Sunday, January 06, 2013

Job's restoration

Infidels are critical of the way that Job ends (Job 42:10-17). How can giving him a new family make amends for the loss of his original family? Are children replaceable?  Isn’t that way too pat?

i) To begin with, we need to realize that the account is a bit stylized. You can see that in the numerology, with its multiples of seven. 7 (or possibly 14) sons, corresponding to his 7 original sons. 14,000 sheep–a multiple of 7, doubling the original number of sheep. Living to the age of 140–a multiple of 7. These symmetrical figures are somewhat artificial.

ii) More to the point, the infidel criticism misses the point. The purpose of Job’s restoration is not to make up for the loss, in a facile all’s-well-that-ends-well epilogue. The purpose, rather, is to vindicate God’s positive view of Job in contrast to Satan’s cynicism (Job 1-2). Job stood the test. God was right, Satan was wrong. Having successfully passed through the grueling ordeal, Job is given more than he had before, in public acknowledgement of the fact that Job wasn’t pious for mercenary reasons. Job remained steadfast when he was reduced to nothing, with no hope of restoration. He didn’t expect to come out of his ordeal on top. 

1 comment:

  1. "And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” (Job 42:8 ESV)

    The Lord's vidication of Job by making him his critics mediator foreshadows the suffering of our Messiah as we were once critics ourselves ("For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son" oman 5:10 ESV).

    Job's faith was independent of the temporal context for he had an "Eternal context"("Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 ESV)

    "For I know that my Redeemer lives,and at the last he will stand upon the earth.And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God,whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another." (Job 19:25-27 ESV)

    So without the last 10 verses the critic is still in need of a Redeemer and need "And my servant...shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly." (Job 42:8 ESV).