Job and the Just God

Job 42:1-6, 10-17

SS Lesson for 02/27/2022

 

Devotional Scripture: Ps 139:1-18

Lesson Background and Key Verse

Background from the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary

Job’s response, described in this week’s lesson, follows a lengthy and pointed reprimand from God. Out of a storm (Job 38:1; 40:6), God appeared to Job and warned him to “brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me” (38:3). Elsewhere in Scripture, God spoke to humanity through what could only be described as a storm (compare Exodus 19:16; Ezekiel 1:4; contrast 1 Kings 19:11–12). Out of the midst of this storm came the voice of God, demanding full attention as he presented his glory. From that point, God proceeded to ask questions concerning Job’s knowledge and understanding of the world, beginning with, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations? Tell me, if you understand” (Job 38:4). After asking about Job’s understanding of the observed world (Job 38:5–39:30), God invited Job to provide an answer (40:2). In a response that mirrored his later reply, Job expressed that he could not provide answers to God’s line of questioning and was in no place to accuse God further (40:4–5). God’s response became even more pointed as he asked Job if he would “discredit my justice” and “condemn me to justify yourself” (40:8). God made it clear that Job, as a mere creature, was in no position to question the justice and judgment of the eternal Creator. God’s response was not an attempt to belittle Job or to provide answers for Job’s suffering and lament. Rather, God’s intent was to show Job the limit of his understanding of God’s purposes and plans. God’s just nature will not be thwarted, brought into question, or limited by humanity.

 

Key Verse: Job 42:3

You asked, 'Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know

 

Commentary from the Bible Knowledge Commentary

42:1-2. In Job’s first response (40:3-5) he admitted his finiteness in the face of God’s display of numerous wonders of nature above, on, and under the earth. But he did not admit to God’s sovereignty or to his own sin of pride. Job now confessed those two things in his second reply. Overwhelmed by the strength and fierceness of the behemoth and the leviathan, Job sensed his own inadequacy to conquer and control evil, which they rep-resented. He therefore saw anew the greatness of God’s power and sovereignty. Job’s words I know that You can do all things point up the folly of his questioning God’s ability to govern the universe. Job’s efforts to thwart (lit., “cut off”) God’s plan were now seen as futile.

42:3. Job quoted God’s question Who is this that obscures My counsel without knowledge? to infer that God was right. Job had spoken without knowledge (as Elihu had said, 34:35; 35:16); he talked about things beyond his comprehension, things too wonderful (cf. “wonders” in 37:14) or awesome in creation for him to know. Job now discarded his complaints about God’s inability to rule the world with justice. The idea that he could boldly refute any of God’s trumped-up charges (23:4-7; 31:35-36) was now abandoned.

42:4-5. Again Job quoted the Lord, this time citing God’s challenge at the beginning of each of His two speeches (38:3; 40:7): I will question you, and you shall answer Me. This quotation implied an admission that Job was unable to answer any of the Sovereign’s barrage of rhetorical questions. Job admitted to flunking God’s biology examinations. Job had only heard of God’s doings. The complainer was not an eyewitness of the act of Creation, a fact God called to his attention near the beginning of His first speech (38:4-11). Nor could Job even view firsthand many aspects of natural Creation (38:16-24; 39:1-4). His perspective of God’s total workings was therefore limited and secondhand. But now that Job was addressed directly by God, this experience exceeded his previous knowledge, like seeing (now my eyes have seen You) compared with hearing. This thrilling view of God, probably spiritual insight, not physical vision, deepened his perspective and appreciation of God. What Job now knew of God was incomparable to his former ideas, which were really ignorant. This personal confrontation with God silenced his arguing and deepened his awe.

42:6. Having gained insight (v. 5) into God’s ways and character—His creative power and genius, His sovereign control, and His providential care and love—Job confessed his own unworthiness and repented. I despise myself means he rejected his former accusations of God spoken in pride. God had already rebuked Job for indicting, faulting, and discrediting Him (40:2). Job then repented in dust and ashes, a way of expressing his self-deprecation (cf. Gen. 18:27). Throwing dust in the air so that it came down on one’s head (cf. Job 2:12) and sitting in or near ashes or with ashes on one’s body (cf. 2:8; Isa. 58:5; Dan. 9:3) were signs of a humbled condition. Having grieved over his losses, Job now grieved over his sin. Obviously he did not repent of the sins which his three friends had conjured up. He stuck persistently to his position that his suffering was not merited by pre-calamity sins (Job 27:2-6). But, as Elihu had pointed out, bitterness and pride had followed his loss of wealth, family, and health (32:2; 33:17; 35:12-13; 36:9; 37:24). At first, however, Job’s response was proper (1:21-22; 2:10). Job now saw, as God had challenged him (40:10), that no one can stand accusingly against Him. Realizing that God is not obligated to man, Job’s questions vanished and his resentment left. He was now satisfied, for God had communicated with him about His own person, not about Job’s problems. Now Job was willing to trust the Sovereign, whose ways are perfect (Ps. 18:30), even when he could not understand. Undoubtedly God forgave him of his former sin of pride.

