Chapter 42 Job's initial understanding of Yahweh was limited. He thought of Him as of Loving, Friendly and Approachable Diety When he stood before Yahweh (@ when He spoke) Job experienced the sweetest moment of his life:
Yahweh has revealed his power and wisdom to Job through his questions about his work in creation. Yahweh's questions have been designed to show the depth of Job's ignorance in comparison to God's omniscience (38:3; 42:4).
Yahweh has revealed himself in all his glory, majesty, awe and wonder.
Through Yahweh's revelation, Job cannot help but see himself as a sinner who needs to repent of his arrogance, self-assurance and boastfulness about his own knowledge and righteousness (v 6)
Yahweh commands Job's three friends to make a large sacrifice to atone for their folly in misrepresenting God (v 8). Job is to be the officiating priest who will intercede on their behalf (v 8).
Yahweh acknowledges Job's righteousness and restores his honour in the eyes of those who have accused him of so much evil:
》 "I am angry with you.. because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has"
》 ".. My servant Job will pray for you "
》 " I will accept his prayer and will not deal with your folly "
》 ".. and the Lord accepted Job's prayer (v 8-9)
Yahweh did not restore Job's fortunes until after he had prayed for the forgiveness for his friends (v 10). Job's prayer restored their relationship with Yahweh, and then He blessed Job with twice as much as he had before. The restoration begins with:
~ Job's health
~ Reunion with family members
~ Reunion with his community
~ Blessed with herds (double the size of previous one)
~ Blessed with 7 sons and 3 beautiful daughters (v 13-14)
~ Job lived 140 years - a sign of His grace (expected lifespan according to Psalm is 70 years)
》 He saw his grandchildren to the fourth generation (v 16)
One of the beautiful things that Job did was ".. he granted his inheritance to his daughters along with his sons " (v 15)
He did not discriminate against them because they were women, but treated them as equal with their brothers. May we do the same with our daughters and daughter-in-law?
✅ Samuel said to the Israelites, "As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you " ✒ 1Sam 12:23
Lord, remind me that my prayers on behalf of others are my duty as well as my privilege
GLORY TO GOD. Mark Boje, ArP
Job 's confessions
Even if God kills me, I will trust in Him 13:15.
I know that my Redeemer lives 19:25
When he has tested me,I will come forth as gold job 23:10
These are a few confessions of faith Job made.This is a great encouragement to us.
Job would keep on trusting God even to the point of death.whatever happens to you,God deserves your trust.
Job testified that Jesus, the Redeemer would come to save his people from sin and condemnation.The God who rescues you,truly exists.
Job was confident that God still cared for his life.and he
would pass the test. You can't escape rough situations but every trial is a chance to prove you are faithful to God
Boldly confess God's promises and you will find a miracle beginning to take place in your life and be blessed by God.
Cynthia Sathiaraj, Chennai.
When Elihu, Job's youngest friend found that Job was justifying himself instead of God, and his three other friends declared him guilty without giving him valid reasons, he got very angry. He thought that they being older would be wiser than him and so he waited for long before sharing his views. However, when neither party could speak up no longer, he realised that just being older in age doesn't necessarily mean one is wiser and so he decided to explain what he knew, without showing partiality to anyone, Job 32!
Elihu tells Job to listen carefully to his counsel because he is eager to justify Job, Job 33:32. He seeks to make Job understand, that it is impossible to find fault with God, as he has done, no matter how one may feel about their circumstance, because God makes no mistake, being perfect in all His ways, vs 9-12.
Further, he tells Job that it is not right to say that God does not speak or answer us, for even when God seems silent, He does speak to us in different ways, in a dream or a night vision etc, though we may not perceive it, vs 14,15, and all this is done so that the person repents and is restored back to righteousness, vs 26. Elihu flatly states that it is not right for Job to say that it does not profit a man when he makes his delight with God, Job 34: 9. Infact, he affirms that God judges righteously and without partiality, vs 17-19. He discerns that men of understanding say that Job is wicked because he adds transgression to his sin by multiplying his words against God, vs 34,37.
He says that it is very wrong of Job to say that God doesn't answer, because the only person that God doesn't answer is one who is arrogant and wicked, Job 35:12. Elihu is determined to ascribe righteousness to His Creator, Job 36:3. For though God is Mighty, he does not despise anyone, vs 5. He gives all those who err a fair chance to repent, and only if they don't, they will eventually perish, vs 8-12.He also uses suffering to reveal Himself to some, vs 15, so that they don't perish ultimately. Yes, He works marvelous wonders on the earth and His acts are that of precision and perfection, vs 26-33; Job 37.
Although God is great in power, yet He is righteous too and will never thwart justice to.oppress anyone, and so it is right for mankind to fear Him, vs 23,24! At this point, we don't find Job justifying himself before Elihu and his friends anymore! One must notice that the Lord began to answer Job only after he came to stillness, Job 38, showing that God's voice is heard best when we come to stillness in our spirits and cease from all complaint and self justification! God makes Job realise how little he knows by asking him various questions concerning the creation of the universe, with regard to the laying down of the earth's foundation, the setting up of the innumerable stars, the storm clouds, the thick darkness, the proud waves, the gates of death, the dwelling of light and darkness, the storehouse of the snow, the hail, the dewdrops, the lightning, the constellations, preparing prey for the raven or hunting prey for the lioness, Job 38! He asked Job whether he had ever seen mountain goats or the wild deer giving birth or whether he could make the wild ox his slave, or had he known the peculiarities of the ostrich or whether he gave the horse its strength or beauty and whether he ever commanded the hawk and the eagle to obey his bidding, Job 39!
