“I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2
“I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see You.” Job 42:5
Job’s friends have questioned him and accused him. Job has tried valiantly to justify himself. Now, before the glorious victory waiting for him, Job must answer to God. After all Job’s pain and heartache, after all the false accusations from friends, after all his questions met with God’s silence, God’s voice thunders through the storm. God, the Righteous Judge, tells Job to brace himself like a man because God will now do the questioning. Job’s torment and the relentless onslaught from his friends brought Job to a place where, though he acknowledged God’s sovereignty over all, he blamed God for allowing his suffering. Job goes so far as to accuse God of cruelty, of ignoring him and even acting in opposition to him (30:20-21). God will now have the final say, and no one can refute God’s words.
A Righteous Rebuke
God queries Job by recounting His might and power and sovereign majesty displayed in His creation, from laying the foundation of the earth to naming the constellations in the sky. It is God who fills the clouds with rain and sends the lightning bolts on their way. It is God who gives wisdom to the heart and understanding to the mind. God’s eyes are on all His creation. He superintends the birth of each creature and endows them with purpose and ability. The hawk takes flight by His wisdom and the eagle soars at His command. “Where were you? Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer Him!”
These questions demand an answer, but though humbled, Job pleads unworthiness and refuses to rely. So again, out of the storm, God’s questions thunder forth and now they are intense. “Would you discredit My justice? Would you condemn Me to justify yourself? Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.” The accusations of Job’s friends hardened his heart, while the conviction of God’s eternal holiness broke Job’s heart.
A Rightful Repentance
Job could not defend himself before God’s Holiness. Broken, he confessed God’s sovereignty and his own ignorant dialogue about things too wonderful for him to know. Initially Job despised his condition, covering himself in dust and ashes. Now with godly sorrow, he repented in dust and ashes. Where once Job heard of Almighty God, now his eyes had seen Him. In the light of God’s perfection and glory, Job understood he could never justify himself and mourned his sinfulness. Job’s humbled repentance led to God’s rebuke of the self-righteous friends who incurred God’s anger for not speaking truth about Him.
God instructed them to bring their burnt offering sacrifices directly to Job, and God further instructed Job to pray for them. Job needed forgiveness, and Job needed to forgive.
A Remarkable Restoration
With forgiveness, Job interceded for his friends, and God accepted Job’s prayer. There was restoration in Job’s relationship with God and in his relationship with his friends. I imagine the peace that flooded the hearts of each man, and though there is no mention of Job’s physical healing, we do know, “The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first” (Job 42:12). Job’s glorious victory came through his repentance before God, His forgiveness received, and Job’s forgiveness given. He died old and full of years at the age of 140, and I believe he walked all those remaining years in this ultimate victory.
I pray you have been impacted by Job’s victorious suffering. God left these imprints on my heart as I wrapped up my study today:
- I want to keep my eyes fixed on God, the Author and Finisher of my faith, regardless of my circumstances. What practical and consistent changes will I make to keep God in the center of my daily life?
- I want to remember that God’s ways are higher than my ways, and they are always perfect and just, designed for my good and His glory. How will I choose to celebrate and testify to God’s goodness in my life when I go through trials and struggles?
- I want to be the consolation of God to my friends, not the condemnation. Who needs me to simply come alongside and sit with them in their heartache?
- I want to respond to God’s conviction with godly sorrow and repentance. What “comfortable sin” am I harboring that I need to repent of?
- I want to forgive as God forgave me. Who do I need to forgive and pray for?
Father, thank You for the lessons from Job on living a victorious life even when I suffer. Please let these lessons sink deeply into my soul and use them to transform my life for Your glory.