The Book of Job-Chapter Forty-Two:

Discouragement in the face of suffering is a cruel opponent for us all. Victory over it is not, and apparently never was easy. But here at the end of our study we see that JOB HAS MADE IT THROUGH his ordeal with his faith not only in tact but actually stronger and better than ever:

Verses 1-3: "Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. 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 is through playing God and trying to manipulate Him. All the pain and shame Job has endured after wandering unwittingly but directly into Satan's crosshairs has, ultimately, made him a better man and a better believer. This is extremely amazing and also very encouraging to me at this moment in my life. Is it to you, beloved?

I really like the way Job is now speaking to the Lord. It reminds me both of the boldness (see Hebrews 4:16) and the humility (James 4:10) that the Apostles had recommended for believers in Christ today:

Verses 4-6: "Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

Before all his trials Job was tip-toeing around God. Afraid of upsetting the cosmic apple cart and risking the loss of his considerable earthly riches. After a very rough and devilish journey those riches aren't in his way, spiritually, any longer and it shows!

But Job's friends yet cling to their riches and their love of them. That's always going to be detrimental to a person's faith and walk with the Lord. Christ once said it's like trying to shove a camel through the tiny eye on a sewing needle. Listen now as God commends Job to his friends:

Verses 7-9: "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. 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. 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."

My, what spiritual riches have come to Job and what spiritual honor!

The misery came from Satan, but the blessings that came through the misery were from God alone. And, speaking of blessings:

Verse 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."

Now before we close and send Job off into "happily ever after" land,  we must face one final hurdle together. This IS certainly the happiest time in the entire Book of Job, but the return of Job's physical blessings has the potential to be as spiritually destructive as was their departure. Here's what I'm saying:

1. The return of these blessings is NOT A REWARD for better behavior. Don't miss this point. Job has now risen above works and rewards, that's the main lesson put forth by our little study. That is also the MAIN GOAL for us today. It's taken me ten full years get here and I don't want to negate all the spiritual gains by missing the final point about Job's family and farm.

2. Yes, he gets his stuff back. We will soon see that he is again blessed with children. He comes back into the sphere of earthly joy again. It's beautiful. BUT it WASN'T because God "paid up" on some kind of debt to Job. The Lord did not "owe" Job these latter blessings any more than he did the original ones. We are on the verge of wasting ten years of study if we miss this one point. Now, you may be asking, then where did the new blessings come from? Well, like all good things they came forth from God's Hand.

3. Just as loss and suffering are not, generally speaking, punishments from God so earthly possessions and pleasures, etc. are not, generally speaking, SPECIAL REWARDS for good behavior. If our motives for serving God run in EITHER of these directions on this works for rewards roadway we will become equally lost and most likely miserable in this life.  

4. The Lord is not allowing suffering ONLY in the lives of evil doers today. I know it's hard to swallow, but it is true. It can be disorienting and for it God takes so much criticism. Criticism He must bear every day as men repeatedly question His motives, and competence, and judgment. Criticism He bore at Calvary when your unbelief and my unbelief and lack of trust all crashed down at once on God the Son.

5. Job is closer to God now, true. But that's not why the blessings are flowing again. This battle with Satan has past. Job has won a great victory with God's help. And the real reward is that he has stopped demanding rewards! The real blessing here is that he has lost a ton of selfishness and anxiety over possessions, health, status, etc.

6. Please don't be too skeptical here. Just listen and consider, please. Who is worthy of blessings from God? Answer: No One. Who gets "rewarded" by God? Answer: EVERYONE, EVERYDAY!  The misunderstanding in our time is that God allows suffering for NO REASON, yet He requires a SPECIAL REASON to bless. It's a lie. Certainly, until their appointed time, He fills the lungs of the righteous with sweet breath, but how do you think the unrighteous breathe today? Is it any less special, any less miraculous what He does for them? Tirelessly serving, helping, and loving, though His Love be virtually unrequited?

Verse 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."

Do you see what I mean? See how his family misunderstood Job's suffering? They blamed God, too. They assumed that all Job's outward piety should have been some kind of insulation against earthly loss. But God allowed the loss so that this man could learn true contentment.

Verse 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."

Whoa. Here's what he originally had: "His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east"(Job 1:3). But do you know what really DOUBLED this blessing? I think it was because he now knew He was unworthy of it all and none of it was owed to him. 

Verse 13: "He had also seven sons and three daughters."

These are the same exact numbers we saw in chapter one. Children can't be replenished in the way that livestock could. Not in Job's heart, I'm sure. But this time around Job was, I believe, a better parent. Certainly more at ease. Why? Because he was more in love with God and more cognizant of the grace and beauty of the opportunity given by the Lord to every parent.

I think people could actually see it in the faces of these girls, Job's daughters:

Verse 14-15: "And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch. 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."

Their beauty, as I conceive it now, was not determined by their measurements, or lipstick, or anything like that. It was actually Daddy's unconditional love for them that shown through. Love that radiated through their father from the Heavenly Father. Brethren, if we are ever tempted to complain about a lack of beauty in the women around us, we must first take a hard look at what WE are radiating. It's been possible, in my experience, to be unknowingly repulsed by my own reflection in this way. 

These "new" daughters  were the litmus paper that proved day after day that Job was now at peace. That was a day, as ours is still, when women too often suffered greatly, enduring much more than they ever should have had to endure. Now, I'm sure Job's family struggled at times, but never against the Lord. Job had not cursed God even when Satan had him totally pinned down, how much less likely was it now?

O we've come into some real joy, haven't we? I know it's been a long road and I 've appreciated your patience. I'm thankful to have had the access and the luxury of time to spend in this Word of God. There is no final word from any man on the message of Job. Until the End there will be more and more to glean here. But not having the final say is no excuse for not trying. . .and the truths and true rewards do come! Even to a stammering layman!

Verse 15-16: "After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations. So Job died, being old and full of days."

What a life! What a man of God! All those kids and grandkids were Job's first congregation. We all are his current one.

Click Here before printing