42:7. God spoke to Eliphaz, probably the eldest of the three, and said He was angry with him and his two companions (similar to Elihu’s reaction to the three, 32:3) for they had not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. They who had assumed a position of defending God were now on the defensive themselves. As Job had predicted (13:7-9) matters did not turn out well for them. They thought they knew God’s ways but they did not expect this! The words, My servant Job, spoken by God four times in 42:7-8, point up his restored position as a trusting and obedient servant of the Lord (cf. 1:8; 2:3). By insisting that suffering is always retributive, the three rhetoricians were limiting God’s sovereign ability to use suffering for other purposes. As a result, they cruelly indicted innocent Job. How then did Job speak “what is right”? Had he not repeatedly and proudly challenged God, accusing Him of injustice and unwarranted silence? Yes, but he had now repented of his proud accusations (42:6) and therefore he was accepted by God. Furthermore, he never cursed God, as Satan had predicted and his wife had urged (1:11; 2:5, 9), though he came close to it. Though Job continued to contend with God, he never renounced Him. Also his view of God’s power and wisdom exceeded that of the three.

42:8-9. To the utter surprise and chagrin of the three critics, God told them to offer a burnt offering of seven bulls and seven rams, a large sacrifice. And they were to have Job pray for them as their mediator (cf. his earlier work as a priest, 1:5). Never once had they prayed for him. But now Job, whom they had condemned and badgered, and who had rejected their counsel, was to intercede for them. What an amazing irony! They had defended God’s justice in striking Job down. But now they saw that God is concerned with more than justice; He is also known for love and grace. Repentance, which they had recommended for Job, was now what they had to do. They too were silenced—and corrected—by God’s direct communication. Elihu was excluded from this act of repentance because he, though not having all the truth on Job’s situation, was nearer the truth than the other three. Job had longed for a mediator between himself and God (16:19-21) since his three countrymen were not interceding for him; but ironically he himself became a mediator for them, even though they did not ask for one.

42:10-11. Job’s vision of God’s transcendence and his ensuing repentance paved the way for his forgiveness of and intercessory praying for his three friends. Then his forgiving spirit toward them paved the way for God to bless him. His painful disease was cured either at this time or immediately after his repentance (v. 6). All his brothers... sisters, and acquaintances (probably including the forgiven three!), who had forsaken him (19:13-14), heard of his restoration. They now dined with him in his house. They comforted... him regarding his trouble (rāʿâh, “calamity”), though this was probably less consoling than if they had done so earlier. This woe, as Job himself had acknowledged (1:21; 2:10), was brought on by the Lord (through the instrumentality of Satan). Then, to show their kindness, they each... gave him a piece of silver (qeśṭâh, a word used only here and in Gen. 33:19 and Josh. 24:32), and a gold ring (nezem), referring either to a nose ring (Gen. 24:22) or an earring (Gen. 35:4).

42:12. God restored to Job twice the number of livestock he had before (v. 10; cf. 1:3) so that his later years were more prosperous than the first. Perhaps he used the silver and gold received from his siblings and countrymen to purchase fresh livestock, from which the number probably grew by breeding over a period of time. Did this outpouring of material blessing from God mean that the theory of the three self-appointed jurors was correct, after all? (They had predicted that prosperity follows repentance, 5:8, 17-26; 8:5-7, 21; 11:13-19.) No, the restoration of wealth was a token of God’s grace, not an obligation of His justice. Since Job had (unknowingly) silenced Satan by not cursing God, and since he had repented of his pride, his suffering did not need to continue. The restoring of his estate demonstrated to his friends that God had restored him. Furthermore the Book of Job does not deny the general biblical principle that God blesses the righteous. Instead the Scriptures show that the principle is not invariable and airtight. God in His sovereignty can give—or hold back—blessings in accord with His purposes.

42:13-15. Job’s grief over the loss of his 10 children was relieved somewhat, though probably not fully, by the birth of 10 others. The names of the three youngest daughters are given, whereas the names of Job’s other 17 children are unknown. Jemimah means “dove,” Keziah means “cinnamon perfume” (cassia, from qeṣʿah, is a cinnamon bark from which perfume is made), and Keren-Happuch means “horn of eyepaint” (i.e., an animal-horn bottle for holding a dye used to make eyelashes, eyelids, and eyebrows more attractive). These names speak of the girls’ striking beauty, for which they were well known. Another interesting fact about the daughters is that they shared with their brothers in receiving from Job an inheritance—an unusual occurrence in those days. In later years a daughter received her father’s inheritance only if she had no brothers (Num. 27:8).

42:16-17. Following his terrible ordeal, Job lived 140 years. If he was about 70 when the calamities struck, he lived to be about 210. According to Jewish tradition, his latter years (140) were exactly twice the number of his former ones (70). Job saw his descendants to the fourth generation, that is, he lived to see his great-great-grandchildren. His death came, not when he was in intense agony from his losses (as he had prayed, 3:20-26; 10:18-22), but later when he was full of years. This book, probably the oldest in the Bible, deals with mankind’s most pressing problems: the question of suffering and man’s relationship with God. Job’s experience billboards the truth that man’s worship of God does not stem from a businesslike contract, whereby he earns material rewards from God. Man’s relationship to God is not a juridical arrangement in which He is obligated to reward man for every good act. Instead, man is to trust God, worship Him regardless of his circumstances, and rely on the perfections of His character even when God’s ways are not fully understood. Misfortune does not mean God has forsaken His own. It does mean He has plans that the sufferer may know nothing of. A believer’s unmerited tragedy may never be fully understood. Yet he can realize that God is in charge, that God still loves him and cares for him. This is what Job learned. His three denouncers said suffering’s purpose is always discipline (punishment for wrongdoing); Job felt it was for destruction (thinking God was determined to destroy him); Elihu stressed that the aim is direction (to keep him from death). But God had two purposes: demonstration (that Satan’s allegations were false) and development (of Job’s spiritual insight). Therefore to attack God, to malign Him, challenge Him, accuse Him, bait Him, or try to corner Him—all of which Job did—are out of the question for a believer. To criticize God’s wisdom only shows one’s own ignorance. The chasm between God and man leaves no place for pride and self-sufficiency. Job did not receive explanations regarding his problems; but he did come to a much deeper sense of the majesty and loving care of God. Thus he came to trust Him more fully, knowing that His ways should not be challenged. Though often inexplicable and mysterious, God’s plans are benevolent and beneficial.

