Job 42 Commentary
The LORD has spoken. Job has lacked knowledge of the dealings of the LORD. He has consequently spoken without knowledge. He repents.
The LORD is angry with Eliphaz and his friends for misrepresenting God. But the good news for them is that there stands a mediator in Job to intercede for them.
In chapter 1, we can see that Job’s suffering wasn’t a result of Job’s sinfulness. In chapter 42, we can now see that the restored blessings are not a result of Job’s righteousness.
The Book of Job has effectively dispelled sinfulness as the only reason the saint may experience suffering. It has also poured scorn on the notion that righteous acts can always buy blessings. The equation shouldn’t exist, at least not for Job.
The story of Job has the tone of Isaiah’s suffering servant as recorded in chapter 53. The LORD deliberately makes the servant go through pain and suffering. The Servant echoes Job’s lamentations in the cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” But the suffering is for a purpose.
Interestingly, the LORD hasn’t answered any of Job’s questions on suffering. The LORD hasn’t even made any reference to the reason why Job was subjected to suffering in the very first place. Of course, the reader knows but Job will probably never know.
All human questions disappear in the presence of the El-Shaddai God. That is the purpose of the poem on wisdom as recorded in chapter 28 of this book. The fear of the LORD – that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding. So we easily understand why the LORD doesn’t attend to any of the complex questions that occupied the debate. They become extinct the moment the LORD shows up.
The absence of satan from the epilogue is quite strange. He is the reason for this book. He argued that Job would curse God if the LORD took down Job’s material world. But Job didn’t curse God in disobedience. Next came the argument that Job’s life, as we know it, would be too important to let go of. If threatened, Job would give up his faith in God. Both tests failed. The scripture is telling us the story of Genesis from a different angle. Adam failed the test in the Garden of peace and tranquility – Eve being an important ally in disobedience. God is telling the world that there stands a man who won’t fail this exam. Job’s wife played the role of Eve but quite unsuccessfully, thankfully.
And having triumphed, Job becomes the mediator for errant Eliphaz and his friends. The LORD will only accept their prayers through the intercession of Job. Of course, the scripture is pointing to the one man whose righteousness would bring salvation to humanity. Job has many lines of prophecy pointing to the importance of Calvary but from a very foundational angle.
Job ends with chapter 42 in what would look like a partial restoration. The blessed Job still dies though after a long and fulfilled life. Yet we still find more hope after Job’s earthly pilgrimage in these timeless words, “I know that my redeemer lives and that in the end, he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh, I will see God”
What a book! Thanks for loving God’s word! Up next is the Book of Psalms.
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