Lord, I await the end of my ordeal.
Read JOB 42:1–17
42 Then Job replied to the Lord:
2 “I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3 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.
4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.’
5 My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you.
6 Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes.”
7 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. 8 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.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.
10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. 11 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.
12 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. 13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. 15 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.
16 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 17 And so Job died, an old man and full of years.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut. 4:29).
This final chapter of Job first brings out Job’s response to the Lord’s second speech (1–6) and then his vindication and double restoration (7–17). The latter section serves as the epilogue of the book. Instead of remaining silent, Job gives a sufficient answer to God this time. His statement in verse 6, “Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes,” gives the impression that Job confesses his sin. However, the context doesn’t suggest that God treats Job as a sinner who needs to repent. Job’s ignorance of God’s plan gets corrected by God (3), but speaking of things without understanding them is not sin. Otherwise, the Lord would not commend him twice as his servant and as the one who has spoken the truth about him (7,8). Furthermore, God designates Job to intercede for his friends, a gesture of Job’s vindication.
“Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust in ashes” (6). It is possible, however, to understand this verse 6 differently. The word “myself” doesn’t appear at all in the Hebrew text. The Hebrew ma’as (“despise” in NIV), used with an object, often means “reject.” The words nhm ‘l (“repent” in NIV) can mean “change one’s mind about.” The term “dust and ashes” refers to mourning or lamenting and in this sentence can be taken as the object of both verbs. Why does Job change his attitude? Because his encounter with the Lord has given him first-hand experience with God, surpassing all the second-hand knowledge he had in the past: “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (5). Such a life-changing experience infuses new faith and hope in Job—he is no longer mourning and lamenting.
Have you had a first-hand encounter with God recently? Ask Jesus to reveal himself. Be sensitive to the guidance of the Spirit and observe the change in your life.
Lord, thank You for being so accommodating with us and seeing to it that we land on our feet somehow.
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