This chapter brings us to the close of Job’s history, in which we find the Holy Spirit’s testimony by His servant James to be quite true: the end of the Lord’s dealings with him were very gracious. Here we find Job humbly submitting himself before his God, and nothing else but this can display more fully the state of a true penitent before the Lord. He no longer spoke in his own defense, but took shame to himself; he abhorred himself as a sinner in heart and life, especially for murmuring against Jehovah. True grace will always lead a sinner to confess his transgressions without self-justifying. Has it induced the same blessed effects in our souls as it did in Job? Have we been brought down in the deepest humiliation of soul, so that Jesus may be exalted to our view, and all human greatness may come to nothing?
After the Lord had convinced and humbled Job, and brought him to repentance, He comforted him and put honor upon him. The devil had undertaken to prove Job a hypocrite, and his three friends had condemned him as a wicked man; but when God says, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” – then it matters little who says otherwise. Job’s friends had wronged the Lord by making earthly prosperity a mark of a true believer, and affliction a certain proof of Divine wrath. Job had referred things to the future judgment, more than his friends had done; and therefore, he had spoken better of God than his friends had done. But when God was angry with the three friends, He put them in a way to make peace with Him. Our quarrels with the Lord always begin on our part, but the peacemaking always begins on His. Peace with God is only to be had in His own way, and upon His own terms. And just as Job prayed and offered sacrifices for those who had grieved and wounded his spirit; so also, Jesus prayed for His persecutors – and He still lives, and forever lives, to make intercession for transgressors. As the intercessor for his friends, Job was a picture of the Lord Jesus – the only Mediator between God and men (1 Tim. 2:5).
See how the Lord turned Job’s affliction into joy! Believers in Jesus should never lose sight of God’s power and promises. The deepest trials in this life are only the seedtime of a joyful harvest. To a child of God, there is no event that the Lord is not directing for his ultimate good. A kind and affectionate father or mother constantly does that which is ultimately good for their child, without any departure from that plan. And we know that Jesus – Whose wisdom and love are both engaged for this one purpose of doing His children good – is always doing that which shall ultimately accomplish that purpose!
The last days of a righteous person sometimes prove to be his best, as his path – like that of the morning light – shines more and more unto the perfect day (Prov. 4:18). God doubled Job’s former possessions. Whether or not the Lord gives us health and earthly blessings, yet if we patiently suffer according to His will, we shall indeed be happy in the end. But that which was even more important than the restoration of Job’s riches was the flourishing and virtuous family which arose around the noble Patriarch, which was the gift of the Lord’s grace and love. He was blessed with seven sons and three daughters – equal in number to his former happy family circle. There were probably no sons in Job’s day who were as famous as his for their virtues; just as there were no other daughters like his, who were found to be so beautiful and graceful. It is interesting to note that Job gave his daughters inheritance among their brethren (which was unusual in those days). The spiritual equality of all persons is part of the Christian inheritance; “in Christ there is neither male nor female” (Gal. 3:28). And so all the Lord’s daughters shall share that inheritance which is reserved in heaven for everyone who has the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit – which, in the sight of God, is greatly valuable (2 Pet. 3:14).
Thus we see that Job was abundantly rewarded in this life; and when his reinvigorated body sunk with the weight of years, and his earthly tabernacle was hastening to decay, he also had a good hope through grace – whereby he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God! (Heb. 11:10) And thus ends the lives of all God’s children; having served the Lord in his day and among his generation, he fell asleep. But here, in a point of contrast, we are led to contemplate our precious Lord Jesus! He remains our Great High Priest and Intercessor; and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!
Lord, let Job’s humility before You be a model for us, and lead us to repent of our sins and transgressions. We give You thanks that our atonement has been provided by You, in the righteousness and death of One Who knew no sin, and yet became obedient unto the death of the cross; and we also thank You that Your power is superior to Satan’s, and that the arch-enemy’s attacks are all overruled for good to Your dear children! Also, we beseech You to cause each of our children and grandchildren to become heirs to the glorious inheritance awaiting us in heaven. Amen.
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illustration by Laurent de La Hyre, 1648 | Wikimedia Commons