 


Major Theme Analysis

(Scriptural Text from the New King James Version; cross-references from the NIV)

Job Responds with Humility (Job 42:1-6)

 

1 Then Job answered the Lord and said:

2 "I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.

3 You asked, 'Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

4 Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, 'I will question you, and you shall answer Me.'

5 "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.

6 Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes."

 

Humility knowing God is sovereign (1-2)

God can do all things because nothing is too hard for Him (Gen 18:14)

14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son."

God can do all things because no one can oppose Him (Isa 43:13)

13 Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?"

God can do all things because of His great power (Jeer 32:17)

17 "Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

God can do all things because nothing is impossible for Him (Matt 19:26)

26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." 

God can do all things because everything is possible for God (Mark 14:35-36)

35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." 

 

Humility knowing that God's plans cannot be thwarted (2)

God's plans cannot be thwarted because God's plans stand firm forever (Ps 33:10-11)

10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. 11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

God's plans cannot be thwarted because God determines the outcome (Prov 16:9)

9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

God's plans cannot be thwarted because God's purposes will prevail (Prov 19:21)

21 Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.

God's plans cannot be thwarted because God has sworn to do what He has planned (Isa 14:24)

24 The LORD Almighty has sworn, "Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand.

God's plans cannot be thwarted because His purposes will stand (Isa 46:10)

10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.

 

Humility knowing that man does not have full understanding (3)

Man does not have full understanding because God's works are too numerous to understand (Ps 40:5)

5 Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.

Man does not have full understanding because of ignorance (Eph 4:18)

18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.

Man does not have full understanding because of not having the indwelling Holy Spirit  (1 Cor 2:14)

 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Man does not have full understanding because of not relying on the revelation of the Holy Spirit  (Eph 1:17)

17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

 

Humility through knowing God better (4-5)

Knowing God better through obedience to God's Word  (1 John 2:3-6)

3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4 The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

Knowing God better through knowing Jesus  (John 17:3)

3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Knowing God better through having Jesus as Shepherd  (John 10:14)

14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-

Knowing God better through prayer (Prov 2:2-5)

2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, 3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.

Knowing God better through nature (Hab 2:14)

14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Knowing God better through the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:17)

17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

 

Humility that leads to the repenting of sins (6)

Repent of sins through godly sorrow (2 Cor 7:10-11)

10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.

Repent of sins to please God (Ezek 18:23)

23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?

Repent of sins to escape from the trap of Satan  (2 Tim 2:25-26)

25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Repent now because the Kingdom of Heaven is near (Matt 4:17)

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." 

Repent so that the times of refreshing can come (Acts 3:19)

19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,

Repent because the times of ignorance has passed (Acts 17:30)

30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

Repent during the times of earthly life because after that it will be impossible (Luke 16:27-31)

27 "He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' 29 "Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' 30 "'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' 31 "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'" 

 

God’s Justice Leads to Restoration (Job 42:10-17)

 

10 And the Lord restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

11 Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the Lord had brought upon him. Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold.

12 Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys.

13 He also had seven sons and three daughters.

14 And he called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-Happuch.

15 In all the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers.

16 After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations.

17 So Job died, old and full of days.

 

Restoration of losses (10)

Restoration through the Grace of God that will restore after suffering a little while (1 Peter 5:10)

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Restoration through the future glory that helps to endure the momentary suffering now (2 Cor 4:17-18)

17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Restoration after suffering for a while because there is a rich reward waiting (Heb 10:32-35)

32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

Restoration through the sufficiency of God's grace (2 Cor 12:9-10)

9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Restoration through God's compassion (2 Cor 1:3-4)

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

 

Restoration of blessings (11-15)

Restoration of affliction (Ps 107:41)

41 But he lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families like flocks.

Restoration of children (Ps 127:3)

3 Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.

Restoration of resources to have all that is needed (2 Cor 9:8)

8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Restoration with the best (Isa 1:19)

19 If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land;

Restoration of God's refreshing (Acts 3:19)

19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,

Restoration of the soul that leads into righteousness (Ps 23:2-3)

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

 

Restoration of longer life (16-17)

Life lengthened through obedience (Deut 4:40)

40 Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.

Life lengthened through a controlled tongue (Ps 34:12-14)

12 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, 13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. 14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Life lengthened through God’s blessings (Isa 65:20)

20 "Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.

Life lengthened through Jesus that never perishes (John 10:28)

28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.

Life lengthened through being in Jesus (I John 5:11-12)

11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

 

 

Conclusion and Other Thoughts

Commentary Thoughts from John Gill

Verse 1

Then Job answered the Lord, and said. For though he had said he would answer no more, Job 40:5; yet he might mean not in the manner he had, complaining of God and justifying himself; besides he might change his mind without any imputation of falsehood or a lie; see Jeremiah 20:9; to which may be added, that he had then said all he had to say, and did not know he should have more: he then confessed as much as he was convinced of, but it was not enough; and now through what the Lord had since said to him he was more convinced of his ignorance, mistakes, and sins, and had such a sight of God and of himself, that he could not forbear speaking; moreover an injunction was laid upon him from the Lord to speak again, and therefore he was obliged to give in his answer; see Job 40:7.

