Job lost everything. What a blessing! In Genesis Man is condemned to eat bread by the sweat of his brow, so that if he wearies of his labors he will cry out to God. Woman is condemned to bring forth children in hardship, so that if her pain proves too great she will weep before God. Their distress links them to God. But God has given the serpent dust to eat. There is an unlimited supply of dust. God gave it everything it needs so that it will never need to turn to Him again.
Job 38 wraps up the story of Job. The Lord comes in a whirlwind. Maybe stormy weather will again be associated with the last coming of our Lord. God often comes in a way we do not expect. With a trumpet or as a still small voice. In a burning bush or as a sheet full of unclean animals. With a ladder of angels or as a wheel within a wheel. God spoke to Job with a barrage of questions. God said: Job 38:4-8 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone....Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb?"
Job, can you command the dawn or find the origin of light? Can you control the seasons? We humans think we are so smart. A famous philosopher said: "Whatever man can undo, man can do." A Christian said: "I'd like to break an egg over his head and then say, "Now, you do what I have undone." Only God can control what God has created. Compared to God we are so small. We have no answer to major things: What is Gravity? What is magnetism? How do we cure a cold? Where does the Universe end? Our wisdom falters on the shore of the uncharted oceans of knowledge. All Job could answer is in Job40:4 "I am unworthy--how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth."
Next God describes two strange beasts, the Behemoth and Leviathan.
The Behemoth (Job 40:15ff) is a useless animal, possibly the Hippopotamus. A Ludicrous beast. Totally pointless. This monstrous ugly animal is super strong with bones like bars of Bronze and rods of Iron, but totally useless for the plow. The Hippo churns the mud and tramples the jungle leaving a trail of disorder behind. Yet God made him and God loves Hippopotamuses! Amazingly, God puts the Hippo first on his list of "Important Animals I have Made." (Job 40:19)
God loves what many view as useless. This obese beast is unattractive dangerous and unpredictable with no visible purpose. Yet he is the special object of God's Care. Maybe some of us were born different. We are missing the brain power of most or we are missing the good looks of others. Something is not right. Yet we are the special objects of God's Love. Maybe God intentionally allowed you to be created you like you are. Who of us would create the odd or the useless? God does. God loves we who are a little too short or too this or too that. If God loves the useless hippo and if God loves the irregular then we ought to love them also.
We all have some of the useless in us. Be ever so slow in judging the value of people. We are so quick to destroy what we view as useless. When a civilization begins to devalue certain groups of people within its boundaries, that culture begins the downward slide into barbarity. Abortion of an unwanted baby is one example. Old people are the fastest growing segment of society today. When we begin to feel they are useless we must think of the Hippopotamus. Would God approve the euthanasia of the useless? We must learn to appreciate what seems to be useless and undeserving.
We are undeserving. The hippo is an example of God's grace for the unworthy. We serve a God of the underdog; A God Who values the sinner and loves us with an unquenchable love.
What is this horrible beast? Whatever this monster is I would not want to meet up with it in some dark swamp. This zealous dragon is violent and dangerous. It is untamable and uncontrollable, jeopardizing even the strongest. Why would God create an unsafe crocodile like beast?
God is answering Job's all-important question: Why does God allow Evil? Why did God create a creature He knew would turn into a devil? Why doesn't God exterminate all evil from the universe? Because God prefers us to voluntarily love Him in a imperfect world rather than have a perfect world with bondage. Satan has many of the same characteristics as a mean crocodile. God will not destroy either one until sin has run its course. The existence of evil permits the opportunity of grace. The more dark and sinful this world is, the greater can shine God's love.
The crocodile demonstrates the evil character of Satan who is loose and allowed to work his evil in our world through hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, floods, and a thousand forms of evil.
Like a slap in the face God describes this devil-like dragon to Job: Job 41:34 He looks down on all that are haughty; he is king over all that are proud." Job was so proud of his own righteousness. The Satan-like Dragon is monarch over those that are puffed up with pride. Finally Job is humbled. He confesses his pride. he said: Job 42:5. "My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you."
Each of us needs a personal encounter with God. Job's trials enabled him to see God. Often we see more through tears than through glasses. Job 42:6. "Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes." Job had been weak and wordy. So often weak folk are excessively wordy. Now Job has become strong and silent.
