Throughout his gruelling ordeal and many searching questions, Job kept his faith. Throughout his whole experience, Job maintained a prayer link with heaven. Throughout his long and bitter life-season, Job didn’t sin against God with his lips. Throughout his painful time, God brought a prideful Job to the very end of himself. Then Job repented of his foolish perceptions and his lack of understanding. And then God turned the captivity of Job.
How? How was Job brought to the point where God turned the captivity of Job, as we read in Job.42:10. Job knew God was good, but his full understanding of God’s truth was imperfect. God used the smiting accusations of the enemy to teach Job the deeper things of God.
Job sought understanding and asked questions based on his limited knowledge but he never, ever denied the Lord that bought Him. Job bemoaned his lot and demanded answers, based on his firm-held creed... but he had to be brought to a deeper understanding that God, not Job, is all in all; an understanding that he himself, is nothing; an understanding that without Me, ye can do nothing. Then – after an unspecified length of time… then after a great deal of God-searching questions… then after God’s tremendous soliloquy, Job said to the Lord:
He said , I know Thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of Thine can be restrained. Therefore have I uttered that which I understood not… Wherefore I abhor myself and repent. I abhor myself, and I repent. Why? Why was righteous Job brought to the place of such deep, deep repentance? Why was upright Job brought to repentance before God turned Job’s captivity? Well, it was because Job needed a deeper understanding of God – but his ‘repentance’ was nothing to do with past, present, or future sins. Like us, all sins are forgiven, but only because of Another; only because of a sinless One. Just like you and me, Job’s sins are forgiven through my living Redeemer. Yes, Job repented because he “understood not….” Job 42:3
Job’s righteousness was only credited to him because of his faith – just like you and me! We are righteous in Him, only by faith. But we all lack understanding of the deep things of our Father and our God. God knows the end from the beginning and He knew that Job was a trusted bond-slave. God knew his faith wasn’t religiosity – though his servant lacked full understanding. God trusted this man of prayer, who needed to die to self and be raised to the new life. God broke a prideful man, who eventually saw his folly and repented in dusty ashes. And God brought Job to an end of himself. And God raised Job up in newness of life. And God “turned the captivity of Job.
And the result? Job was brought to the most precious understanding of His Saviour and Lord – a deeper knowledge and a closer union with Christ than he had ever experienced. And through the bitterest of trials and tribulations Job was lifted up. And Job became one of God’s Mighty Men of valour – one of, 'these three men'. James tells us to, 'count it all joy'. and Hebrews instructs us to, like Christ, 'endure the cross for the joy set before us', so that one day soon, we too may endure and be lifted up like "these three men.."
Under Job’s covering and protection, faith and intercession, God was also gracious to his wife. God was gracious to her, who had endured so much of Job’s bitter trials. God was gracious to Job’s wife, even though she broke under the strain. We read that in the end, God, turned the captivity of Job. And you know what.. in so doing, God graciously turned the captivity of Job’s wife too. Job patiently endured – and through his endurance, his wife came into her portion. How she must have rejoiced with Job for she also was given… seven sons and three daughters. Job 42:13
When you are being assailed by the circumstances of your own life-tribulations, don’t limit God to your current understanding of Him, as Job did, for if you do, God will wait and wait and wait as He did for Job. He will wait and wait and wait for you to come to the end of yourself. He will wait and wait and wait, until you can say, like Job… Therefore have I uttered that which I understood not. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent I abhor myself, and I repent for my lack of understanding you Lord.
God is good, but His goodness exceeded all Job’s understandings and expectations. But Job, like you, had to come to the very end of himself, before he could ‘see‘ God with his eyes of deeper understanding. It was only then, when he repented that we read that, God turned the captivity of Job.
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