Verse 2

I know that thou canst do every [thing],.... As the works of creation, and the sustentation of them, show; so the Targum, "thou sustainest all things,'' and can manage, every creature made by him, even such as were not tractable by men, such as behemoth and leviathan, the creatures last instanced in; and was able to abase and bring low the proud, which Job could not do; and could also save him by his right hand, and bring him out of his low estate in which he was, and raise him to great prosperity again, which Job always despaired of till now; and though he had a theoretical knowledge of the omnipotence of God before, see Job 9:4; yet not a practical experimental knowledge of it; at least not to such a degree as he now had, working upon his heart, bowing his will, and bringing him to a resignation to the will of God; he not only knew he could do all things, but that he had a right to do what he pleased; and that whatever he did he did well and wisely, and in a righteous manner, of which before he seemed to have some doubt. And that no thought can be withholden from thee; either no thought of men, good or bad, of God or of themselves, and so is an acknowledgment of the omniscience of God, and may be an appeal to that; that God, who knows the secrets of men's hearts, knew what thoughts Job now had of God; of the wisdom, righteousness, and goodness of God in the dispensations of his providence, different from what he had before; see John 21:17; or rather it may be understood of every thought of God's heart, of every secret purpose and wise counsel of his; which, as they are all well known to him, and cannot be withheld from having effect, or the performance of them hindered, Job now saw and was fully assured that all that had befallen him was according to the sovereign and inscrutable purposes of God, and according to the wise counsels of his will; he knew that not only God could do everything, but that he also did whatever he pleased.

Verse 3

Who [is] he that hideth counsel without knowledge?.... It may be understood, and supplied, as it is by Cocceius, "thou didst say"; as the Lord had said, or to this purpose, :-; to which Job here replies, I am the foolish man that has done it, I own it with sorrow, shame, and confusion: or it may be interpreted as condemning every other man that should act the like part. Schultens understands this as spoken by Job of God, and renders the words, "who is this that seals up counsel, which cannot be known?'' the counsels, purposes, and decrees of God are sealed up by him, among his treasures, in the cabinet of his own breast, and are not to be unsealed and unlocked by creatures, but are impenetrable to them, past finding out by them, and not to be searched and pried into; and so the secret springs of Providence are not to be known, which Job had attempted, and for which he condemns himself; therefore have I uttered that I understood not; concerning the providential dealings of God with men, afflicting the righteous, and suffering the wicked to prosper, particularly relating to his own afflictions; in which he arraigned the wisdom, justice, and goodness of God, as if things might have been better done than they were; but now he owns his ignorance and folly, as Asaph did in a like case, Psalms 73:22; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not; things out of his reach to search into, and beyond his capacity to comprehend; what he should have gazed upon with admiration, and there have stopped. The judgments of God are a great deep, not to be fathomed with the line of human understanding, of which it should be said with the apostle, "O the depth", Romans 11:33, c. Job ought to have done as David did, Psalms 131:1 of which he was now convinced, and laments and confesses his folly.

Verse 4

Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak,.... Not in the manner he had before, complaining of God and justifying himself, but in a way of humble entreaty of favours of him, of confession of sin before him, and of acknowledgment of his wisdom, goodness, and justice in all his dealings with him, which before he arraigned; I will demand of thee; or rather "I will make petition to thee", as Mr. Broughton renders it; humbly ask a favour, and entreat a gracious answer; for to demand is not so agreeable to the frame and temper of soul Job was now in;and declare thou unto me; or make him know what he knew not; he now in ignorance applies to God, as a God of knowledge, to inform him in things he was in the dark about, and to increase what knowledge he had. He was now willing to take the advice of Elihu, and pursue it,

Verse 5

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear,.... From his ancestors, who in a traditionary way had handed down from one to another what they knew of God, his will and worship, his works and ways; and from those who had the care of his education, parents and tutors, who had instilled the principles of religion, and the knowledge of divine things, into him very early; and from such as might instruct in matters of religion in a public manner; and both by ordinary and extraordinary revelation made unto him, as was sometimes granted to men in that age in which Job lived; see Job 4:16. Though he had heard more of God through his speaking to him out of the whirlwind than ever he did before, to which he had attentively listened; and the phrase, hearing by or with the hearing of the ear, denotes close attention; see Ezekiel 44:5; but now mine eye seeth thee; thy Shechinah, as Jarchi; thy divine glory and Majesty; the Logos, the Word or Son of God, who now appeared in an human form, and spake to Job out of the whirlwind; and whom he saw with the eyes of his body, as several of the patriarchs had seen him, and which is the sense of an ancient writer n; though no doubt he saw him also with the eyes of his understanding, and had a clearer sight of his living Redeemer, the Messiah, than ever he had before; and saw more of God in Christ, of his nature, perfections, and glory, than ever he had as yet seen; and what he had heard of him came greatly short of what he now saw; particularly he had a more clear and distinct view of the sovereignty, wisdom, goodness, and justice of God in the dealings of his providence with the children of men, and with himself, to which now he humbly submitted.

Verse 6

Wherefore I abhor [myself],.... Or all my words, as Aben Ezra; all the indecent expressions he had uttered concerning God; he could not bear to think of them; he loathed them, and himself on account of them: sin is abominable in its own nature, and makes men so; it is loathsome to God, and so it is to all good men when they see it in its proper light; am especially when they have a view of the purity and holiness of God, to which that is so very contrary, and also of his grace and goodness in the forgiveness of it; see Isaiah 6:3 Ezekiel 16:63; and repent in dust and ashes; which was an external ceremony used by mournful and penitent persons; see Job 2:8; and is expressive of the truth and sincerity of repentance; and never do any more truly mourn for sin and repent of it, are more ashamed of it, or have a more godly sorrow for it, or more ingenuously confess it, and heartily forsake it, than those who with an eye of faith behold God in Christ as a sin forgiving God; or behold their sins through the glass of pardoning grace and mercy; see Zechariah 12:10.

