jobJob 42 Job is finally convinced that he was not wise in speaking against God and calling Him to explain His actions. He repents or changes his mind and withdraws his demands. Job gets no answer as to why he was afflicted; he gets no explanation for his suffering. He no longer needs or wants to know. He is satisfied in his encounter with Yahweh. This encounter showed him that even in the midst of suffering, the Lord was with him. Even though God had initially remained silent, Job was now satisfied that the Lord had not cast him away, nor had found him to be at fault in any way. Consequently Yahweh selected him to intercede for his 3 friends who had sinned by claiming to speak for God and by falsely accusing Job and maligning his good name while exalting themselves and their pseudo wisdom.

In the end, everything is restored to Job and more. The author describes Job’s ultimate blessings in a way that ranks him with the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. These blessings show us that the idea of God’s retributive justice is, in part, a valid one. Although we get no answers as to why the wicked are blessed or why the righteous suffer, Job’s final situation does teach us that in the end the righteous are rewarded. This knowledge should increase our faith and trust in God when we are in the midst of our own suffering. He will endure the suffering with us, will enable us to maintain our faith and spiritual integrity and will reward us for our perseverance. That reward may come in this life or the next. That should satisfy us.

Now such knowledge may be fine for us, but for those in the midst of suffering, especially those grieving a lost loved one we should be cautious in how we present the lesson of Job. We learn from observing his “comforters” that silence and presence may be the best thing we can do, at least initially. As individuals then progress through grief then we may be able to remind them that answers and reasons why may be revealed slowly if at all, but they should not remain angry or bitter. Then we can share the good news that the Lord knows what they are going through and is, in fact, suffering through it with them.

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