Job's Restoration with God and Man.

At times, God uses our senses to make His presence known (Psalm 34:8, 1 John 1:1-4). This growth in knowledge of God deepens our relationship with Him. For examples, see Isaiah 6:1-5, Luke 5:8, and 7:6-7. Job has found that theology is only the beginning; it's important, but second to our personal walk with God.

Job's Restoration

Job has been restored to fellowship with God; now he needs to be made at peace with his friends. In Job 42:7, God confronts the oldest of the group as a representative. He addresses the retribution theology that has been wrongly attributed to Him. These men need atonement to be made for their wrong. Forgiveness is available, but they need a mediator.

Job has a role in restoring his friends to God. He is called God's "servant" and "accepted" by God. He assists his friends in making the required offering, one similar to a sacrifice prescribed in the Mosaic Law as atoning for the sin of the whole nation of Israel. He does so while still under his suffering.

These friends had grievously offended God in their words about Him. We must take note and speak humbly whenever we share truth from or about God.

Some commentators note several parallels between Job's life and that of Christ. He suffered calamity without cause; was bruised and accepted by God. He served as a mediator for his friends and freely prayed for those who had hurt him. This can remind us of the life, ministry, and atonement of Christ, who is the only one who can bear the weight of all our sins and make us right before God (Romans 5:8, 1 Timothy 2:5).

Job's fortune is not restored until the breach has been mended with his friends. The Lord uses Job to make that happen. Job freely prays for those who had hurt him, as Christ later instructs in Matthew 5:44. No one's sin is greater than your own.

J.R.R. Tolkien coined the word "eucatastrophe" to describe the sudden and unexpected way that good is brought out of darkness. This is what happens in Job 42:10-17. God acts freely, without cause but never without intention. God chooses the circumstances of our lives and deaths, and He chose to restore Job's friends, family, fortune, and future. Job did not earn this reversal, but received it by God's choice. Job is shown giving a counter-cultural inheritance to his daughters, imaging the impartiality of God. The story ends on a joyful note both practically and spiritually.

Theological Conclusions

All God's chosen catastrophes are good. He has spiritual intentions behind each thing He allows.

God doesn't need to reverse your suffering in order to be good (2 Corinthians 4:7-18).

Job's suffering ended when his mission was accomplished. Events that are inexplicable are not necessarily irrational. Job learned to value God above all.

God crushes the pride of poor theology. This is good for us to know.

God humiliated Satan through Job's perseverance. Job proved that he was not a materialist, loving God only for the gifts he received from Him.

God fulfilled His good purpose and brought many good results from Job's suffering.

Practical Applications

No human can fully bear another's sins except Christ, who can bear them all.

Those who suffer innocently can be God's companions.

Pray for your persecutors. When you do, you will bear the marks of humility, maturity, and Christ-likeness. Are you a cul-de-sac or conduit of forgiveness? If God has forgiven you much, you are compelled to forgive others. There is no hurt greater than what we inflicted on Christ. Christians cannot remain enemies.

Try not to despise spiritually fair-weather friends, but love them.

Job's relationship with God deepened through this experience. In his book Beyond Suffering, Layton Talbert said, "There are times when there are no other conditions but the providential soil of suffering that are meant to be the catalyst to deepen our relationship with God. " He quotes Tolkien, who wrote, "Evil may yet be good to have been and yet remain evil." It's never too late to do the right thing. Don't give Satan the victory. Faith makes us more than conquerors.

It is completely human and natural to doubt and wrestle with God when enduring suffering.

Further Application Points

  • Have you "tasted and seen that the Lord is good"? Have you trusted Christ? If so, how is your walk with Him? Do you enjoy time in His Word and undistracted prayer? Are you applying His Word and allowing it to transform your life?
  • In what capacity do you share God's Word with others? Every Christian speaks biblical truth to others, whether they are a teacher or not. As you do, be sober and share or disciple or teach humbly. Handle God's Word with care, because He can be grievously offended when we handle it wrongly.