Verse 7

And it was [so],.... What follows came to pass: that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job; which he spake to him out of the whirlwind, and after he had heard Job's confession, and the declaration he made of his humiliation and repentance: the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite; who with his two friends were still present and heard the speeches of the Lord to Job, and the acknowledgment he had made of sin; though some o think that, when the dispute ended between Job and them, they returned to their own country, where Eliphaz is now supposed to be, and was bid with his two friends to go to Job again, which they did, as is concluded from the following verses: but no doubt they stayed and heard what Elihu had to say; and the voice of the Lord out of the whirlwind would command their attention and stay; and very desirous they must be to know how the cause would go, for or against Job; the latter of which they might expect from the appearance of things. Now the Lord directs his speech to Eliphaz, he being perhaps the principal man, on account of his age, wisdom and wealth, and being the man that led the dispute, began it, and formed the plan to go upon, and was the most severe on Job of any of them; wherefore the Lord said to him, my wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends; who were Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite; who gave into the same sentiments with Eliphaz, and went upon the same plan, speaking wrong things of God, charging Job falsely, and condemning him; which provoked the Lord, and caused his wrath to be kindled like fire against them, of which there were some appearances and breakings forth in his words and conduct towards them; for ye have not spoken of me [the thing that is] right, as my servant Job [hath]; they had said many right things of God, and Job had said many wrong ones of him, and yet upon the whole Job had said more correct things of God than they; their notion, and which they had expressed, was, that God deals with men in this life according to their outward behaviour; that God did not afflict good men, at least not sorely, nor long; and that wicked men were always punished now: from whence they drew this inference, that Job, being so long and so greatly afflicted, must be a bad man, or God would never have dealt with him after this manner. Job, on the other hand, affirmed, that wicked men enjoyed great prosperity, which good men did not; and therefore the love and hatred of God were not known by these things; and men's characters were not to be judged of by these outward things; in which he was doubtless right: some render the words "have not spoken unto me" p, before him, in his presence; for they were all before God, and to him they all appealed, and he heard and observed all that was said, and now passed judgment. No notice is taken of Elihu, nor blame laid on him; he acting as a moderator, taking neither the part of Job, nor of his friends, but blaming both: nor did he pretend to charge Job with any sins of his former life as the cause of his calamities; only takes up some indecent, unguarded, and extravagant expressions of his in the heat of this controversy, and rebukes him for them; and throughout the whole vindicates the justice of God in his dealings with him.

Verse 8

Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks, and seven rams,.... Creatures used in sacrifice before the giving of the Levitical law, Genesis 4:4; and the same number of the same creatures were offered by Balaam in the country of Moab, not far from where Job lived, nor at any great distance of time from his age, Numbers 23:1; and among the Gentiles in later times q. And these were typical of Christ, being strong creatures, especially the bullocks, and which were used for labour; and the number seven may point at the perfection of Christ's sacrifice; to which these men were directed in their sacrifices to look for the complete atonement of their sins: now though they were not at their own dwellings, and could not take these out of their own herds and flocks, and Job had none, yet they could purchase them of others; and which having done, they are bid to do as follows: and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; that is, by Job, who was to offer it for them in their name, and at whose hands the Lord would accept it, and for his sake. Job, as the head and master of his family, was wont to sacrifice, as every such man did before the Aaronic priesthood took place, Job 1:5. Now this was doing Job a great deal of honour, both by calling him his servant, as before in Job 42:7, and twice more in this; which was plainly giving the cause on his side; confirming the character he always bore, and still retained; and declaring he had other thoughts of him than his friends had; as well by sending them to him with their sacrifices to offer for them; which was saying, that they had sinned, and must offer sacrifice, and that Job was in the right; and therefore must offer the sacrifice for them. This was putting them on a great piece of self-denial; that men, who were older than Job, great personages, heads of families, and who had been wont to offer sacrifices in them, yet are now sent to Job to offer them for them; a man now in mean circumstances, and who in they had treated with great contempt; and he in his turn had used them as roughly. And it was also a trial of Job's grace, and of his forgiving spirit, to do this for them, and pray to God on their behalf: and the Lord's design in it was, to exercise the graces of them both, and to reconcile them to one another, and to himself; and my servant Job shall pray for you; that their sacrifice might be accepted, and their sin pardoned. In this Job was a type of Christ, as he was in many other things; see the notes on Job 16:9. There is an agreement in his name; Job, whether it signifies love or hatred, desired or hated, in both ways the etymology of it is given; it agrees with Christ, who is beloved of God and man, and the desire of all nations; who hates iniquity, and was hated for his inveighing against it. Job was a type of him in his threefold state; before his low estate, in it, and after it; see Philippians 2:6. In his temptations by Satan, and sufferings from men; and particularly in his office as a priest, who both offered himself a sacrifice for his people, and offers their services and sacrifices of prayer and praise to God; and who prayed for his disciples, and for all the Father has given him, for transgressors and sinners, and even for his enemies that used him ill; for him will I accept; or his face, that is, hear his prayer, and grant what is asked by him; as well as accept his sacrifice; lest I deal with you [after your] folly; as all sin is, being committed against God, a breach of his law, and injurious to men  themselves; see Deuteronomy 32:6. Though here it seems to be restrained to their particular sin and folly in their dispute with Job; want of wisdom in them was discerned by Elihu, Job 32:7. So it follows: in that ye have not spoken of me [the thing which is] right, like my servant Job; and if by neglect of his advice, which would have been another instance of their folly, they had provoked the Lord to deal with them as their sin deserved, it must have gone hard with them. The Targum is, "lest I should do with you "what would be" a reproach'' (or disgrace); would put them to shame, and make them appear ignominious to men; as by stripping them of their substance and honour, and reducing them to the condition Job was in.

