Job 1 Summary

Job 1 Summary

It might seem easy to trust God when your life is going well. But when life is relatively easy and everything is pleasant and there are no difficulties – is there really any trust required in that kind of situation?

When you find it easy to agree with everything that God is doing in your life, I think there’s not much opportunity to really trust – because everything makes sense in your finite mind.

It’s when trouble comes and pain is present and real in your life and when it looks like you’re loosing and when it seems that God even hates you because of what he’s allowed you to suffer – it’s situations like those that call for faith and trust in the Lord who sends those hard realities into your life.

So, this morning in the book of Job we’re going to witness this man named Job go from unmitigated blessings to constant painful misery in his personal life.

Is he going to trust – even when he doesn’t understand? Would you trust even when you don’t understand? Are you doing so – right now – in whatever difficulties the Lord has brought into your life?

Let’s consider that as we examine the first three chapters in the book of Job.

We start in the beginning in chapter 1 where in verses 1-5 we’re given an introduction to Job, all of his blessings, and his godliness…

Job 1 Summary Verse 1

Job’s Location, Name, and Character

In verse 1 we see Job’s locations, identification, and a summary of his own personal character…

KJV Job 1:1 ¶ There was a man in the land of Uz [ngutz],

whose name was Job;

and that man was [perfect/blameless/pure] and upright, and one that feared God, and [eschewed/turned away from] evil.

He lives in this place called Uz. What we need to take away from that is that he’s not in Israel. Job is not a Jew. He is a Gentile.

And his character is extremely important to take note of. He’s perfect and upright. He fears God. He turns from evil. There’s no secret sin in his life that is calling for God’s punishment.

Job 1 Summary Verses 2-3

Job’s Possessions and Reputation

Verses 2 and 3 go on to relate Job’s possessions and reputation…

KJV Job 1:2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.

KJV Job 1:3 His [substance/possessions] also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred [she asses/female donkeys], and a very great household;

so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

Not only was Job godly – he was also blessed with many material possessions. He had extraordinary wealth and children in abundance – which, if you’re thinking biblically is a great blessing.

The end result was that Job earned quite the reputation as being the greatest in his region of the world – in “the east”.

Job 1 Summary Verse 4-5

Job’s Family Dynamics & Care

Verses 4 and 5 go on to focus-in on his ten children just mentioned. We’ll see here Job’s family dynamics and his personal care for his children…

KJV Job 1:4 [And/Now] his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.

KJV Job 1:5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and [sanctified/consecrated] them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all:

for Job said,

It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.

Thus did Job continually.

Job’s children got along really well. There was warmth and love and harmony between all ten of them.

And Job cared for them deeply – and not just for their physical well-being. He – as a family priest before the Mosaic Law and outside of Israel – would offer sacrifices for his children.

Job was very concerned that his children would curse God – an action that both Satan and Job’s wife will later on tempt Job to do.

So, that’s the introduction to this book.

Now, the next major section describes to us two heavenly gatherings and the impact that each will have on the godly Job from chapter 1, verse 6 to chapter 2, verse 10.

The first heavenly gathering is found in Job 1:6 to the end of the chapter.

Job 1 Summary Verse 6

Heavenly Gathering 1 & Attendees

We begin by noting the attendees of this gathering in verse 6…

KJV Job 1:6 ¶ Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

The “sons of God” is likely a reference to angelic beings. Satan himself is an angel – created as the highest angel. Also, by his own choice he’s a fallen one, as well.

Job 1 Summary Verse 7a

Heavenly Gathering 1 – God to Satan 1

Notice in verse 7 that God has the first word in his discussion with Satan (he’ll also have the last word as we’ll see later)…

KJV Job 1:7 And the LORD said unto Satan,

Whence comest thou?

God knows the answer to this question. He knows where Satan has been and what he’s been doing. When God asks questions he’s usually trying to teach – either the person he’s talking to or that person’s audience.

Job 1 Summary Verse 7b

Heavenly Gathering 1 – Satan to God 1

Here’s Satan’s response to God’ question of what he’s been up to…

Then Satan answered the LORD, and said,

From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

Satan has to answer God. He’s not given the option of remaining silent. He can’t plead the fifth. God is sovereign and Satan is still under his authority.

And God’s question has reminded Satan and everyone else that this fallen angel has been relegated mostly to earth. Heaven has not been his home since he chose to rebel against this God who is worthy of our trust.

Job 1 Summary of Verse 8

Heavenly Gathering 1 – God to Satan 2

Well, since Satan has been roaming the earth like a roaring lion – as Peter says, God asks Satan if he’s taken note of this man named Job in verse 8…

KJV Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan,

Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

In contrast to the wicked rebellious Satan, Job is righteous.

Note that God brings Job to Satan’s attention. God is in control of all of this. He truly is sovereign in this world.

Job 1 Summary of Verses 9-11

Heavenly Gathering 1 – Satan to God 2

Well, Satan doesn’t believe that God is worthy to be worshipped for nothing. And so, he accuses the Lord in verses 9-11 of buying Job’s worship with all the blessings that he’s given Job…

KJV Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said,

Doth Job fear God for nought?

KJV Job 1:10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

KJV Job 1:11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

Satan uses the Hebrew word BARAK twice in this passage. In verse 10 he says that God “hast BARAK-ed the work of” Job’s hands and that’s the only reason why Job worships the Lord.

But if God takes those things from Job, Satan says “he will BARAK thee to” God’s face. And of course, Satan is twisting the meaning of that word to mean the exact opposite of what that word really means – which is just like Satan to do that.

Job 1 Summary of Verse 12a

Heavenly Gathering 1 – God to Satan 3

Well, just like God had the first word with Satan, he also has the last word in verse 12…

KJV Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand.

God sets the parameters. Satan can take everything Job has – except his body.

So, the stage is set. The issues at stake here involve: 1) the matter of whether God is bribing Job to worship him and 2) the question of whether God is even worthy of being worshipped apart from the blessings that he gives to those who worship him.

Job 1 Summary of Verse 12b-13

Heavenly Gathering 1 – Result – Introduction

We’re then introduced to the result of this first heavenly gathering at the end of verse 12 and into verse 13…

So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

KJV Job 1:13 ¶ And there was a day when [his/Job’s] sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:

And then in verses 14-19 we see in four iterations one disaster after another in Job’s life wherein every material blessing that was delineated for us back in verses 2 and 3 of this chapter are now taken away from the righteous Job.

We’ll see that Job’s things are taken away from him in approximately reverse order as they were described back in verses 2 and 3…

Job 1 Summary of Verses 14-15

Heavenly Gathering 1 – Result 1 – Oxen & Donkeys & Servants

We start with Job’s oxen, donkeys, and some of his servants in verses 14 and 15…

KJV Job 1:14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said,

The oxen were plowing, and the [asses/donkeys] feeding beside them:

KJV Job 1:15 And the [Sabeans/residents of Sheba in Arabia] fell upon them, and took them away;

yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword;

and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Job 1 Summary of Verse 16

Heavenly Gathering 1 – Result 2 – Sheep & Servants

Next, Job’s sheep and some of his servants are taken from him in verse 16…

KJV Job 1:16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said,

The [fire of God/lightning] is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them;

and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Job 1 Summary of Verse 17

Heavenly Gathering 1 – Result 3 – Camels & Servants

Next, in verse 17, Job’s camels and some of his servants are taken from him…

KJV Job 1:17 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said,

The [Chaldeans/a group near the Persian Gulf] made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away,

yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword;

and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Job 1 Summary of Verses 18-19

Heavenly Gathering 1 – Result 4 – Children

And the bitterest pill of all comes in verses 18 and 19 where Job gets word that his ten dear children have perished…

KJV Job 1:18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said,

Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:

KJV Job 1:19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young [men/people], and they are dead;

and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

… All of Job’s material blessings are gone. His oxen, donkeys, sheep, camels, servants, and children have all been taken from him – in one day!

