Day 26

The Restoration of Job

from the Job reading plan


Job 42:1-16, Psalm 40:10-13, Lamentations 3:19-26

BY Melanie Rainer

I’ve always been afraid of the book of Job.

I’m afraid of Job’s story, the way I’m afraid of Abraham’s, and Mary’s, and the disciples’. I’m afraid the cost of following Jesus will be too much for me—unlike Abraham, who obeyed God and prepared his son for sacrifice; and Mary, who was willing to face scandal as an unwed mother; and Jesus’s first disciples, most of whom died as martyrs. I’m afraid that, when faced with the sharp rock of suffering, my faith will shatter like glass. I don’t trust my flesh, which I know will fail. I’m afraid to live fully, to love completely, and trust wholly. I am afraid to suffer.

Of course, I have suffered a variety of wounds, as we all have. If there is a more common thread to humanity than suffering, I’m not sure I know it. And so Job’s story is, naturally, my story. And your story, and your neighbor’s story, and every member of your family’s story, and that person who served you coffee this morning’s story too. In chapter 42, Job’s story ends with the same stunningly beautiful conclusion we are all offered: repentance and restoration.

Job cries out, “I know that you can do anything.… I reject my words and am sorry for them” (Job 42:2,6). He knows that God is just, merciful, and mighty to save. Job doesn’t expect to be made whole, to have everything and everyone he’s lost restored. It is enough for Job to know that God is God and he is not, and to repent of his own pride.

In chapters 38–41, God speaks. He proclaims His power, His justice, His righteousness, and His sovereignty over all things. It’s a “mic drop” moment, one that needs no punctuation, no follow up. But after Job’s cry of repentance, God responds once more to Job in a manner so kind and lavish that we are compelled to react with just as much awe and wonder as we did when we read that He breathed all creation out of nothing. Yes, God is mighty, unrivaled in power. Yes, God is sovereign, unrivaled in His commitment to justice. But also, Yes, God is good, and He promises us bountiful restoration.

Job received restoration in his lifetime—his fortunes returned, his flocks and herds multiplied, his home filled with new children. Our suffering may not, and often does not, end with restoration in this life. Death wounds us, sickness steals from us, broken relationships limit our ability to trust, and tragedy on a global scale haunts even our happiest days. Our hope is not in the here and now. Ours is a future hope, formed and grounded in God’s Word, molded by His mercy, and secured by His Son.

We will experience the restoration and renewal of all things, as promised in Revelation 21:3–5. It is the only ending that makes sense to our stories of suffering, the kind and lavish response of a loving Father who promises, one day, to wipe every tear from our eyes.

 

Post Comments (37)

37 thoughts on "The Restoration of Job"

  1. Emily Christian says:

    When I saw this study in Job I was feeling prompted to read it, but I was scared. I was afraid all of these terrible things would happen to me that were completely out of my control. Let me tell you, lots of things DID happen after I started reading this study! It started with my husband losing his job, then we got in a car wreck that same day! We were fine but his car was totaled! My front tires blew out a week later, and our storage unit flooded and a lot of our things got ruined. In the midst of all this happening I found out I was pregnant as well! My husband and I are still in school and we didn’t want to have kids until our lives were more financially stable and we were more prepared. I did not feel ready for any of this, but God has been there for me through the midst of it. I was praying for a spiritual revival and did He show up in a big way. My husband and I started seeing these “calamities” as blessings. My husband was falling behind in school because of his full-time job. Since his job let him go he is finishing school early! Our insurance is paying off the totaled car and letting us keep it we are now out of debt for that vehicle! (we know someone who is fixing it for only 500!) I was able to land a job with LifeWay ministries, that would make enough money for us to get through school! And they offer great insurance for us that will be a huge blessing for our new baby! I had a feeling things were going to change when I read this study, I am glad they did. I feel stronger as a Christian and I see how Big God is. That he isn’t doing these things to punish us but to help us grow and become better. I’m sorry this is such a huge message but I wanted to share how God has been working in my life. I am hugely blessed and I’m still in awe of how much he has done for me.
    Emily

  2. Monica Davis says:

    Wow! What a great god and he used people to restore jobs wealth!

  3. Kathy says:

    Marti, so sorry for your loss. Yes, the huge losses of our life change us to be more like Christ. The losses make us appre iate what we have more, make us more compassionate and on and on. No matter what I go through my motto is to ” keep your eye on the prize”. He promises nothing can compare to the glory set before us. Blessings!

  4. Marti says:

    I have often seen the complaint that Job received a ‘replacement’ family as part of his restoration. As someone who has lost a child, nothing can ever replace that loss. It is something you learn to live with. I have since had two more children and while it isn’t the same, they have still brought me much joy. I think the lesson here is to be content with what God has seen fit to give us, even if it isn’t exactly the same as the things we have lost. It’s sort of sad that I had to learn that lesson in this fashion, but if I hadn’t I would not be the person that I am today ;)

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