Job 42:10 (KJV). And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends:.... What does God call Jobs suffering? Captivity! Cancer, Alzheimers, Stroke, Heart attack; all these and more place us in spiritual incarceration. If you struggle with drugs, tobacco or alcohol you are incarcerated! What was it that brought Job out of his captivity? Prayer! When he stopped feeling sorry for himself and started to try to help someone else. You know you have turned the corner when you begin to pray for those who have abused and despitefully used you. This is what Jesus did.
Job 42:10. .... also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. There are rewards to faithfulness. God does not owe Job a reward. No. Job deserves much less. Yet Job rises from the pile of ashes forgiven. This is an example of grace. I wonder when we get to heaven if our joys will be doubled! Our size will be doubled. Other things will be increased many times. Our life expectancy will be unlimited.
I think Job's possessions were doubled over the years, until he was enormously wealthy. If God enriches someone don't be envious. Rejoice with them. Some of God's children are eminently prosperous. Applaud them rather than be critical.
Job 42:11 (KJV) Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.
Did you realize that Job had living relatives? They ditched him fast when he lost his fame and fortune. They totally abandoned him. Today some people win a prize and suddenly friends pop out of the woodwork. They can rightly say: "Where were you before you heard I won the lottery." Only when Job got his money back did his friends and family come back. They avoided him like the plague until he got his wealth back. Job's "friends" were something weren't they? Why did Job even let them in the door? Why did he and his wife cook up a feast for such fair weather friends? Because at this point Job exemplifies Jesus. We humans might see such so called "Friends" coming for a free meal and lock the door. But grace does not hold grudges!
I admire Job's wife for staying by him when his days were dark. She never left. She never filed for divorce. She stayed by her husband. In sickness or in health, in poverty or in riches she stayed by. Statistics indicate that a very high percentage of marriages fail over money problems. Stay together. Hang in there.
Job 42:12 (KJV). So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
All his possessions are doubled. By this time Job was an old man. One day his wife said: I think I am pregnant! At an age of 70 or more Job's wife gave birth to a baby. Over the next 10 or 20 years she delivered 10 perfect healthy babies. Wouldn't it be fun to have a tribe of young babies to care for at the age of 80 or 90? Job and his wife got to raise children the second time around. I've heard it said: "If I had it to do over again I would do this.." I wonder if Job did any better the second time. I imagine he did.
Job 42:14,15. 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.
Job's daughters... Turtle dove Jemimah, red hot Keziah and paint-can Karen! Beautiful names for gorgeous, attractive Miss America type girls! Job got beauty for ashes! Job was smart and fair. He had a will made up. Do you have a valid will? If you don't you have better get one. Our conference will provide one for you at no cost. In a chauvinistic time Job left equal shares of his vast fortune to his sons and his daughters. This is so much like God who plays no favorites. Jesus gives Salvation equally to all His children. You will be saved not because of what you did but because you were a true child of Jesus.
Job 42:16,17. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so he died, old and full of years. Job probably lived almost to the age of 200. Here in America more and more of us are living to be 100 or older. Give them honor. Learn from them. Most are a pool of wisdom for you to tap into.
I admire an old person who is not sour. One who lives a full and good life. Not a broken irritable negative old codger, but a loving, kind, Christlike older person with the joy of Jesus on his face. Retired people can find wonderful purpose and fulfillment. For the sour, old age is a cold winter but for the joyful old age is a sweet harvest. If you are lonely invite others to a party, write a stack of letters, get involved in helping others. If you begin to think you are too old to do a certain activity, get out and do it. Stay connected with life. Open the drapery and let life enter your soul.
The sun finally came out and shown brighter than ever upon Job. His griefs doubled his rewards. Troubles and tears will eventually deepen our joy. Often the choicest fruit grows upon the roughest wall. Trouble never comes unless she brings a nugget of gold in her hand. Scars stitch together the most noble of God's saints. Job was more than rewarded for his troubles. When we all get to heaven we will be more than compensated for our trials when we were but youngsters here.
Be Patient by Warren W. Wiersbe, Chariot Victor Publishing, Colorado Springs, CO, 1991.
Communicators Commentary, Job, by David L. McKenna, Word Books, Publisher, Waco, TX, 1986.
Job, by Chuck Swindoll, Word Publishing, Dallas.
Hymn of Praise: #228, A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing Scripture: Job 42:1-6 Hymn of Response: #326, Open Mine Eyes That I May See 051029#118
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last updated 05/11/05 by Bob Beckett.