Topic: Repentance, Redemption and Restoration
The depth of the three closing chapters of Job is boggling. The incredibly descriptive language, the juxtaposition of God’s sovereignty, and Job’s self-proclaimed righteousness and, finally, the parallel to the New Testament’s promise of salvation. These three chapters serve to remind us that God’s plan is perfect, that we serve to glorify Him, and His grace toward us is boundless.
One of the traits of maturing in our faith is the tendency to become more aware of our imperfection as we grow closer to God. As unbelievers, we were haughty and self-righteous and easily compared our “goodness” to others’ sins; upon belief in Jesus Christ as our Redeemer and Savior, we grasp the understanding that the smallest, most inconsequential sin carries the same penalty as the most grievous sins and we begin a journey that has no end. Paul writes it most memorably in Romans 7:7-25 (read it, please) and 1 Timothy 1:15 “… Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” Most people who have read those verses have felt the condemnation of their trespasses- the deeper your relationship with God, the more aware you become of the unworthiness you have in yourself.
Job uttered the underlying principle more poignantly in Job 42:2-6.
2 “I know You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.”
-Job acknowledges the Lord’s sovereignty.
3 “You asked “Who is this that 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.”
-Job confesses his trespasses against God that he judged God as being unfair because of the calamities that were visited on him in in the face of his “righteousness”.
5 I have heard You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. 6 Therefore, I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
-Job falls, broken and contrite, before the Lord.
Job’s redemption is signified in God calling him “My servant” repeatedly and stating that He will accept Job’s prayers (Job 42:7,8). God then restored all that which had been taken from Job and doubled it- Job 42:12 describes Job having 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen (two beasts per yoke!), 1,000 female donkeys and 10 children.
This last entry is significant- God blessed Job with seven sons and three daughters, not to replace the ten that perished in Job 1:19, BUT IN ADDITION THOSE TEN! King David stopped mourning for his first son by Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 12:23 when the child died, explaining “…I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” Job’s sons and daughters, like King David’s son, were preserved through death in Abraham’s bosom. They were counted with the living children, doubling the number of Job’s sons and daughters, and signifying the completeness of his restoration.
Our triumphs are used by God for His glory, and our tragedies are allowed by Him for His glory as well. Job suffered through great loss but, in the end, he caught a glimpse of God’s purpose for him and surrendered in faith to the Lord saying “…I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, that I did not know.” Isaiah 55:8 and 9 remind us that 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
All suffering is common to man, and no one has endured anything that hasn’t happened to countless others though the millennia. Only One has suffered uniquely- Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame…” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus inspired our faith and promises us that, as the finisher of our faith, He has given us everything we need to endure to completion. When Jesus carried our sins and bore our punishment on the cross, He endured that separation from God the Father so that we don’t have to.
We have what Job did not. A Redeemer.
In His service,