Things Not Understood
Pray that any who are suffering because of oppression and exploitation will have strength and know God’s blessing.
Read JOB 42:1-17
 Then Job replied to the LORD:  “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.  You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.  “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’  My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.  Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”  After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.  So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.”  So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.  After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.  All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.  The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys.  And he also had seven sons and three daughters.  The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch.  Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.  After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation.  And so Job died, an old man and full of years. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat was the Lord's judgment on Job's friends?
Job’s final words to God make no mention of his sufferings or his desire for vindication of his innocence. Instead he acknowledges God’s power and sovereignty over everything (2,3) and repents of his arrogance (5,6). The remainder of the chapter wraps up the story. The three friends are reprimanded for their lack of truth (7) and Job is vindicated by God. In forgiving and praying for his friends, the way is opened for Job to recover his wealth and family, eventually living to a ripe old age (12-17).
Sadly, not all suffering has a happy ending, nor does God promise that. We may never know why we suffer, but we can always trust that God will only do what is right. Does it disturb you that we can apparently suffer for no reason? Forgiveness of those who have wronged us and humility before God’s glory and power can make it possible for us to accept our suffering.
Like Job, we may have to acknowledge that there are things we cannot understand, which are “too wonderful for me to know” (3, TNIV).
Pray for those who suffer unfairly. Pray for those Christian organizations that combat oppression and exploitation.
Great Lord God, may I have the humble spirit that Job had so that I can learn to trust and follow You in all things.
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