Can you identify with that depth of loss? Maybe none of us has suffered to that extent in that quick of a succession of events. But each of us does know what it is to loose something very precious to us.

How do you respond when God takes blessings from you that he previously graciously gave to you?

Job 1 Summary of Verses 20-21

Heavenly Gathering 1 – Job’s Response

Think about that – and then test your response to loss to Job’s response as recorded in verses 20 and 21…

KJV Job 1:20 ¶ Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and […] worshipped,

KJV Job 1:21 And said,

Naked came I out of my mother’s womb,
and naked shall I [return thither/return/depart]:

the LORD gave,
and the LORD hath taken away;

blessed be the name of the LORD.

… Job passed this test. He did “bless” the Lord – but not quite as Satan had predicted. Job recognized God’s right to give and to take. Job recognizes that he has nothing apart from God. He truly blesses the Lord’s name and character.

Job 1 Summary of Verse 22

Heavenly Gathering 1 – Conclusion

And the divine narrator tells us that Job did right in this – verse 22…

KJV Job 1:22 ¶ In all this Job sinned not, nor [charged God foolishly/did he blame God/did he charge God with moral impropriety].

Job is commended. He worships God even though God took all of his material blessings…

But God is going to take the test a step farther. Will Job worship God simply for being God without any incentives for doing so?

Book of Job Summary

Book of Job Summary

On Saturday, August 12, 2017, early in the morning, my friend – who is a believer and whom some of you know – was driving his young family to a wedding on a country road. He was momentarily distracted – which was enough to cause him to accidentally run a stop sign. It just so happened that at that very moment there was a van approaching that intersection at high speed. The van hit my friend’s minivan from the passenger side. And just like that, two of my friend’s dear young children – friends of my own children – were taken out of this world.

I know a godly woman whose husband – a pastor – left and then divorced her to pursue an immoral romantic relationship with his church secretary. He left to his wife the responsibility and burden of taking care of their two children for the rest of their childhood and teenage years with no support or input from a husband or father in their lives.

I remember several years ago when Brother Flegal over at Maranatha lost his wife so suddenly from a brain hemorrhage. Dr. Marriott was at the hospital with him when it all unfolded so quickly. I recall Dr. Marriott telling us faculty and staff over at Maranatha that Ben told him after losing his wife with so little warning – quote – “Now I know what Job felt like.”

Why We Turn to Job

And it’s that Old Testament book that we tend to turn to in times when we’re bewildered at our life circumstances that are so painful and so difficult to understand. And as we turn to that book I think that we expect to find comfort and explanation as to why things are happening to us and what God’s plan is in the whole scheme of things.

What We Initially Get from Job

But what do we get when we open our Bibles to the book of Job? (Why don’t you go ahead and do that, by the way.) We get a book of 42 chapters that begins and ends with a story – which is easy enough to read and understand. But after the second chapter and running through to the middle of the 42nd chapter of this book we have an extended section of poetry – of all things!

And we’re introduced to men with unusual names from places we’re not familiar with. They and Job go back and forth in spinning Hebrew poetry with one another for chapter after chapter. Then a young man steps forward and he gives us more Hebrew poetry. Then God shows up and points to all sorts of natural phenomena. Job repents. God restores his blessings to Job. And that’s how the book ends.

And you wouldn’t be blamed if you’re sitting there at the end of reading this book scratching your head. You came to this book because you were hoping to find some answers to your questions. You came to find out “why?” Why did this happen? Why am I – who am righteous by God’s grace – suffering? Why does a God who loves me put me through difficult things that involve real pain?

And the reality is that you don’t get those questions answered in this book. So, what good – then – is the book of Job? If it doesn’t help you understand what’s going on, why did God put it in the Bible in the first place?

Structure and Message of Job

So, for the rest of our time today we’re going to examine the structure of this book and dip in to some of the text in order to discover God’s overall message for you in this book. What does God have for you in this ancient book that we just naturally tend to turn to in our distresses?

Personal Righteousness

[s] Turn to Job 1:1 if you’re not already there. And there we read …

Job 1:1 AV 1873

1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

This verse from the outset settles in your mind Job’s personal character and holiness. He was perfect and upright. He feared God. He eschewed or turned away from evil. That’s critical to keep in mind as we go along here. He’s a genuinely righteous man.

Material Wealth

Then verses 2-5 speak of all the material blessings with which God blessed this righteous man. Ten children – who all had good relationships with one another – and an abundance of livestock – to the point that what’s said at the end of Job 1:3 was the case for him.

Job 1:3 (AV 1873)

3 … so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

He was the greatest out of all of the men in his region. He was so incredibly blessed. He was godly. What could go wrong?

First Heavenly Gathering

Well, in Job 1:6 we have the first of two heavenly gatherings where all the angels appear before the Lord – and even Satan (who himself is an angel) shows up. God brings the righteous Job to Satan’s attention and Satan argues with God that Job would stop worshipping God if God were to take all of his material blessings away.

So, God allows Satan to take all that Job has. Starting in Job 1:13 we see everything that Job had taken from him – his oxen, donkeys, sheep, camels, servants, and children are all taken from him in one day.

Job’s exemplary response in Job 1:20-21 is humble, sorrowful worship of the Lord who gave and took away – and whose name is to be blessed. Job doesn’t understand why any of this happened. But he still trusts the Lord.

Second Heavenly Meeting

Well, there’s another heavenly meeting in Job 2:1.  The Lord again brings Job to Satan’s attention and points to how Job continues to worship the Lord even though Satan moved the Lord to take all of Job’s material possessions from him.

Satan counters though that if God takes Job’s health, Job won’t worship him anymore. So, God allows Satan to touch Job’s body without taking his life.

So, in Job 2:7 we see Job miserable with boils all over his body, sitting in what would have been the area’s garbage dump, scraping his infected and itchy skin with broken pieces of pottery. His wife has even had enough in Job 2:9 and basically encourages Job to do what Satan said, he would do – to curse God and die. But Job remains steadfast in the face of all of this. He still doesn’t understand why this is happening. But he continues to trust God.

Three Friends Arrive & Sit Silent

Well, Job’s wife wasn’t so helpful to him. But just then he has three friends show up! And they’ve come with the express purpose of comforting him! Just what Job needs!

So, we see them in Job 2:13 sitting in the ash heap with Job for 7 days – none of them saying a word. And that’s the end of the prose section – or the story section – of this book.

Job Laments

Now we enter in chapter 3 into the poetry section.

And it’s not pretty. Even though Job is still a man of integrity and has not cursed God, Job is absolutely miserable.

In Job 3, this man curses the day of his birth. In fact, he makes it a point to curse both the day and the night of his first day of life (Job 3:3-9). Job then wishes he was never born (Job 3:10-12) but that instead he would have died before birth (Job 3:13-19). He laments being given life at all (Job 3:20-23) and he ends the chapter by reflecting on the fact that all of what he’s said in chapter 3 is because of his miserable circumstances (Job 3:24-26).

Eliphaz Speaks

In response to Job’s lament in chapter 3, his first friend – Eliphaz – speaks in chapters 4 and 5.

[s] And what’s important for the sake of what we’re trying to accomplish today is found in Job 4:7. Eliphaz says…

Job 4:7 (AV 1873)

7 Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent?

Or where were the righteous cut off?

In other words, Eliphaz reminds Job of this supposed truth that is accepted by all of Job’s friends – and even Job himself to some extent – that the righteous and the innocent never perish. They’re never cut off. That is what these men are all truly believing at this point.

