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Bible Commentaries

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible

Job 42

 

 

Verses 1-17

JOBS REPENTANCE AND PRAYER

(vv.1-9)

Who would not be totally subdued after hearing God speak such things as He did to Job? What a change took place in Job's attitude and in his words! He was humbled to the dust, as he says, "I know You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know" (vv.2-3). He now realises that his words before had been moved by ignorance of God, who "can do everything." This expression reminds us of Peter's words to the Lord Jesus, "Lord, You know all things" (John 21:17). Peter needed to learn the same lesson that Job needed, for Peter too had expressed too much confidence in the flesh when he insisted that he would not deny the Lord Jesus though all others did. Job fully admits to the Lord that he had spoken without knowledge of what he was saying, - things too wonderful for him, that is, he sought to deal with matters that were wonderful beyond his understanding and found himself humiliated.

Now Job speaks because the Lord had told him to answer what the Lord said (v.4). His answer was, "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" (vv.5-6). Though Job had heard something about the Lord, it was not enough to meet Job's actual need. Now he was brought face to face with the greatness and glory of the Lord, with the result, "I abhor myself." It was not simply a matter of what he had done that he abhorred, but himself. This was the root of what he may have done, and it was this root that God was dealing with, that is, the pride of Job's very character. Every believer needs to be brought down to this very point.

What a contrast was this to the way in which Job had persistently sought to defend himself in all his words to his friends! However strong may be the pride of any person, absolutely everyone will eventually be humbled down to the dust. Unbelievers may all their life persist in this proud arrogance, but after death their humiliation will be all the more traumatic for them. How much better for us to be humbled before God in sober self-judgment before God must bring to bear the humiliation of a person's being cast into the lake of fire!

The Lord had then to deal with Job's three friends, telling them his anger had been aroused against them for what they had spoken when thinking they were speaking for God. They had misrepresented Him, not speaking for Him what was right, "as My servant Job has" (v.7). Job's speaking right of course refers to Job's words to God in verses 2-6.

God told these friends to go to Job and in his presence offer up to God a burnt offering of seven bulls and seven rams (v.8) The burnt offering pictures the offering of the Lord Jesus as that which brought glory to God. These friends would be humbled too in thus acknowledging their pathetic failure before Job. But Job was not to reproach them then, but to pray for them, which we may be sure he was glad to do! Apart from a sacrifice God would have to deal with them according to their sin, but He saw fit to use Job as an intermediary and the sacrifice a necessary provision for their forgiveness. In this way God made both Job and his friends to feel the shame of the way they had previously spoken. Job was to pray for them and they were to learn through Job's praying for them that their previous criticism of Job had been totally wrong.

Job's friends obeyed the Lord in this matter, and it is added, "for the Lord accepted Job" (v.9). This is an illustration of James 5:16, "the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much".

JOB'S FULL RESTORATION

(vv.10-17)

Wonderful was the result of Job's praying for his friends! Because his attitude was so changed, the Lord restored all his losses, and added much more (v.10), giving him twice as much in possessions as he had previously owned. Of course, he would no longer have his sore boils or other physical afflictions, and his brothers and sister and many previous acquaintances came to him on friendly terms, eating with him and giving him presents of silver and gold. Those who had avoided him became the most friendly. The restoration of his possessions was as rapid as his previous losses had been. The number of his livestock is astonishing. Besides this he was blessed with the same number of sons and daughters he had previously had (v.13). Thus he had twice as many children, though the first ten were then in heaven.

Today those who know the Lord Jesus cannot expect to be blessed with material blessings, but rather are "blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). Job's children too were highly favoured, his daughters being the most beautiful in all the land. After this experience of Job he lived 140 years (v.16), so that perhaps his age at death was similar to that of Abraham (175 years); but believers today are blessed with the knowledge of eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 


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Bibliography Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Job 42:4". L.M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/lmg/job-42.html. 1897-1910.

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