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  • Writer's pictureBeverly Nickles

Job repented, God raised him higher

“I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore, I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes… And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning….” Job 42: 5-6, 12a

Job comes to the end of his prolonged period of suffering in chapter 42. The Book of Job addresses pain and suffering in a believer’s life. Job suffered profound material and personal loss, and then agonized from sore boils all over his body from head to foot. Already in despair, his friends visited and further tormented him, each in turn offering Job different “counsel” about why God was treating him this way.

Finally, God himself broke into the conversation, and gave Job His account of His great work of Creation. As Job listened, he saw with increasing clarity the vast greatness and glory of God, and his own comparative tininess in the universe. Job confessed to the pride and rebellion against God that he now saw in his own heart and repented. Now he felt contentment just to be in fellowship with His God.

The main point of Job’s story is God’s sovereignty. He created the universe, put everything in place, and keeps it all going. He’s in control, and doesn’t owe anyone explanations for why he does what he does. He knows what he’s doing, and His children can trust Him.

Job’s “friends” had explained much to him about God, and even got a lot of it right. But one error all three repeated misrepresented God and made Him angry. All three said that God rewards the righteous, but punishes the unrighteous. Therefore, Job must be suffering because God is punishing him for sin.

Job’s ordeal was a trial permitted by God, who had already told Satan that Job was “blameless and upright” and “There is none like him on the earth”. God knew that Job would remain faithful no matter what.

Yet the extreme trial did bring to the surface a serious flaw in Job’s thinking about God and his relationship with him. Before the trial, Job saw himself as somewhat a Sheik worthy to walk with God. Now he recognizes his smallness in the universe; and understands how blessed he is to be in relationship with its Creator. Job confessed his sinful pride and repented.

Now, God turns to address Job’s friends. Not only had they further tormented Job in his agony by their wrong understanding of God and accusations against him. But they offended God by repeating a serious falsehood about his character.

He would forgive them, but after they went to Job and made sacrifice to God. Then Job would intercede on their behalf, and God would hear Job’s prayers for them. This, of course, necessitated on Job’s part that he first himself forgive his friends. (Job is a type of Christ, who suffered greatly during his earthly life, and made sacrifice and intercession on others behalf.)

After this, the Lord delivered Job out of his painful circumstances, and blessed him with twice as much as he had before. God graciously restored to Job twice what he had before this testing, though he wasn’t obligated to return anything at all.

Job lived a full life for another 140, enjoying his great-grandchildren.

---Beverly Nickles

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