And so we come to the end of our journey through Job. In this final chapter Job responds to God’s rebuke, acknowledges God’s soverignty and repents. Job recognises that ultimately it is God’s purposes being brought about (v2) in all circumstances.
What strikes me in particular in this passage is the response to Job’s friends. They are also rebuked by God and incredibly also shown mercy and grace. God’s ultimate response is to ‘not deal with you according to your folly‘. This is some of the most wonderful news that I can imagine and highlights again the character of God in dealing with sinful people throughout the salvation story.
‘but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us‘ (Rom 5:8)
It is worth our while pausing and reflecting on the enormity of a loving God who does not deal with us according to what we deserve. We are all shown undeserved grace in our universal folly to pursue a life away from Christ. We can only respond, like Job, in falling to our knees in surrender and acknowledgement of the wonderful plans and purposes of God.
As the chapter closes out we read that Job has his fortunes restored. It is tempting to think that this is a proof text for everything working out splendidly for faithful Christians in this life. Perhaps if we just stick things out long enough the suffering will stop, the sickness will be healed, the financial pressures will right themselves and we will experience comfort and pleasure to the end of our days. The reality is that our true restoration does not occur in this life. God will restore all things in his overarching plan, he will wipe every tear from our eye and erase death and suffering forever (Rev 21:3-4). I once heard it said that for Christians, this life is as close to hell as we will experience. Therefore we should approach our lives not in the pursuit of temporary comfort and pleasure but pursuing the things eternal. Our hope is for the eternal happily ever after, not the fairytale that this world urges us to pursue. If you are suffering from sickness, work pressure, family breakdown, mental health issues, relational distress… take heart from Paul’s exhortation,
‘So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.’ (2 Cor 4:16-18)
Pray with me this morning that our hearts would turn away from pursuing temporary comfort and long for eternal restoration with the God who gives us undeserved grace through Jesus death on the cross.