Verse 9

So Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, [and] Zophar the Naamathite, went,.... Having taken the above creatures for sacrifice, as directed, they went to Job with them; and did according as the Lord commanded them; offered them by Job for a burnt offering, and desired him to pray for them. This they did, both as to matter and manner, as the Lord ordered them; and they did it immediately, without consulting flesh and blood, the pride and other passions of their hearts; and they all united in it, and served the Lord with one consent, which showed them to be good men; the Lord also accepted Job; the sacrifice he offered; perhaps by sending fire from heaven, which consumed the burnt offering: or "the face of Job"; he heard his prayer for his friends, and granted his request for them: or "the person of Job", as Mr. Broughton renders it; Job in this was a type of Christ also, who is always heard in his intercession and mediation for his people. God has respect to his person, which always acceptable to him, and in whom he is well pleased; and he has respect to his offering and sacrifice, which is of a sweet smelling savour to him. And the persons of his people are accepted in him the Beloved, and all their services and sacrifices of prayer and praise, Matthew 3:17. The Targum is, "they did as the Word of the Lord spake unto them, and the Word of the Lord accepted the face of Job.''

Verse 10

And the Lord turned the captivity of Job,.... Not literally, in such sense as Lot's captivity was turned, Genesis 14:12; for Job's person was not seized on and carried away, though his cattle were: nor spiritually, being delivered from the captivity of sin; that had been his case many years ago, when first converted: but it is to be understood of his restoration from afflictions and calamities to a happy state; as of the return of his substance, his health and friends, and especially of his deliverance from Satan, in whose hands he had been some time, and by him distressed both in body and mind. But now his captivity was turned, and he was freed from all his distresses; and even from those which arose from the dealings of God with him, which he was now fully satisfied about; and this was done, when he prayed for his friends; as he was directed to do. A good man will not only pray for himself, as Job doubtless did, but for others also; for his natural and spiritual friends, yea, for unkind friends, and even for enemies likewise: and the prayer of an upright man is very acceptable to the Lord; and many mercies and blessings come by it; and even prayer for others is profitable to a man's self; and sometimes he soon reaps the benefit of it, as Job now did. For when and while he was praying, or quickly upon it, there was a turn in his affairs: he presently found himself in better health; his friends came about him, and his substance began to increase; Satan had no more power over him, and the presence of God was with him. All which was of the Lord; and he enjoyed it in the way of prayer, and as the fruit of that; also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before: or added to him double. Which chiefly respects his substance; his cattle, as appears from Job 42:12, and might be true both with respect to things temporal and spiritual. "Double" may denote an abundance, a large measure of good things; see Zechariah 9:12.

Verse 11

Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters,.... Which may be taken not in a strict sense, but in a larger sense for all that were related to him; the same with his kinsfolks, Job 19:14; and all they that had been of his acquaintance before; that knew him, visited him, conversed with him, and kept up a friendly correspondence with him; the circle of his acquaintance must have been large, for wealth makes many friends: now these had been shy of him, and kept at a distance from him, during the time of his affliction and distress; see Job 19:13; but hearing he was in the favour of God, and the cause was given on his side, and against his friends, and his affairs began to take a more favourable turn, they came to him again, and paid him a friendly visit, even all of them; and did eat bread with him in his house: expressing their joy for his recovery, and renewing their friendship with him: this was done either at their own expense or at Job's, for he might not be so poor at the worst as he is by most represented; for he had still an house of his own, and furniture in it, and servants to wait upon him, as appears from Job 19:15; nor do we read of anything being taken out of his house from him; he might still have gold and silver, and so could entertain his friends: and being a man of an excellent spirit received them kindly, without upbraiding them with their unkindness in deserting him when afflicted; and they bemoaned him; shook their heads at him, pitying his case, that is, which he had been in; for this they might do, though things were now better with him, and might express themselves in such manner as this, "Poor man, what hast thou endured? what hast thou gone through by diseases of body, loss of substance, and vexation from friends?'' and besides, though things began to mend with him, he was not come at once to the pitch of happiness he arrived unto; so that there might be still room for bemoaning, he being comparatively in poor circumstances to what he was before; and comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him; the evil of afflictions, of body and estate; which, though by means of Satan and wicked men, was according to the will of God, and might be said to be brought on him and done to him by the Lord, Amos 3:6; and they congratulated him upon his deliverance from them; every man also gave him a piece of money, or a "lamb"; which some understand in a proper sense, as being what might serve towards making up his loss of sheep, and increasing his stock of them; but others with us take it for a piece of money, in which sense it is used in Genesis 33:19, compared with Acts 7:16; which might have the figure of a lamb impressed upon it; as we formerly had a piece of money called an angel, having the image of one stamped on it; and it was usual with the ancients both to barter with cattle instead of money before the coining of it, and when it was coined to impress upon it the figure of cattle; hence the Latin word "pecunia", for money, is from "pecus", cattle r; this piece of money in Africa is the same with the Jewish "meah" s, which weighed sixteen barley corns; the value of a penny; and everyone earring of gold; or a jewel set in gold; such used to wear in Arabia, as appears from, Judges 8:24; however Job could turn them into money, and increase his stock of cattle thereby. Though, perhaps, these presents were made him, not so much to enrich him, but as tokens of renewing their friendship with him; it being then usual in the eastern countries, as it is to this day, that whenever they pay visits, even to the greatest personages, they always carry presents with them; see 1 Samuel 9:7.

