Job: Back from the brink
Thursday, April 13, 2017
The life of Job is one of the greatest comeback stories of all time. As we have walked with him through the lonesome valley of loss and loneliness, we have seen him hit rock bottom. He lost his fortune and family, his physical health deteriorated and his friends accused him of hypocrisy. At just the right time, however, God speaks to Job out of a whirlwind and puts his suffering in proper perspective. He asks Job a series of 77 straight questions, each of which Job doesn’t have an answer for. These are questions that relate to the basic processes of creation, such as the depth of the ocean, the phenomena of the weather and the vastness of space.
By asking these questions, God is reminding Job of how great and majestic He Himself is, while also reminding Job just how small he is. The effect is immediate. Job humbles himself and worships, even though he is not given any answers behind the purpose of his pain.
What you perceive as a setback in your life now may in fact be the staging ground for a great comeback later.
At the close of the book, we witness as Job comes back from the brink. God restores his fortunes twofold. He has more children. His is given more flocks and herds. More importantly, he is given a deeper and more experiential knowledge of God than he had previously had. God uses the pain and sorrow of his life to strengthen his faith and bring more depth to his life.
On a much smaller scale, Job’s suffering and vindication picture the righteous suffering and vindication of Jesus. God did not spare His own Son from suffering, but sent Him to the cross to suffer and die in man’s place. God the Father vindicated the righteous suffering of God the Son by raising Him to life again on the third day. Think of His fortune that He secured through His obedience to the Father’s will! Millions and millions of people from every nation, tribe and tongue are now sons and daughters of God through faith in Christ. Truly, God uses pain for a purpose!
The last verse says that Job died an old man and full of days. God had brought him back from the brink. If you are presently in the midst of some type of trial or are suffering a tremendous heartache of some kind, be encouraged. What you perceive as a setback in your life now may in fact be the staging ground for a great comeback later. Your life is in God’s hands, and He has not forgotten or forsaken you. God always writes the last chapter.
Editor’s note: Brandon Ware is the pastor of Green Street Baptist Church in High Point. His sermon notes and blog posts are available at brandonware.org. Ware and his wife, Anita, have two children.