January 15, 2017. Job 40-42.
Having heard God speak, Job has a new view on his suffering.
Then Job replied to the Lord:
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.
“You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’
My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
Notice, his suffering is no longer at the forefront of his thoughts. Instead, he realizes that he has had the wrong view of God all along. He admits that he has been talking about things he just didn’t understand. How did he get to that point? By God reminding Job that God is God and Job is not. We all need that reminder daily.
Keep in mind that Job’s trials were NOT a consequence of sin. God had said in the very beginning that Job was righteous and does not say even in the end of the book that he was not. So why then did Job repent? He was repenting for speaking of things he did not understand; things too wonderful for him to know. He was repenting for questioning God’s possible silence.
I love v. 5 “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” Job had only heard of God before. He worshiped God based on what he knew OF God. Some of what he knew had been wrong. But now Job knows God in a different way. He didn’t actually ‘see’ God. God spoke from a whirlwind, remember. What Job is saying here is that before he only knew OF God. After this experience of suffering he now KNOWS God personally. That’s a huge difference and suffering can make the difference. Job’s religion and religious friends did not have answers for his suffering. He only found peace in suffering when he found God with him through it.
Before restoring and increasing Job’s prosperity, God first restores Job’s reputation among his 3 friends. In 42:7-9 God chastises Job’s misguided friends for not speaking about God correctly. He requires a sacrifice from the three to be taken to Job at which time Job will pray for them. God does ignore bad counsel. This should be a lesson for us to be careful how we advise people on the things of God. Nevertheless, Job prayed for and forgave his erring friends. Not only did Job have a repenting heart, he had a forgiving one as well.
God gave back all that Job had lost – two fold. That’s a happy ending, isn’t it? But that’s not the end. The last verse says, “And so Job died, an old man and full of years.” I can’t help but believe that the phrase ‘full of years’ is implying that he made the best of all those years. They were full! Not full because of his prosperity, but full because he had come to know God as God should be known.