[s] But in contrast, verses 8 and 9 are the case for those who are not righteous and not innocent…

Job 4:8–9 (AV 1873)

8 Even as I have seen,

they that plow iniquity,

And sow wickedness,

reap the same.

9 By the blast of God they perish,

And by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed.

And it’s clear through the rest of these middle chapters of this book that this is the worldview of Job’s three friends. It’s called Retribution Theology.

It’s the belief that good people are always blessed and bad people are always punished – and both of these happen pretty-much immediately in this life.

It’s kind of like the mistaken notion of karma – do good, get good. Do bad, get bad. What goes around comes around.

Another modern day equivalent of how Job and his friends think that God works in this world is what we call the Prosperity Gospel – which is, as you know, no gospel at all.

But the “problem” with trying to explain Job’s situation using the Retribution principle is that we just saw in the first two chapters of this book that Job’s situation doesn’t fit with his friends’ theology. Job actually is righteous. We know that – without a doubt. And yet, he’s suffering.

So, from outward appearance – all that the human eye can see – it looks to Job’s friends through their lens of Retribution-thinking that Job is receiving the penalty of being personally wicked.

And it’s this way of thinking about how God works in this world that drives the rest of the middle chapters of this book.

Now, Eliphaz goes on to accuse Job of secretly being wicked. What other explanation could he have for someone suffering? They’ve got to be wicked! This is how God works in the world, isn’t it??

Eliphaz’s Solution

[s] But Eliphaz has an out for Job. Here’s what he advises Job to do in Job 5:8

Job 5:8 (AV 1873)

8 I would seek unto God,

And unto God would I commit my cause:

The remedy that Job’s three friends give over and over again to Job is twofold.

First, Job needs to stop his secret sinning, which is supposedly bringing down God’s judgement on him.

And second, Job needs to pray to God – which apparently the friends think he stopped doing.

But the problem with that approach is that Job wasn’t secretly sinning and he was praying to God. And because of that, the three friends are not able to fit Job and his situation into their theology. But they’re certainly not about to change their theology in order to match the reality of how God really works in this world.

Job Responds to Eliphaz

And so the cycle of talking continues with Job’s response to Eliphaz in chapters 6 and 7.

In those chapters, Job appeals to his friends to be kind to him. He says he wants reproof – but that what Eliphaz has said is no help to him because it was merely an attack against a suffering man who admits that he’s saying things that aren’t quite right. Job appeals his own righteousness to the friends and to God. He expresses deep distress over the fact that God is seeming to punish him for no cause and won’t leave him alone in that regard.

Bildad Speaks

But if Job is looking for compassion from his friends, then he’s sorely disappointed by what his second friend Bildad has to say in chapter 8 where he begins his salvo with this “compassionate” note in Job 8:2

Job 8:2 (AV 1873)

2 How long wilt thou speak these things?

And how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind?

Bildad starts by insulting Job because he thinks that Job is impugning God’s character. Bildad goes on to speculate that Job’s children sinned and that’s why God killed them. Bildad’s simplistic solution for Job to get out of the suffering he’s in includes – of course – seeking God, praying to him, and becoming pure and upright – all of which Job had been doing. Bildad guarantees that if Job does these things, that God will turn to him again and bless him. He even pulls out the wisdom of the ancients to prove his point. Then he goes on to insinuate that Job is a godless hypocrite who has forgotten God. But if Job simply follows Bildad’s fool-proof plan to get out of this suffering by confessing sins – which he hasn’t committed – and by praying – which he already does, then his end will be gloriously bright!

Job Responds to Bildad

Job then responds to Bildad in Job 9:2 by basically conceding that what Bildad says is right. Job himself bought into the idea that good is always rewarded and evil is always punished usually immediately in this life. But then Job wonders how to be back in God’s good graces.

Here’s Job’s thought process: If God punishes evil and rewards good … and yet Job is seeming to be punished … therefore Job is wicked … but he’s not wicked … therefore Job ought to be blessed … but God isn’t blessing him anymore … then why is God not holding to his end of the bargain? Is something wrong with God? Is God ignorant? Is God … unrighteous?

That’s the dangerous territory that Job starts entering in chapter 9. This leads Job to wonder how he could get a hearing before God to plead his case that he’s not wicked and should thus stop being punished by God as though he were. It’s as if in Job’s mind God needs to be more perfectly informed of Job’s situation. Job acknowledges God’s awesome power but then despairs of ever getting a hearing from this all-powerful God – who seems to have hidden himself from Job. And not only hidden himself – but God in Job’s mind has become violently oppressive toward him.

At some point, Job starts to recognize the error of Retribution Theology – or at least the part that states that God always blesses the righteous – when in Job 9:22 he says …

Job 9:22 (AV 1873)

22 This is one thing, therefore I said it,

He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked.

God destroys both the perfect and the wicked. But that contradicts what his three friends and even Job himself have been believing. Job continues to muse on the fact that God seems to keep punishing him though he has done nothing to deserve the punishment. So, Job actually starts entertaining the idea of meeting God in court and settling their dispute with a mediator between them to negotiate.

In chapter 10 Job even starts demanding that God answer him and tell him why he’s punishing Job. Job goes on to suggest something that even Job knows is ridiculous – namely, that God is somehow limited in his knowledge of Job’s situation like a mere mortal would be. But then Job verbally and emotionally walks back from the brink of cursing God and he recalls how God has been good in creating him and blessing him in his earlier days. But those sweet thoughts give way once more as Job laments God’s current treatment of him. Job actually ends chapter 10 with a desperate plea for God to just leave him alone.

Zophar Speaks

And of course, these provocative statements of the suffering Job further raise the ire of his friends. And so the last of these men – Zophar – speaks in chapter 11 where he begins with this accusation in Job 11:2

Job 11:2 (AV 1873)

2 Should not the multitude of words be answered?

And should a man full of talk be justified?

So, the contradictions to Retribution Theology that Job has uncovered are just dismissed as a “multitude of words” and mere “talk.” Zophar goes on to accuse Job of engaging in lying and mocking with his words to his friends and to God. Zophar rebukes Job and says that he wishes that God would speak – just like Job was wishing – but Zophar wants God to speak and to condemn Job for his supposed secret sins that are moving God to punish him. Zophar says that God is transcendent and immense and not to be called to account by anyone. And Zophar – like the other two so-called friends – offers Job a pat remedy to his predicament. Start praying and stop sinning. Then everything will be great. But Zophar ends with a final dire reminder that if Job doesn’t get with the Retribution Theology plan then he can expect only bad things.

So, at this point at the end of chapter 11, we’ve seen Job speak and lament his being alive. Eliphaz then spoke and Job responded. Then Bildad spoke and Job responded. Finally, Zophar spoke…

Job Responds to Zophar

And Job will respond in Job 12:1-2 with this sarcastic but understandable outburst after the worthless advice of all three friends …

Job 12:1-2 (AV 1873)

1 And Job answered and said,

2 No doubt but ye are the people,

And wisdom shall die with you.

And we’re not going to review any more of the conversation with Job and his friends today except to point out that this cycle of each friend speaking and Job then responding happens another two times for a total of three of these cycles in this book. Cycle 1 we saw in chapters 4-14. Cycle 2 we’ll see in chapters 15-21. And Cycle 3 occurs in chapters 22-31.

A total of 658 verses are taken up with this round-and-round dialogue. Which is a picture of the futility and frustration that accompanies trying to figure out the deep issues of life without having a word from God on the matter – but instead just relying on your own thoughts and the wisdom of the world around you.

Elihu Speaks

Well, at the end of Job 31 and into Job 32, we read the following …

Job 31:40–32:5 (AV 1873)

40 … The words of Job are ended.

1 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.