Verse 12

So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning,.... Which verified the words of Bildad, Job 8:6; though they were spoken by him only by way of supposition. All blessings are of the Lord, temporal and spiritual; and sometimes the last days of a good man are his best, as to temporal things, as were David's, and here Job's; though this is not always the case: however, if their last days are but the best in spiritual things, that is enough: if they have more faith, hope, love, patience, humility, and self-denial, and resignation of will to the will of God; are more holy, humble, spiritually and heavenly minded; have more light and knowledge in divine things; have more peace and joy, and are more fruitful in every good work, and more useful; and often they are in their very last moments most cheerful and comfortable: the best wine is reserved till last; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses: just double the number of each of what he had before, Job 1:3.

Verse 13

He had also seven sons, and three daughters. The same number of children, and of the same sort he had before, Job 1:2; and according to Nachman the very same he had before, which the additional letter in the word "seven" is with him the notification of; so that the doubting of what he had before, Job 42:10; respects only his substance, and particularly his cattle; though the Targum says he had fourteen sons, and so Jarchi t; others think these may be said to be double to Job in their good qualities, external and internal, in their dispositions, virtues, and graces; and others, inasmuch as his former children were not lost, but lived with God, and would live forever, they might now be said to be double; and so they consider this as a proof of the immortality of the soul, and of the resurrection of the body; but these senses are not to be trusted to; whether these children were by a former wife or another is uncertain.

Verse 14

And he called the name of the first Jemima,.... That is, the name of the first and eldest daughter was called by Job Jemima; which either signifies "day", so the Targum interprets it, and most do, and so is the same with Diana; or, as Spanheim u observes, it may be the same with the Arabic word "jemama", which signifies a turtle or dove w; and who also observes that a country in Arabia is so called, and perhaps from her; and which seems to be confirmed by the Arabic geographer x, who speaks of a queen called Jamama, who dwelt in a city of the country he describes as being on the north of Arabia Felix, and also speaks of a way from thence to Bozrah in Edom; and the name of the second, Kezia; or Cassia; an aromatic herb of a very fragrant smell, as we render the word, Psalms 45:8; and from this person the above learned writer conjectures Mount Casius in Arabia might have its name; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch; which signifies an horn or vessel of paint, such as the eastern women used to paint their faces, particularly their eyes with, Jeremiah 4:30; and as Jezebel did, 2 Kings 9:30; or "the ray of a precious stone"; some say the carbuncle y or ruby; according to the Targum, the emerald; in 1 Chronicles 29:2, the word is rendered "glittering stones". Now these names may have respect to Job's daughters themselves, to their external beauty, afterwards observed, so the Targum, "he called the one Jemima, because her beauty was as the day; the other he called Kezia, because she was precious like cassia; and another he called Kerenhappuch, because great was the brightness of the glory of her countenance, as the emerald.'' The complexion of the first might be clear as a bright day, though like that but of a short duration; see Song of Solomon 6:10; the next might have her name from the fragrancy and sweetness of her temper; and the third, as being so beautiful that she needed no paint to set her off, but was beauty and paint herself; or her beauty was as bright and dazzling as a precious stone; see Lamentations 4:7. Or these may respect their internal qualities, virtues, and graces; being children of the day, and not of the night; having a good name, which is better than all spices; and possessed of such graces as were comparable to jewels and precious stones. Though it might be, that Job, in giving them these names, may have respect to the change of his state and condition; his first daughter he called Jemima, or "day", because it was now day, with him: he had been in the night and darkness of adversity, temporal and spiritual, but now he enjoyed a day of prosperity, and of spiritual light and joy; the justness of his cause appeared, his righteousness was brought forth as the light, and his judgment as noonday; and the dispensations of divine Providence appeared to him in a different light than he had seen them in: his second daughter he called Kezia, or Cassia, an herb of a sweet smell, in opposition to the stench of his ulcers and of his breath, which had been so very offensive, and from which he was now free; and may denote also the recovery of his good name, better than precious ointment, in which cassia was an ingredient: his youngest daughter he called Kerenhappuch, the horn of paint, in opposition to his horn being defiled in the dust, and his face foul with weeping, Job 16:15; or if Kerenhappuch signifies the horn turned, as Peritsol interprets it, it may have respect to the strange and sudden turn of Job's affairs: and it is easy to observe, that men have given names to their children on account of their present state and condition, or on account of the change of a former one; see Genesis 41:51.

Verse 15

And in all the land were no women found [so] fair as the daughters of Job,.... Either in the whole world, which is not improbable: or it may be rather in the land or country in which they dwelt; and which may be gathered from their names, as before observed. The people of God, and children of Christ, the antitype of Job, are all fair, and there is no spot in them; a perfection of beauty, perfectly comely, through the comeliness of Christ put upon them, and are without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren; which was done not on account of their beauty or virtue; nor is this observed so much to show the great riches of Job, that he could give his daughters as much as his sons, as his impartiality to his children, and his strict justice and equity in distributing his substance to them all alike, making no difference between male and female. And so in Christ, the antitype of Job, there is neither male nor female, no difference between them, Galatians 3:28: but being all children, they are heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, and equally partake of the same inheritance with the saints in light, Romans 8:17.

