Another “Rest of the Story”

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…  Job 42:10-12

The book of Job is one of the oldest writings in the Bible, and it has been quoted, misquoted, and used out of context for centuries.  Don’t get me wrong, my guess is that I too will use it out of context and derive my own meanings, which may or may not adhere to orthodox interpretation. However, I will do my best to give you my ideas on the book.

The Book of Job is about suffering. That is why it has been so quoted and studied over the centuries. The one thing that is constant in the human story is suffering. I have pointed out before that Job’s “comforters” initially were very helpful to him when they simply sat with him and allowed him to share his terrible fate with them. It was when they offered their own ideas about why God had allowed such suffering that they caused Job more pain than ever. They accused him of having done some sin, perhaps something unknown, that God was punishing him for.

Finally, after what seems like an interminable amount of soul searching, speculation, and accusations, God appears on the scene and takes charge of affairs. God lets the men know that he alone was around when he created the earth. God alone has his reasons, or non-reasons for what he does, and because he is sovereign, he can, and will, do what he pleases. He owed the men no explanation for his actions, or for simply what he allows to happen.

After these men- good men by the way, well meaning people- finally got that message, God told them that they owed Job an apology, and he told Job to pray for them. God said that he would forgive them for the pain they inflicted on their friend, Job.

I thought this following sentence was very interesting- After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. It was only after Job prayed for his friends and essentially forgave them that God restored to him more than he had ever lost.

I am not suggesting that this is a formula for wealth or success. It was simply the way God worked. He restored Job’s dignity, then he restored his wealth after he had learned his life lesson.

There is so much to learn in this, but my takeaway is that God is God, and he certainly does not answer to me.

It’s just that I would like him to do that, and I need to catch myself on that one. How about you?

Prayer: Thank you for the lessons you give us. Forgive us when we expect that you, the sovereign God, owe us an explanation, Amen

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