaz and his peers saying, “take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering” (42:8a). The man whom they scorned, now served God as their priest, and the LORD assured Job’s friends, “My servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job” (42:8).

What an astonishing turn of events! Job had been the object of his friends’ scorn and judgments. Their unkindness, and false arguments had so provoked the LORD, He commanded them to humble themselves, and appeal to Job to intercede for them.

Evidencing the grace of a humble, godly man, Job “prayed for his friends,” and the LORD rewarded him with “twice as much as he had before” (42:10). 

Closing Thoughts (42:11-17) – We have studied 42 chapters in the life of Job. With the exception of his wife (who suggested he curse God and die), and four “friends” who proposed to be counselors but became critics, Job’s acquaintances have been strangely absent. With the hard times past, and Job enjoying God’s blessings and financial prosperity, we read:

Then came there unto him [Job] all his brethren [kindred], and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance [i.e. friends and neighbors] before [before Job’s trials]” (42:11). I ask, where were those “brethren” and “sisters” when he lost everything?  Where were his acquaintances when he suffered the loss of his sons and daughters, servants, home, possessions, and health?  Why did they wait until Job had been vindicated to empathize with him? Why bring Job “a piece of money” and gold earrings, when he had need of nothing? (42:12-15)

As we conclude our study of the life of Job, we can learn many lessons from this man who lived centuries before us. Though he had suffered much, God prospered Job, and he “died, being old and full [satisfied] of days” (Job 42:10, 17). When he humbled himself before God, he was restored to His favor, and died very old, and content with his life (42:17).

Is that not what we all want? To not only live a long life, but be content, and satisfied when we draw our last breath!

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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