Verse 16

After this lived Job an hundred and forty years,.... Not after he had arrived to the height of his prosperity; not after the birth of his children, and they were grown up, and had their portions given them, which must take in a considerable number of years; but after his afflictions were over, and his prosperity began: and if his years were doubled, as some think, though that is not certain, then he must be seventy years of age when he was so sorely afflicted and must live to the age of two hundred and ten; which is the common notion of the Jewish writers z: however, he must be fifty or sixty years of age at that time, since his former children were grown up and were for themselves; and it is said a, his afflictions continued seven years. So that it is not at all improbable that he lived to be about two hundred years of age; and which was a singular blessing of God to him, if you compare his age with that of Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and Joshua, between the two former and the two latter he may be supposed to live; and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, [even] four generations; Joseph saw but the third, Job the fourth, he was a great-great-grandfather. This was no doubt a pleasant sight to him, to see such a numerous offspring descending from him; and especially if they were walking in the ways of God, as probably they were, since no doubt he would take all the care of their education that in him lay. This is the great blessing promised to the Messiah, the antitype of Job, Isaiah 53:10; see also Isaiah 59:21.

Verse 17

So Job died,.... As every man does, though he lived so long, and as Methuselah the oldest man did, Genesis 5:27; and though a good man, the best of men die as well as others: so Job died, as a good man, in the Lord, in faith and hope of eternal life and happiness; and so he died in all his outward prosperity and happiness, having great substance and a numerous offspring; [being] old; as he might be truly called, being two hundred years of age or thereabout: and full of days; lived out all his days, the full term of life in common, and longer than it was usual for men to live. He had a long life to satisfaction, as is promised, Psalms 91:16. He lived as long as he desired to live, was quite satisfied with living; not that he loathed life, as he once did, and in that sense he did, and from such principles and with such views as he then had, Job 7:15. But he had enough of life, and was willing to die; and came to his grave, as Eliphaz said, "like a shock of corn in his season", Job 5:26. Adrichomius b, from certain travellers, speaks of the sepulchre of Job, in the form of a pyramid, in the plains of the land of Uz, to the east of the city Sueta, shown to this day, and had in great honour by Greeks and others; and which is more probable than what some say c, that his grave is in Constantinople, where there is a gate called Job's gate, from thence: but the Job there buried was a general of the Saracens, who died besieging that city with a numerous army, and was there buried, A. D. 675 d. There is a fragment at the end of the Septuagint and Arabic versions of this book, said to be translated from a Syriac copy, which gives a very particular account of Job's descent as, "that he dwelt in the land of Ausitis, on the borders of Idumaea and Arabia; that his name was first Jobab; that he married an Arabian woman, and begot a son, whose name was Ennon; that his father was Zare, a son of the sons of Esau; that his mother was Bosorra (or Bosra); and that he was the fifth from Abraham. And these are the kings that reigned in Edom, which country he reigned over; the first was Balac, the son of Beor, the name of whose city was Dennaba; after Balac, Jobab, called Job; after him Asom, who was governor in the country of Theman; after him Adad, the son of Barad, who cut off Midian in the field of Moab, the name of whose city was Gethaim. The friends that came to him (Job) were Eliphaz, of the sons of Esau, the king of the Themanites; Baldad, king of the Sauchseans; and Sophar, king of the Minaeans.''

                                     (Adapted from URL:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/geb/job-42.html)

 

Concluding Thoughts from the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary

It’s highly unlikely that any of us have had 10 children die and have lost all possessions, etc., as Job did. Even so, our reactions during challenging circumstances often mirror Job’s. He lamented in unknowing, and allowed the intensity of his emotions to govern his speech toward God. After Job experienced God’s presence and pointed line of questioning, Job realized his insignificance and the baseless nature of his questioning of God. Job had questioned his just God, only to realize he spoke out of turn. Job learned firsthand that God’s purpose or plan may not be evident to human eyes, but God remains just in the midst of it all. Often, when faced with unexplainable and challenging circumstances, we want answers and explanations for the reason for our suffering. So we ask why relentlessly, implying that answers will satisfy the longing of our souls as they explain the unexplainable. But a greater salve for our wounded souls is an overwhelming vision of God, in which his eternal presence and wise counsel become the anchor for our lives and guide us to whatever he might have next for us.

 

Concluding Thoughts from the Echoes Commentary

God Is in Control - God is just and fair. Sometimes we don't understand Him because things don't always add up in our thinking. Job came to that conclusion after God asked him a series of questions about Creation. Job had to cover his mouth, unable to answer. Job realized God is sovereign, supreme in rule and authority, over all things. Job confessed his limited understanding of God. Job had assumed God was his enemy and doubted God's goodness.

 

Job's Understanding - Job asked God for permission to speak. He realized what God ordains always comes to pass, and it does not derail His purposes. The Lord opened Job's eyes. He now viewed God as sovereign. In humility, he recognized we human beings lack an understanding of God's ways.

 

Prayer for Misguided Friends - God showed His displeasure with Job's friends. Their incorrect words about Job made his suffering worse. He instructed the friends to take sacrificial animals to atone for their wrongdoings toward Job and they obeyed. Job then prayed for them. They had posed as friends but spoke like enemies. God accepted Job's prayer of intercession.

 

Celebration - God mended and restored Job's relationships and gave him many blessings, far beyond his wildest imagination. Job now bowed his knee before God even deeper. He walked with God as his close companion.

 

Trust God in Difficult Times - This is a major lesson Christians need to learn from Job's experience. In all circumstances, whether we understand what God is doing or not, He knows what He is doing. We can trust Him.