2 Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God. 3 Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job. 4 Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he. 5 When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, then his wrath was kindled.

Job stops talking. The friends stop talking. Job is righteous in his own eyes. And indeed Job was righteous – even in God’s eyes. But the friends just have nothing more to say – finally!

But that’s unfortunate because the friends could have had something to say that would have encouraged Job – not to confess sin he wasn’t committing or to start praying when he already was – but to instead trust God.

Since the friends couldn’t help Job trust God, this young man Elihu is going to give it a try. Out of deference to their age he waited to speak. But now that they’re silent he can move in.

And so, Elihu speaks uninterrupted from Job 32-37.

He says that he waited for the older men to speak first but is now realizing that age isn’t the real factor in how wise a person is. Rather the spirit of God is the one who gives real wisdom. And the rest of Job 32 is Elihu basically preparing Job, his three friends, and us for what he’s about to say.

Then in Job 33, Elihu says that Job should listen to him. He then proceeds to summarize what Job has said thus far – demonstrating that unlike the friends he was actually listening to Job. Elihu correctly points out that Job has maintained his innocence but in the process has impugned God’s character by claiming that God is making up false pretenses by which he’s then punishing Job. Elihu’s answer is threefold in chapter 33. First, he rightly states that we can’t fully understand God’s ways. Second, one of God’s prerogatives is to warn people of their ways which are contrary to him. And third, God sends suffering into people’s lives in the hope that sinners will repent. Elihu finishes that chapter by challenging Job to answer or – if he can’t answer – to keep listening to him.

In Job 34, Elihu again states what he heard Job say – namely, that God has denied the righteous Job the justice due him. In response to this flawed idea, Elihu defends God’s righteousness and the rightness of his ways.

In Job 35, Elihu takes Job to task for starting to think that it doesn’t matter what kind of life a person lives since whether a person is good or bad they are subject to God sending suffering into their life. Elihu replies that God is personally unaffected by a person’s righteousness or sin. Mankind is affected by those things, but God isn’t. Therefore, Elihu implies that God’s dealing with Job is not based on Job’s own personal sin or righteousness. Further, Elihu encourages Job to wait for God and not be impatient for what appears to be a delay in God hearing and answering him. And he ends the chapter by questioning and challenging the idea that what God is doing to Job is correctly interpreted as punishment.

Elihu in chapter 36 urges Job to stop comparing what he’s receiving to what he thinks the wicked ought to receive. He strongly advises Job not to question God’s execution of justice in the world. Elihu then finishes the 36th and 37th chapters of this book leading Job and us to consider that when we’re suffering and tempted to question God’s character and wisdom – we need to consider his work. We need to think about what God does. And when we do that, we can see that his work is ultimately beyond our understanding. And what we need to learn from that is that if his work – which we can see – is beyond our understanding… then what else of what he’s doing – in your life – might be beyond your understanding?

God Finally Speaks

Then starting in Job 38, God rather seamlessly takes over from Elihu and probes Job on something like 84 areas of his creation – including an extended treatment of two creatures that God created and manages – one a rather large and care-free land creature he calls Behemoth and the other a very fierce and dangerous sea creature he calls Leviathan.

Job Responds to God

Job responds in humility and repentance, realizing he really doesn’t understand how God works in this world. Job doesn’t understand how God started this creation. He doesn’t understand how God keeps this creation going. And more directly for Job, he doesn’t understand how or why God works in certain ways in his life – especially the ways that are unpleasant.

Job Restored

At the end of this book in Job 42 God rebukes Job’s three friends and restores all the blessings that Job originally had. Actually, he gives Job double what he formerly had.

Now understand – God doesn’t bless Job here because Job confessed sins he didn’t commit or because he started praying when he had been doing so all along – as the three friends kept urging Job to do. Rather, God was able to bless Job because Job had come to the point where though he still couldn’t understand, he came to trust.

The Message of the Book of Job

And that is the message of this book for us. When you can’t understand, trust. Job couldn’t understand why he was suffering. The three friends couldn’t understand either. But all four of these folks pretended to understand – but they were all quite wrong. God didn’t want them to understand. In fact, God never explains to Job why he was suffering.

What did God want from Job and his three friends? He wanted them to trust him – that he knew what he was doing; that he was good; that he was wise and in control of everything.

Applying the Book of Job

So, what in your life can you not understand? What has God done – and God has indeed done it – that you just can’t figure out? What are you struggling with? What causes you to question God’s goodness and love and power and wisdom in your life?

You are going to encounter situations in this life where you simply will not be able to understand. You might even go to your grave not understanding whywhy did God do this to you? Why did God allow that person to do that to you? Why did God put you in that painful situation? Why? Why? Why?

You won’t understand. And that’s OK. Because God’s not calling you to understand in this life. He’s calling you to trust. Trust him. Trust his character – that he’s good and loving. Trust his wisdom – that he knows the best path for you. That he has your best and eternal interests at heart.

When you can’t understand, trust. That’s the message of this book to you that we’ll take another 11 12 lessons really exploring in as much detail as time will allow.

What happens when you gather wealth by labor according to Proverbs 13 11?

What happens when you gather wealth by labor according to Proverbs 13 11
What happens when you gather wealth by labor according to Proverbs 13 11

According to Proverbs 13 11, when you gather wealth by labor – that is, you work hard and wisely and you are diligent in your work – you will increase that wealth – you will make your wealth grow. You might even become rich!

KJV Proverbs 13:11 {Wealth gotten by vanity/Wealth obtained by fraud/Wealth gained quickly/Dishonest money} {shall be diminished/dwindles/will dwindle away/dwindles away}:

but {he that/the one who/he who} {gathereth/gathers/gathers it/gathers money} {by labour/by labor/little by little} {shall increase/increases it/will become rich/makes it grow}.

Proverbs 13 11

For more teaching on Proverbs 13 11, read our Proverbs 13 11 Summary.

What approach to making money will increase it according to Proverbs 13 11?

What approach to making money will increase it according to Proverbs 13 11
What approach to making money will increase it according to Proverbs 13 11

According to Proverbs 13 11, the way to make money that will cause it to increase is to gather it little by little with diligent and wise labor.

Work hard and be patient.

Gather your wealth little by little and Proverbs 13 11 tells you that – all else being equal – you will tend to increase your wealth and make it grow.

With this approach and the Lord’s blessing, you might just become rich!

KJV Proverbs 13:11 {Wealth gotten by vanity/Wealth obtained by fraud/Wealth gained quickly/Dishonest money} {shall be diminished/dwindles/will dwindle away/dwindles away}:

but {he that/the one who/he who} {gathereth/gathers/gathers it/gathers money} {by labour/by labor/little by little} {shall increase/increases it/will become rich/makes it grow}.

Proverbs 13 11

For more teaching on Proverbs 13 11, please read our Proverbs 13 11 Summary.

What is the alternative to “wealth gotten by vanity” in Proverbs 13 11?

What is the alternative to “wealth gotten by vanity” in Proverbs 13 11
What is the alternative to “wealth gotten by vanity” in Proverbs 13 11

In Proverbs 13 11, the alternative to wealth gotten by vanity – or, wealth that is obtained through deception or that is obtained too easily and quickly – is to gather that wealth little by little by honest and diligent labor.

KJV Proverbs 13:11 {Wealth gotten by vanity/Wealth obtained by fraud/Wealth gained quickly/Dishonest money} {shall be diminished/dwindles/will dwindle away/dwindles away}:

but {he that/the one who/he who} {gathereth/gathers/gathers it/gathers money} {by labour/by labor/little by little} {shall increase/increases it/will become rich/makes it grow}.

For more teaching on Proverbs 13 11, see our Proverbs 13 11 Summary.

