Job 42:1 ¦ Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
Job 42:2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.
Job 42:3 Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.
Job 42:4 Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
Job 42:5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
Job 42:6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
I guess the LORD must have stopped speaking to the point that Job knew it was time for him to formulate a response. Just the thought of this scenario is incredible to me; Job has been in direct communication with the LORD. Like Job, there have been many times that I have wished that I could experience just that. Though not with an audible voice, the LORD has certainly completely humbled me many times during special times of prayer before Him.
Job expresses his belief that there is nothing the LORD cannot do; in fact, he knew that we cannot even have a thought that can be hidden from Him. Job then references the question that God had posed to him earlier, basically—Who is this that presumes to question My actions with such limited knowledge and understanding? Job admits that he has been presuming to express understanding about things he did not truly understand. He was basically admitting that he had no idea of all the wonder involved with GodŐs creation and His provision for it. Again Job makes reference to GodŐs words to him—Listen to me and answer my questions. Job admits that his relationship with God had been one of hearsay at best, but now he has experiential knowledge that has made him ashamed of himself; in fact, the Hebrew declares that he despises himself as a vile person. I think he realized that he was placing more faith in his ŇgoodÓ actions before the LORD than he was in the character, power and authority of Almighty God. For this, Job declares that he is very repentant.
IsnŐt that one of the prime deceptions that we continue to fall for today. Even we who daily strive to serve the LORD have to continually deal with the issue of pride—at least I know I do. We are so prone to focus on ŇdoingÓ for the LORD rather than on yielding to Him to ŇdoÓ through us. How often do we take the time to truly worship God and spend time with Him in meditation and the study of His word to get to know Him? How often do we take the time to appreciate the wonders of His creation? IŐm afraid that the advances in knowledge and technology have made us appreciate God less rather than more. I think it is connected to GodŐs observation of the people at the tower of Babel, ŇBehold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.Ó (Genesis 11:6) The computer has pretty much removed the language barrier, and man has accomplished some pretty amazing things. The greater the things that we accomplish on our own, the less we seem to appreciate the wonder of GodŐs creation. Instead of responding with awe to the wonders of the creation around us, we are much more prone to take them and, in turn, their Creator for granted.
Job 42:7 ¦ And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, 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.
Job 42:8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and 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.
The record of Job closes with God expressing His anger with JobŐs friends and instructing them to prepare a burnt offering in repentance for wrongly representing God to Job. They were also to humble themselves before Job and ask him to pray for them. This implies that they would have to first ask his forgiveness for the added pain they caused him through their misrepresentation of God and wrong assessment of JobŐs circumstances. In other words, they would have to admit they were wrong; and most of us have a hard time doing that.
Job 42:9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job.
Job 42:10 ¦ And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
All the men were obedient to GodŐs command. As promised, God accepted JobŐs prayers on behalf of his friends and dealt mercifully with them.
I think it is also significant to note that the Lord once again turned JobŐs circumstances to one of great blessing after he prayed for his friends. I think implied is that JobŐs prayer was sincere; but I donŐt think it was that hard for Job to forgive his friends in light of the insight as to how he judged himself in light of his experience with God. I couldnŐt help but think of the following words of Jesus.
Mark 11:25 ŇAnd when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.Ó
Though he suffered much loss, God blessed Job with twice as much as before.
Job 42:11 Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.
All of a sudden friends and family begin showing up to bemoan with Job and offer expressions of comfort after the fact. He is once again a very popular and respected man. Instead of holding grudges against those that had deserted him in his time of need, Job welcomed their fellowship. Each man gifted him with a piece of money and an earring of gold.
I think JobŐs abiltiy to forgive pictured the work of change that God had wrought in the heart of Job through his experience. He had recognized how much he needed GodŐs love and forgiveness and how God had responded to him with great grace and mercy. He wanted to show the same type of grace and mercy to his friends and family. He realized that if his ŇwiseÓ friends had misunderstood his circumstances, how much more understandable that much less wise friends and family could have drawn the wrong conclusions as well. In fact, I wonder if maybe he had reflected on how he might have drawn similar conclusions had such circumstances befallen one of his friends. The important thing is that Job grew spiritually and became an even greater testimony to the importance of loving and obeying God.
Job 42:12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
Job 42:13 He had also seven sons and three daughters.
Job 42:14 And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch.
Job 42:15 And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.
Just to set the record straight, we are given numbers of JobŐs livestock that reflect exactly double what he originally had. He was also given seven more sons and three more daughters. No, they couldnŐt replace the ones he lost, but I know he expected to see them in the hereafter where he would enjoy double the family he began with. Point is made that his three daughters were beautiful beyond compare; and contrary to the customs of the day, he settled inheritances on his daughters as well as his sons.
Job 42:16 After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sonsŐ sons, even four generations.
Job 42:17 So Job died, being old and full of days.
After this, Job lived another 140 years and was blessed to see his great-great grandchildren.
Though God never gave Job a direct answer as to all he suffered, Job was satisfied that to know it was GodŐs will for him. If it was GodŐs will, it was for good.