Yesterday I connected with Luke and Melanie Able. This newly-wed couple are campus missionaries at CU in Boulder. Both of them came to Christ as students at the school and have committed their lives to reaching students on campus through the ministry of their local church. We are pleased to be a part of their support team and encourage them in their service for the Lord.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends.” Job 42:10 ESV
What if? What if Job had not repented? His words at the end of the Lord’s challenge to him were, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:5,6 ESV)
Job knew about God, but now he really knew God. God’s revelation of Himself to Job and his friends overcame their views and pontifications about God, suffering and man’s relationship to God.
What if Job’s friends did not humble themselves before Job? For we read that the Lord told Job’s friends that they were to offer sacrifices and to ask Job to intercede for them. “Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly.” (Job 42:8 ESV)
Job stood as a “priest” between his friends and God. Like Moses and the Children of Israel he would be asking the Lord to have mercy on those who had treated him harshly and judged him severely.
What if, Job did not intercede for and forgive his friends? I don’t believe it is without significance that we read, that Job’s fortunes were restored after he prayed for his friends.
It seems simple, but so often individuals can balk at simple steps of obedience and repentance in order to receive the Lord’s forgiveness and blessing. Perhaps it is due to holding on to and nursing a hurt or grudge. Perhaps it is because of an unwillingness to admit wrong. Pride and stubbornness can be the obstacles that stand between a life misery and blessing and peace.
The Apostle James advised, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” (James 1:19 NIV) Keeping emotions in check, not rushing to judgment, not demanding our way or defending our “rights” can be keys to peace with God and peace with others.
The end of the Book of Job and the story of his life and suffering ends on a “high note.” This was true for Job as well as his friends. Job’s friends did not experience God’s wrath, they became “true” friends of Job and Job had his health, wealth and family restored. But the key was an open heart, obedience to the word of the Lord and a willingness to “let go” – to forgive.
Prayer for today…. Lord let us learn from the end of Job the importance of forgiveness and obedience as the path to blessing and restoration. Thank You for Your mercy and that we can be confident as Job discovered, “…..that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:1 ESV)