What kind of wealth will be diminished according to Proverbs 13 11?

What kind of wealth will be diminished according to Proverbs 13 11
What kind of wealth will be diminished according to Proverbs 13 11

According to Proverbs 13 11, the kind of wealth that will be diminished – or that will dwindle away and not stick around and not be accumulated – is wealth that is gotten by vanity – that is, wealth that is achieved through deceit or even wealth that is obtained quickly without the kind of hard work that is necessary to achieve wealth that is lasting.

KJV Proverbs 13:11 {Wealth gotten by vanity/Wealth obtained by fraud/Wealth gained quickly/Dishonest money} {shall be diminished/dwindles/will dwindle away/dwindles away}:

but {he that/the one who/he who} {gathereth/gathers/gathers it/gathers money} {by labour/by labor/little by little} {shall increase/increases it/will become rich/makes it grow}.

For more teaching on Proverbs 13 11, please read our Proverbs 13 11 Summary.

What happens to “wealth gotten by vanity” according to Proverbs 13 11?

What happens to “wealth gotten by vanity” according to Proverbs 13 11
What happens to “wealth gotten by vanity” according to Proverbs 13 11

According to Proverbs 13 11, wealth gotten by vanity – that is, wealth that is gained deceitfully or even wealth that is come by quickly and that you don’t have to work hard for – that kind of wealth will be diminished or will dwindle away.

KJV Proverbs 13:11 {Wealth gotten by vanity/Wealth obtained by fraud/Wealth gained quickly/Dishonest money} {shall be diminished/dwindles/will dwindle away/dwindles away}:

but {he that/the one who/he who} {gathereth/gathers/gathers it/gathers money} {by labour/by labor/little by little} {shall increase/increases it/will become rich/makes it grow}.

For more teaching on Proverbs 13 11, see our Proverbs 13 11 Summary.

Proverbs 13 11 Summary

We hope you’ll be edified and admonished by this summary of Proverbs 13 11.

Proverbs 13 11 Summary: In 2002 a business man from West Virginia named Jack Whittaker won the lottery in the amount of nearly $315 million US Dollars. That was the most anyone had won to that point in the history of the US. It would seem that he was set for life, financially. But after a lot of bad spending decisions and numerous other calamities, Jack was left broke.

And this story shouldn’t surprise us. After all, God reminds us in Proverbs 13 11 of what happens to “wealth gotten by vanity.”

So, let’s read Proverbs 13 11 and be reminded of the importance of how we seek to obtain our wealth in this world.

KJV Proverbs 13:11 {Wealth gotten by vanity/Wealth obtained by fraud/Wealth gained quickly/Dishonest money} {shall be diminished/dwindles/will dwindle away/dwindles away}:

but {he that/the one who/he who} {gathereth/gathers/gathers it/gathers money} {by labour/by labor/little by little} {shall increase/increases it/will become rich/makes it grow}.

Now, whenever I study a proverb in Scripture, I first look at whether God is making a contrast between two things. Is he doing that in Proverbs 13 11? Indeed, he is!

First, God is contrasting two approaches to making money.

Proverbs 13 11 Summary
Wealth Gotten by Vanity

The first way to gain wealth mentioned is to do so “by vanity” literally in Hebrew (מֵהֶבֶל). Some other translations take the idea of “vanity” to mean that this wealth is obtained by fraud or that it’s done so in a dishonest manner. Another translation takes the approach that to obtain wealth “by vanity” is to obtain it quickly.

So…which is it?

Well, the best way to hone-in on exactly what one line in a proverb means – in this case, what it means to obtain wealth “by vanity” – is to see what God declares to be the opposite of that approach, which we see in the second line of Proverbs 13 11.

Proverbs 13 11 Summary
Gaining Wealth by Labor

And that opposite approach to gaining wealth is to gather it by labor – or literally to gather it “by hand” (עַל־יָד). This calls to mind manual labor – or perhaps metaphorically, diligent work. God holds out to us the ideal of making money by working hard.

Contrast that to the get-rich-quick schemes that our world and our flesh seem to love. Our sinful human nature loves the idea of winning the lottery or falling upon an inheritance from some long-lost rich uncle.

But whereas our world might try to seduce us into thinking that gaining wealth in this easy-come kind of way is ideal, God himself tells us that this way of making money is not his ideal for us. As the saying goes, easy-come, easy-go!

And that’s exactly the direction Proverbs 13 11 takes next. We’ve already seen the Lord in Proverbs 13 11 contrasting two ways of gaining wealth. You can gain wealth diligently with hard work and labor – or you can gain it by an unexpected windfall or even by deceiving others.

The Result of Gaining Wealth

But the other reality that the Lord confronts us with in Proverbs 13 11 is the effect of those two different ways of gaining wealth.

And you might tend to think gaining wealth is gaining wealth. I mean, if you earn some money it’s all the same. The result will be the same – you get money!

But Proverbs 13 11 alerts us to the fact that there are different results of attempting to gain wealth depending on how you go about doing it.

Proverbs 13 11 Summary
Result 1: Dwindling Wealth

The first potential result of gaining wealth “by vanity” or quickly or deceitfully is that you lose it. It diminishes or dwindles away. It “becomes small” (יִמְעָט) in Hebrew.

And you see this playing itself out in real life. One third of lottery winners in the United States declare bankruptcy often within a few years of their win. Stories of celebrities and athletes who have gone broke after making ridiculous amounts of money abound.

Yes, the Bible – and the God who wrote the Bible – is true – wealth gained by vanity dwindles away.

What’s the alternative?

Proverbs 13 11 Summary
Result 2: Increasing Wealth

Proverbs 13 11 holds out for us the plain ideal of gaining your wealth by hard work. And the not-so-plain result – what everyone ultimately is after – is that your wealth will increase (יַרְבֶּה) as you work hard to earn it. You make your wealth grow as you diligently obtain it. You might even become rich! But you’re not looking to a get-rich-quick scheme to achieve this goal. You are working honestly and diligently. And God might see fit to cause your wealth to grow.


So, you have two choices – try to become wealthy through scheme and games – or gaining wealth by hard work and toil and labor. The latter approach is not glorious, but its result is. You can bank on it!

Proverbs 13 3 Meaning

Let’s try to understand the meaning of Proverbs 13:3.

Proverbs 13 3 Meaning: Just recently – from the vantage point of my writing this – US President Donald Trump (and others) have mentioned that a certain anti-malarial medicine – chloroquine – might be effective in treating the dreaded worldwide pandemic COVID-19. The name of the drug happens to be similar to an ingredient in a product used to clean fish bowls – chloroquine phosphate. Subsequently, a man from Arizona and his wife thought it would be a good idea to eat this fish bowl cleaner in order to avoid getting infected with the coronavirus. Sadly, as a result the man died.

My point is not to assign blame to my president. Rather, it’s to highlight the fact that words have consequences. Your speech is an incredibly and amazingly powerful thing. And in Proverbs 13:3 the Lord wants to speak to us concerning our speech.

So, let’s read Proverbs 13:3.

KJV Proverbs 13:3 {He/The one} {that/who} {keepeth/guards} his {mouth/words/lips} {keepeth/preserves/guards} his life:

{but he/The one/but whoever } {that/who} {openeth wide his lips/is talkative/speaks rashly} {shall have destruction/comes to ruin/will come to ruin}.


The first thing to note in a Proverb is whether or not God is contrasting one thing with another. And in Proverbs 13:3 we discover that indeed, God is making contrasts and comparisons. So, what are the opposites that we find in Proverb 13:3?

Careful Speech vs. Careless Speech

First, we have the subject of each line of the proverb.

The subject of the first line is the person who guards his mouth or words. The subject of the second line in contrast is one who “opens wide his mouth” or is talkative or who speaks rashly.

