Job 31-42; Genesis 11:27-21; Genesis 25: 12-18; I Chronicles 1: 28-31
This week, I finished Job along with the other cover to cover readers…I am anxious to read their comments shortly on Bev’s blog but I was very relieved to get to the last chapters of this book.
Job’s younger friend Elihu earnestly tried to offer wisdom he felt certain he had amassed in his short years but even in his great passion, he was found lacking in his theories. One can’t fault Elihu for trying…I am sure many of us can remember the exuberance of youth…believing our fresh unaided eyes can see beyond our inexperience.
How grateful I was for these words found at the beginning of chapter 38:
“Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm…”
Even typing those words causes my heart to begin to quicken as I have felt the depth and reality of these words…I hope you have as well. Reading the book of Job was difficult and heart wrenching at times…so are trials…they feel unending…unyielding. Those around you may not be as blatant in their thoughts about your suffering as Job’s friends were but you may feel nonetheless misunderstood…and it may seem as though God is giving you the silent treatment…and then when it appears that you can’t endure the pain, the despair, the abandonment…
The Lord answers YOU out of the storm…
The Lord recounts to Job Who He Is…What He Has Done…and Job repents and tells the Lord that he is unworthy and although God has given him a chance to plead his case…Job does not…how can one refute the Almighty God? Then…
“The Lord spoke to Job out of the storm…” (40:6)
A second time the Lord recounts the magnitude of His wonders (chapters 40 and 41). Job’s responses are:
“I know that you can do all things; no plans of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2
“Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” Job 42: 3b
“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42: 5,6
The book of Job could have ended with those last recorded words of Job…but it did not.
The Lord said to Eliphaz,
“I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.
So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer, and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right as my servant Job has.” (42: 7-8)
Two times God speaks to Job out of the storm and two times God tells Job’s friends that they have not spoken correctly but Job has. Did God have to do this for Job…not at all…but He did. Four times He calls Job his servant…a beautiful picture of spiritual restoration.***
But wait…there’s more…could it be that the restoration that Job received from the Father allowed him to pray for his once accusers?
“After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought upon him in his house, and each gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.” (42: 10,11)
Spiritual restoration flows from the Lord down to Job…it extends from Job to his friends…physical restoration flows to Job from the Lord…physical restoration flows from Job’s loved ones back to Job.
“The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.” (42:12)
“After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years,; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so he died, old and full of years.” (42: 16,17)
The plight of Job is hard to image…it can be a bit fear provoking…but we have something that Job didn’t have the indwelling Holy Spirit…this fact alone should bring comfort.
***I have a note in my Bible dated 12/12/07 with a note related to God’s word at the end of the book of Job…I had heard a Beth Moore teaching about the power of words…the note says,”Only omnipotent words can cancel out potent words.” How true!!
Today’s post has been lengthy…this is what lingers with me as I turned back to Genesis…I was so blessed to see that when God calls Abram that he gives him 4 instructions (commands) and 7 blessings (He adds a few more when He makes covenant with Abraham as well)…that is God’s economy isn’t it…how many more promises and blessings do we possess than what we are asked to do?
Instructions/Commands (Genesis 12: 1)
Leave your country
Leave your people
Leave your father’s house
Go to the land that I will show you
Blessings/Promises (Genesis 12: 2-3)
God will make him a great nation
God will bless him
God will make his name great
Abram will be a blessing
God will bless those that bless him
God will curse those that curse him
All people will be blessed because of him
I saw the tenderness and compassion of the Lord:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)
“The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert.” (Genesis 16:7)-Don’t you love how God pursues us and seeks to comfort in times of despair and fear?!
It was a bit sobering to me when I read about Abraham’s intercession for Lot and his family when he learned of God’s decision to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. God heard Abraham and relented. It made me see that we can pray fervently for others…God’s hand can move but in the end, personal choice and obedience will determine their days. Lot’s wife could not help herself and look back at her past…and she sealed her future.
How different…Noah and his family were rescued out of the wickedness surrounding them by doing everything that God told Noah to do…Lot ended up a widower because his wife did not do everything that God told her to do.
Until next Monday…remember it is never too late to join me…