God heard minutely the contentious statements that Job made about Him, and now God was demanding an answer from Job with regard to His creation, since Job behaved as if he was all knowing, Job 40:2. At this point Job realised his unworthiness and thought it best to be silent, but he didn't come to repentance yet,vs 4,5! So God spoke again, telling Job that since he thought himself to be smarter and more righteous than God, then he should be in a position to be as powerful as God too, so as to make every proud man low, and crush the wicked on the spot vs 11,12!
Then God gives Job the example of the Behemoth and the Leviathan and asks Job whether he was in a position to create and control such powerful creatures as these, Job 40,41! As God takes Job through this journey of realising his nothingness, Job moves on from being silent to repenting in dust and ashes, Job 40:4,5- Job 42:6. That is exactly the place God wanted to bring Job to, through this fiery trial! This was because earlier he heard of God, but now He saw who God really was, vs 5! He now realised his folly and acknowledged with heartfelt repentance that he had spoken earlier without accurate understanding and knowledge, vs 3,6. It was only after this that God confronted Job's 3 friends and rebuked them for not representing him correctly, vs 7.
God instructed them to go to Job and offer sacrifices on behalf of their sin, so that after Job prayed for them, God would forgive them, vs 8. It was only after Job prayed for them, God accepted Job and turned around his captivity and restored Job twice as much as he had before, vs 9,10! Job then lived on till a hundred and forty years of age, and saw four generations of his children after that, vs 16! So why did God permit Job to go through such fiery trials? It was because although Job was so righteous, more than any other man that lived at that time, including his 4 friends, yet, he had not yet seen the glory of God to the point where he would never dare to question God's ways, such that he would be confident to believe that God would never do anything unrighteous or unjust, even when things thrown at him seemed so unjust! His self righteousness had hindered him from having this revelation and he needed to understand this and repent of the same. When this was accomplished, he was now ready to be reinstated by God and blessed double in the end!
It was only with this good plan in mind that God permitted Satan to attack Job and all that he possessed! May this give us confidence to trust God in every fiery trial that doesn't seem to go away, no matter how much we plead with God to take it away, knowing full well that God is intending to change us first before he changes our circumstances so that we can experience the blessing of the Lord in all its fullness, without having any sorrow attached to it!
Suffering is a choice Job 33 - 42
In Chapter 28 Job says the fear of the Lord is wisdom and to shun evil is understanding . In chapter 1 the author describes Job as a blameless man who feared God and shunned evil. By combining the above informations we can not but say Job is wise and a man of understanding. So far so good.
But the moment Job thought he was righteous because of what he did, he was not being wise. His sufferings distorted his ability to think correctly and he started blaming God as not being just in dealing with a righteous man like him. We may sympathise with Job for his unjust pain and sorrows from his sufferings and we may learn new perspectives from his sufferings.
God may allow sufferings in the life of righteous for the following reasons.
- To fulfill God's purpose in us ( Rom.8: 28 & 29)
- To build us up spiritually (Jam.1:3 & 4)
- To prove our faithfulness (1 Pet.1:6 & 7)
- To increase our reliance on God (2 Cor.12:9)
- To bless the righteous more (Job 42: 10)
- To comfort those who suffer with the comfort received in our sufferings (2Cor 1:4)
Certain sufferings are a mystery and we can never understand them fully at this side of eternity. Suffering is inevitable to those who live by the standards of God. Though facing trouble is mandatory, suffering is not. Suffering may make us either bitter or better . When we become bitter we may show attitudes like grumbling, blaming, complaining and react against God and people. When we exhibit attitudes like faith, fortitude, hope and inner peace we become better.
How to respond in suffering
- Cry to God for help (Ps.18:6)
- Trust in God (Jn. 14:1)
- Wait in hope for the Lord ( Ps.33:20)
- Be still before the Lord ( Ps.37:7)
- Endure suffering for doing good ( 1 Pet. 2:20)
- Endure suffering as a discipline ( Heb.12:7)
- Delight in hardships and persecutions for the sake of Christ (2 Cor. 12:10)
- Rejoice in sufferings (Rom. 5:3)
- Turn from evil (Ps.37:27)
- How not to respond in suffering
- Don't complain ( Num.11:1)
- Don't grumble ( Ps.106:25)
- Don't throw your confidence ( Heb.10:35)
- Don't get angry ( Ps.37:8)
- Don't be ashamed to suffer as a Christian (1 Pet. 4:16)
- Don't disown God ( 2 Tim.2:12)
❇ Insight learnt:
✅ Suffering is natural in this fallen world and it requires right response to deal with it
✅ God is able to give us either the wisdom to deal with our sufferings or the grace to live with it (Jn. 26:33)
✅ What He does not protect us from He perfects us through
Nuggets I gathered from the Book of Job
- The book of Job presents a lofty view of God as One who is worthy of worship and trust, no matter how enigmatic our circumstances are. We have to trust God even when the path that we walk cannot be understood.
- We may ask honest questions to God when we do not understand, why?
- The Lord does not give direct answers to Job 's questions," Why?" but communicates that when things seem chaotic and senseless He Himself is still in charge.
- Since Satan cannot inflict suffering in believers' lives without God's permission we can find strength in the assurance that God' s sovereignty limits Satan's evil actions.
- Job 's example demonstrates that reverential submission is always the proper response for believers whether prosperity or tragedy.
✴Job' s blameless life,
✴ his pure inward motives and
✴his attitude toward God and his neighbors are examples to be followed by us.
Manjula Premraj, Chennai