The person in the first line is careful about what he says. He guards his words like an armed security guard – not letting any devious statement pass his watchful eye.

In contrast, the person in the second line is careless about his speech. He lets it all out. He says what’s on his mind – no matter whether it happens to be appropriate or not. There’s no filter on this man’s mouth.

So, the first item being contrasted in Proverbs 13:3 is the way in which a person speaks.

A Protected Life vs. a Ruined Life

The second contrast made in Proverbs 13:3 then is the outcome of the life of each type of person.

The outcome of the life of the person who guards his speech is that he keeps or preserves or guards his life. The outcome of the one who opens wide his mouth and lets everything out is that he comes to ruin.

It’s interesting that guarding your mouth or words – which are seemingly small matters – is akin to guarding your very life – which is about the greatest and most important matter one can think of in this world.

In contrast, the person who thinks little of the need to be cautious with his speech will so often in the end come to ruin. He will destroy his life with such little things as words.


How important it is to guard our speech. The Apostle James notes this in his New Testament letter. A small thing like the tongue is like a small fire that can set a whole forest – or continent – ablaze.

So, how are you treating your words? Are you being careless or are you guarding what you say? May the Lord help us to honor him by guarding our words and to thereby protect this one life he’s graciously given us to serve and worship his Son Jesus Christ.

Job 42 Summary

Job 42 Summary: Let’s turn our attention to Job chapter 42. We’ll be studying the last chapter of the book of Job today.

We started this series October 15th, 2017. And even though that was more than 52 weeks ago, this is only the 47th lesson in this series.

And so, we’ve studied through the entire book of Job.

In the beginning we were introduced to this righteous man. And then we were made aware of this meeting in heaven in which God brings Job to Satan’s attention. Satan insinuates that Job is righteous only because of what God gives him – only because God favors him and blesses him with all sorts of good things in this life.

So then God took those things away in order to prove to Satan that Job was genuinely righteous and that God wasn’t somehow buying Job’s obedience and devotion.

And Job started well. Even when his wife encouraged him to curse God and die, Job refused – and actually gently rebuke his wife, encouraging both of them to take both good and evil from the Lord.

But by the time that Job’s three friends come and they sit with him in silence for seven days, Job related to them what a struggle he was having in his heart. He began by cursing the day of his birth and wishing for death. Life had gone from unrestrained blessing to unrelenting pain and suffering.

And what was most difficult for Job was that God seemed to be punishing him. And Job couldn’t figure out the cause of this punishment. It didn’t make sense to Job.

And Job wasn’t alone. His three friends also sensed that God was punishing Job. And so they urged him to stop sinning and start praying. And if he did, they assured him, God would stop the punishment and bring back the blessings.

There was only one problem with that arrangement in Job’s mind. Job was not sinning and he was praying. And so, he knew that this punishment – as he saw it – was undeserved. And therefore, his mind started going in the direction of placing blame as well – just like his three friends. Only, Job wasn’t going to blame himself – because he knew he was innocent and undeserving of punishment. So, Job took the step of starting to blame God.

Not that God is evil – in Job’s mind. But maybe God just is a little bit mistaken. Or maybe God is finding fault with Job in some area that Job knows nothing about – sort of unfairly punishing him for secret sins that Job himself is unaware of.

And so, Job begins to demand that God explain himself. Job orders God into court to defend his ways – his mysterious, confusing ways – in Job’s life.

And that’s when Elihu comes and is angry that the three friends have no charge against Job and yet they accuse him anyway. And he’s also angry at Job because Job was basically making God look bad in order that he might look good. And Job didn’t need to do that. God can remain perfect and his people remain righteous – even when we’re suffering. We don’t need to make God look bad when we’re suffering.

And one thing that Job really should have reckoned with is the fact that not all suffering is punishment. When God brings suffering into our lives, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s angry with us. It doesn’t mean that he is exacting punishment on us. And Elihu even said as much.

And then the Lord shows up. Just like Job was demanding. But, the Lord wasn’t prepared to explain himself to Job. God had no plan to lay out the whys and wherefores to Job about his suffering. God said not a word about Satan. Those things are not what Job needed to learn.

What Job needed to learn is what we need to learn. That when God’s ways don’t make sense to us, we need to trust his wisdom.

And so, the Lord started questioning Job on various aspects of nature that God perfectly controls – just like he perfectly controls the lives of his people. And God asked Job – can you do this? Do you know this? Where were you when this happened?

And the only one who could answer any of those questions was God himself. Not Job.

Job was demanding that God explain his ways to him – in particular, in the realm of Job’s circumstances. And God’s questions were intended to help Job see that Job can’t even understand what God does throughout creation. How would Job even begin to understand why and how God was working in his life the way he was?

And then God challenges Job to try out being God for a day!

And then the Lord brought to Job’s attention two wonderful beasts that each were intended to teach Job something.

Behemoth was to be imitated by Job. Behemoth lived with the strength that God gave him without worry and without fear. And Job needed to take the posture of that creature.

And then Leviathan. Job was supposed to think about God and treat God more like Job treated this dangerous powerful creature. Job was treating God so commonly – as if it’s proper to impel the Master of the Universe to a court of law so that he can explain himself and make himself accountable to a puny little creature like man is. Job wouldn’t expect Leviathan to show up for his day in court! Why should he expect God to do so?

Job 42 Summary | God Can do Any/Every Thing

And after all of that – forty-one chapters that have taken us over a year to study – Job gives his final response to the Lord in verse 1 of chapter 42.

KJV Job 42:1 Then Job [answered/replied to] the LORD, and said,

2 I know that thou canst do [every thing/all things],
and that no [thought/purpose/plan] can be [withholden/thwarted] [from thee/of yours].

So, this the first confession of a man who’s seen God and been rebuked by him. The response is “I know you can do everything.” And on the opposite side of that, “I know there’s nothing you can’t do.

If God wants to stop the suffering of one of his people, no one will stop him. If God – in his sovereign wisdom – chooses to bring suffering into the life of one of his faithful servants, suffering that servant will have to endure.

It’s all up to the Lord though. He gives and he takes. And whatever he does, he’s right. And whatever he decides to do cannot be stopped by anyone but him.

Job 42 Summary | I Spoke Ignorantly

And in light of this reality that God can do anything and won’t be stopped by anything, Job makes a second confession in verse 3.

3 [you asked…] Who is [he/this] that [hideth/darkens/obscures] [my…] counsel without knowledge?

By the way – let interject here – that’s not Job speaking to the Lord. As in that’s not Job accusing God of hiding counsel without knowledge.

Rather, this is Job repeating a question that God had asked him earlier in the previous few chapters.

Job is saying, “you asked me, ‘Who is this that hides or darkens or obscures counsel without knowledge.’” And the idea is that Job is saying – “you were right, God.” And that’s what he admits to in the rest verse 3.

[therefore/but/surely] [have I/I have] [uttered/declared/spoke of] that I understood not;
things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.

So, Job’s second confession to the Lord is that he spoke ignorantly. He spoke as if he fully understood things that now he’s come to see he has no idea about. Job spoke so confidently about his own innocence – and equally confidently about the fact that he believed that God was wrong in the way he was dealing in Job’s life.

But after all these questions and all these mighty works of God paraded before him, Job realizes that he knows nothing! He doesn’t understand. He doesn’t know. He couldn’t make the world work for one millisecond! He was way out of line in speaking of things that he’s so ignorant of.

And brethren, we need to be aware of this fact as well. Let me just put it rather bluntly – what areas of your life do you think that God is totally botching? Or has totally botched? Are there events in your life that you look at – and to think of them fills you with bitterness toward others and ultimately toward God himself?

