The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), January 31
Everyone loves a good ending to a story, and Job's story ends well. The Gospel is preached, and God's grace shines brightly.
God deals with Job's friends and their misrepresentations of His character by placing Job in the role of priest. He commands them to present themselves and their sacrifice to Job, "Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you" (Job 42:8). They do as God commands, and God accepts their offering and Job's prayer on their behalf.
Job's story begins with an altar scene and concludes with an altar scene. Job recognizes the seriousness of sin and comes to God His way, through the shedding of the blood of the clean and innocent on behalf of the unclean and guilty. Job acts in faith, and now, at the conclusion of his story, his friends come to God by faith in the substitutionary death of another.
Job's suffering is the vehicle through which the Gospel is proclaimed.
God floods Job's life with grace
After Job interceded on behalf of his friends, God restored and doubled his wealth, blessed him with more children, and allowed him to live for many more years.
Job's story teaches a number of truths about God, suffering, and human nature:
- More takes place in the midst of our suffering than we can see and understand. God, though unseen by the naked eye, is all-knowing and good.
- God uses suffering to reveal the heart of pride in man, to strip him of his pride, and to uncover inadequate and erroneous views entertained about God.
- Faith in God relies not on tangible blessings but on God's promises and character.
- Suffering offers evangelistic opportunities.
Paul states the value of these stories of old, "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope" (Romans 15:4). James also values Job's story, "You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord-that the Lord is compassionate and merciful" (James 5:11).
Job's story still speaks today.
Suffering. A sacred trust from God for God's glory.
Questions from today's chronological Bible reading (Job 40:6-42:17):
What do suffering, the harsh conversations between Job and his friends, and God's consideration for creation teach Job about God?
What do Job's friends learn about the Gospel through Job's suffering?