Can you see things the way that God sees them and understand that you really don’t understand? Have you been humbled to the point of Job and confess that those things that you take issue with God about – really, you’re the one who’s in the wrong.

Job 42 Summary | I See You and Abhor Myself

Well, Job has one more confession to make in verses 4-6.

4 [You said…] [Hear, I beseech thee/Hear now/Pay attention/Listen now], and I will speak:
I will [demand of/ask/question] thee, and [declare thou unto/you instruct/you will answer] me.

And once more, I’ll break in and remind us that Job is not at this point demanding God to answer him. Job again is repeating to God a question that God himself asked Job in the last few chapters.

And Job wants to let the Lord know that he did indeed hear the Lord. God commanded Job to hear. And so, Job says…

5 I [have/had] heard of thee by the hearing of the ear:
[but/and?] now mine eye seeth thee.

Job has heard from and seen God. He has indeed listened and paid attention to the Lord. And now he has this extra added bonus of actually seeing God.

And certainly Job is speaking of physical sight. And yet, I think Job is pointing to a reality beyond that. Job has not just seen the physical representation of the Lord. But he’s experienced God. Through Job’s suffering and the struggles that have attended that suffering, Job has literally come face-to-face with the Lord and he has experienced God. It’s not just hearing about God from his three friends or from his wife. No – now Job has heard from and experienced God directly. And that’s enough for him.

And this is Job’s response to that reality.

6 [Wherefore/Therefore] I [abhor myself/retract/despise myself],
and repent in dust and ashes.

So, Job confesses to both hearing and seeing God. And he confesses that his response is like Isaiah’s – “Woe is me! I am unclean!” Or as Job puts it, “I abhor myself and repent!

And that’s Job’s last statement.

He’s confessed that God can do anything. That Job himself spoke ignorantly. And that he has seen and experienced God and therefore abhors himself and repents.

No more arguments. No more accusations. No more demanding God to come to court and explain himself.

God has spoken. And that is enough for Job.

So, that’s how God rebukes Job and sets things right with that righteous man.

Job 42 Summary | God Rebukes the Friends

But God’s not done dealing with people. Elihu doesn’t need to be dealt with by God. He generally spoke on God’s behalf and experiencing no rebuke from the Lord.

But Job’s three friends are another matter. God rebukes them in verse 7.

7 ¶ [And it was so, that after/It came about after/After] the LORD had [spoken/said] these [words/things] unto Job,

the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite,

So, we notice that the Lord targets Eliphaz. Now, we’re going to see God speak to all three of these men. And yet, somehow Eliphaz gets the direct attention of God. This might indicate that Eliphaz was perhaps the leader of this group. Maybe that also explains why he would begin each of the three sections of dialog between Job and his friends.

But anyway, God addresses Eliphaz and says…

[My wrath is kindled against/My anger is stirred up against/I am angry with] thee, and against thy two friends:

Why? Why is God angry at these three men?…

[for/because] ye have not spoken [of/about] me [the thing that/what] is right,

as my servant Job hath.

So, even though Job was wrong in his approach to God in demanding that God explain himself to Job – God says here that what Job said about him was essentially correct.

These friends on the other hand were speaking falsehoods about God. And yet, we remember that they had the wisdom of the ancients on their side – they had the testimony of ancient wise men who had passed on before them. One of these guys kept referring to visions he had received – remember the spirit passing before one of their faces at night and causing him great fear and then giving him a revelation. All of that is nonsense when it doesn’t correspond to the word of God.

Visions and experiences and ancient wisdom is all fine and well – but these are not what we should be basing our life on. Our experience is not what we should be pulling out and relating to someone who is suffering. The person who is suffering needs God’s words delivered to him compassionately and patiently.

And so, these three friends had not spoken orthodox doctrine to Job. They had said things about God that just weren’t true. They had asserted that God always punishes evil and always rewards good in this life and pretty much immediately. And God says here, “that’s just not right!

Job 42 Summary | God Orders the Friends to Sacrifice

And so, because of the folly of these friends, God would be right to destroy them on the spot. Or even to apply to them the kind of suffering that Job had experienced.

And yet, instead, we’re going to see God be merciful to these three men and command them to sacrifice in verse 8.

8 [Therefore/Now therefore/So now] take [unto you now/for yourselves] seven [bullocks/bulls] and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering;

and my servant Job [shall/will] [pray/intercede] for you: for [him will I accept/I will accept his prayer]:

[lest I/So that I may not] deal with you after your folly,

[in that/because] ye have not spoken of me [the thing which/what] is right,

[like/as] my servant Job [has…].

So, Job had been on the short end of things for a while now. These three men have been pompously accusing him of secret sin. And Job had been pretty much defenseless against them.

But now the tables have turned. And God fully recognizes in the sight of these three accusers, that Job is his – what? It’s stated three times in this verse. Job is God’s… servant. There was some doubt about that. But not anymore. God makes it clear that Job is his true servant.

And so, these men are at Job’s mercy now. They’re sacrificing – not to Job – but to God. And yet, Job is their priest and mediator before God.

And if they don’t offer that sacrifice and if Job doesn’t pray for them, God menacingly threatens that he will deal with these men according to their foolishness. These men, who had considered themselves as wise! God says that they’re fools!

And God repeats the charge against them. They spoke of God what was not correct.

Job 42 Summary | The Friends Sacrifice and Job Prays and God Accepts

And you better believe that these three men – as foolish as they had behaved themselves – they do fear God and they’re going to make a bee-line to Job with those sacrifices in verse 9!

9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did [according/just] as the LORD [commanded/told] them:

[the LORD also/and the LORD] [accepted/had respect for/accepted the prayer of] Job.

And where Job had felt such a lack of God’s presence – such a rejection of his prayers – now the only one whose prayers are effectual before God is this one who has felt so rejected by God. Job is no longer rejected.

Job 42 Summary | The Lord Restores Job in Summary

And that applies to his prayers, but we’re going to see from the rest of this chapter that everything is restored to Job. He’s going to experience acceptance by God in every way. Verse 10 summarizes this role reversal.

10 ¶ [And/So] the LORD [turned the captivity of Job/restored the fortunes of Job/restored what Job had lost/made Job prosperous again],

[when/after] he prayed for his friends:

So, God did wait until Job showed that he had truly forgiven these men. And sometimes that is what is holding back some of God’s blessings in our lives is when we refuse to forgive those who have wronged us in some pretty serious ways. And yet, God wants us to forgive everyone – just like he’s forgiven us…

[also/and] the LORD [gave Job twice as much as he had before/increased all that Job had twofold/doubled all that had belonged to Job/gave him twice as much as he had before].

So, that’s Job’s restoration in a summary fashion.

Job 42 Summary | The Lord Restores Job’s Relationships

Now, we’re going to see Job’s restoration in detail with some specifics.

Verse 11 has Job’s relationships restored.

11 Then came there unto him
all his brethren,
and all his sisters,
and all they that had [been of his acquaintance/had known him] before,
and [did eat bread/they dined/ate] with him in his house:

and they [bemoaned/consoled/comforted] him, and [comforted/consoled] him [over/for] all the [evil/adversities/trouble] that the LORD had brought upon him:

every man also gave him a piece of [money/silver], and every one [an earring of gold/a gold ring].

So, one thing to note here is that all of these people had apparently abandoned Job. What help these folks could have been to the suffering Job in his hour of need! And yet, isn’t that sometimes what God orchestrates in our lives so that we don’t trust man – so that we don’t rely on man for our happiness. Sometimes, the Lord brings us to the point where we have literally no one. And the ones we might have are no help.

And that’s OK. It’s as God intends. We don’t have recorded here that Job was bitter against these fair-weather friends and family. He has heard and seen God – experienced God. And I think that he wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. His heart is like that of Joseph’s where he could harbor no bitterness against his brothers but instead saw that where they meant evil, God meant good – and God won!

And I think we need to notice one more thing in this verse. Who brought the evil on Job?

The inspired author of this book places the blame for all the bad stuff that happened on God. This is not Eliphaz saying this. It isn’t even Elihu. It’s the divine author stating in no uncertain terms that God himself brought this evil on Job. God is not apologizing about it. He’s not seeking to shift blame to Satan. He’s not concerned that his reputation will take a hit when people realize that he himself is the one who brings evil – calamity – hardship into the life of one of his righteous people.

I started out this series over a year ago in part because I had a friend whose two young children died in a car accident. And I was talking to one of my sons recently who was a friend of the older boy and we were talking about grief. And my son asked if grief is supposed to go away. And I said that I don’t think you ever get over the death of someone who you love and care for. And he seemed relieved – because even he is still after over a year grieving the loss of his friend.

Now, I want to be clear that I think the first thing that I would say to this grieving father would not be along the lines of this truth – that the Lord made this happen. And certainly you would never relate this to a person in a cold and callous way with no emotion in your voice or face. This is not some truth to beat grieving people to death with.

But it is a truth that we all need to recognize. God is in control. He brings good and he brings bad in this life. And it doesn’t matter who you are.

Can we accept that God ultimately brought the evil into the life of this missionary family in Cameroon? Can we accept that there’s a little 6 year old boy in Minnesota who just had to have a large tumor removed from his brain and still has cancer in his spine and might be enduring harsh treatments for months – and even then he’s not fully out of the woods – can we accept that this is God’s doing?

And I can admit, I don’t want to accept it! I don’t like this. I want the Millennium – now! I want all tears wiped away from our eyes! I want the lion to lay down with the lamb – now!

But we don’t have that now. We have what God has wisely orchestrated in our lives. And as blind and shortsighted as we are – we must trust our captain. We must trust God’s wisdom.

And in fact, you talk to the wife of this murdered missionary or you talk to the believing parents of this dear young child – and you’ll hear them speak of their trusting the Lord. You’ll hear of them being confused and not being able to make sense of things – but you’ll also hear their unwavering faith. And they are an awesome example of what God is teaching us in this book.

And you know – all of these things will be made right one day when we’re with the Lord.

Job 42 Summary | The Lord Restores Job’s Fortunes

But God saw fit to restore Job in this life – even his fortunes in verse 12.

12 So the LORD blessed the [latter end/latter days/second part/latter part] of [Job/Job’s life] more than [his beginning/the first]:

for he had fourteen thousand sheep,
and six thousand camels,
and a thousand yoke of oxen,
and a thousand [she asses/female donkeys].

And I’ll just note here that all the way back in chapter 1 and verse 3 we’re told that Job had these kinds of things as well. Only there, he had half as much. God blessed him with twice as much material blessings – just like he said in verse 10. And these blessings didn’t come because Job stopped sinning and started praying. They came simply because God is gracious.

This is his posture toward his people. He wants to give us good things. And most of those good things are reserved for us in heaven. And yet even on earth he gives us so much to be thankful for.

Job 42 Summary | The Lord Restores Job’s Heirs

And the restoration continues in verse 13 where the Lord gives Job more children.

13 He had also seven sons and three daughters.

And Charlie Hatchett once told me of a really interesting encounter. I can’t remember who the two people were – I think one of them was Dr. Cedarholm who founded Maranatha Baptist University. Dr. Cedarholm paid a visit to a pastor who was struggling with how God was working in his life. And this pastor had found himself in the book of Job and got to this point. And the pastor noticed with some dismay that even though God blessed double all that Job had materially – he only gave him back the number of children that he previously had – 10, not 20. But God said in verse 10 that he gave Job double all that he had before. And so this pastor was really distraught about this seeming oversight by God.

And Dr. Cedarholm came to him and this pastor related that struggle to him. And Cedarholm reminded this pastor that God did indeed restore double to Job even in the area of his children. His previous 7 sons and 3 daughters… were with the Lord. And because of that, they’re just as alive as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are. And he would see them again. Job did indeed receive double in the area of children.

Job 42 Summary | Special Attention to the Daughters: Names

And interestingly enough, the Lord draws great attention to Job’s daughters in the next few verses.

In verse 14 he focuses on their names.

14 And he called the name of the first, Jemima [dove…];
and the name of the second, Kezia [cassia…];
and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch [horn of eye-paint…].

By the way, as you know, women often go unnamed in the Old Testament. And so the fact that these daughters of Job are named I think is significant.

So, I feel compelled to try to tie these names to some sort of meaning. So, here’s a try.

Doves are graceful. Think of the difference between a dove and a crow. Even though doves tend to flit around whereas a crow is a bit more confident, the flight of doves is more graceful than that of a crow or other birds.

Or perhaps the reference to a dove speaks of a beautiful voice. Doves can have very pleasant songs that they sing.

Cassia smells nice. It’s the bark of a tree that is burned and gives off a really nice scent. This in the days before air fresheners and potpourri and artificial stuff like that.

And then cosmetics applied around the eyes enhances one’s beauty.

So, gracefulness or a sweet voice – pleasant scent – and physical beauty. We’re led to think that these attributes characterized Job’s second three daughters.

Job 42 Summary | Special Attention to the Daughters: Beauty

And while what we just considered bears implicit testimony to the physical beauty and charm of these ladies, verse 15 makes this very explicit.

15 And in all the land were no women found [so fair/as beautiful] as the daughters of Job:

Job 42 Summary | Special Attention to the Daughters: Inheritance

And what’s really unusual is the next fact we hear about them. These girls were so special that they received an inheritance just like their brothers.

and their father [gave/granted] them [an…] inheritance [among/alongside/along with] their [brethren/brothers].

So, typically in the ancient near east, the boys got the inheritance. The girls would get whatever inheritance was left to the man that they ended up marrying.

But I think the idea here is twofold. First, that God gave Job some very exceptional daughters. And second, that God gave Job so much that he had an abundance to give to even his daughters. There wasn’t any scarcity in Job’s latter life.

Job 42 Summary | The Lord Allows Job to Know His Heirs

So, next we hear a summary of Job’s long life in verse 16.

16 After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his [sons/children], and [his sons’ sons/their children], [even four generations/to the fourth generation].

I’m guessing then based on the twofold arithmetic that we’ve experienced so far that Job lived 70 years before his trial. Because 70 x 2 = 140, which is how long Job lived after his trial of suffering.

So, he lives 140 of his 210 years on this earth after his suffering.

Job 42 Summary | Job Dies Happy

And then Job dies. And he dies a happy man.

17 [So/And/And so] Job died, being old and full of days.

And death is always sad. And yet, there are certain deaths – maybe you’ve been to certain funerals where you just feel like the deceased lived a really good and long and pleasant life. Like, yes we’re very sad that this person is no longer with us. And yet, what a life he or she lived!

And that’s how Job dies. He lived a full, blessed, happy life.

And it wasn’t just because of the stuff that God gave. It’s because Job had heard and seen the Lord. And in light of that encounter and all that led up to that moment with his sufferings and trials – Job had come to understand how to correctly value the stuff that God gave him in this life.

Did Job understand God’s ways? No! He still didn’t. But Job had come to learn to trust God’s wisdom. God saw fit to bless him in his latter years. But I think that even if Job hadn’t been materially blessed in this life, he still would have carried that lesson with him of trusting the Lord in everything.

So, may the Lord help us to trust him in good times and in bad. When we feel like everything’s going for us and when we feel like just to get through the day is an uphill battle. In everything, God is wise. And he’s trustworthy. May the Lord help us to trust him.