JOB 42
Job's Second Response to God
& God's Restoration of Job

There are three parts to this chapter:

    1)  Job Responds to God
    2)  God Speaks to Eliphaz
    3)  God Restores Job's Integrity and Fortunes

I.  Job Responds to God

The Speaker Then Job answered Yahweh and said,
A.  Job's View of God
1) Job probably gave assent (Assensus) to this view before his experience of seeing God in the whirlwind, but now he holds to it faithfully (Fidelium) in his heart.

2)  Part of the way of dealing with the problem is to submit to it by submission to God.

I know that You can do all things, 
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
B.  Job's View of Himself and his Former Actions and Views. Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?
Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, 
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
C.  Job Accepts God's Challenge from God's First Speech
Job does not present his case or his righteousness to God.  He does not walk boldly before Him with his cause on his shoulder, but what he does do is repent.  Which is what God said he would do "to his face."
Hear, now, and I will speak; 
I will ask You, and You instruct me.
D.  Job Repents
The ultimate answer to suffering is not intellectually based, but experientially.  By revealing himself (even if in a whirlwind with harsh words) God satisfies the sufferer with his presence. If some would ask how does this work an apologist for God would be hard pressed to put it into words except to say, "The presence of God answers the question." 

The problem for suffering people is how does one enter the presence of God?  The first reaction to this questions is a comment.  This is not Job's initial encounter with God, but a reestablishment of a prior relationship.  The second statement that need to be made is that manifestation of the presence of God is not always pleasant, but is very disconcerting.  The third is that even when the sufferer is righteous there is always an element of repentance that needs to take place.

I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; 
But now my eye sees You; 
Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.

II.    God's Confrontation with the Friends  and His Restoration of Job (Job 42:7-17) [PROSE]

This must be interpreted as a moment of restoration.
A Restoration of Dignity: Job's friends/enemies are now humbled before God and this man.
A Restoration of Ministry: At the beginning of the book Job acted as priest for his children's potential sins, but now Job acts as priest for his friends/enemies' real sins.
A Restoration of Health & Wealth:  Note that Job's fortunes begin to be restored when he reaches outside of self for his friends.
A Restoration of Relationship: Those that avoided him now seek him out.
A Restoration of the "Longed for":  Job in his monologues had longed for the days that once were to be the days of his future.  God granted his desire.
A Restoration of Name:  This is seen in the fame and beauty of his daughters.  How great a man was this?  Even his daughters' names are remembered!
A.  God's Advice to Eliphaz
How ironic it is that the one who claimed to speak with God is the one that God chose to speak to about the sins and errors of the three friends. 

It is interesting how little God had to say to the friends when compared to how much he spoke to Job and even to Satan.

Notice that the three friends are not allowed the privilege of a rebuttal.  This in OT times is the mark of pure guilt.

    It came about after Yahweh had spoken these words to Job, that Yahweh said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. for I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has."


B.  The Friends Obey God
After Job makes sacrifice for the friends, they just vanish from the story.
    So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as Yahweh told them; and Yahweh accepted Job. Yahweh restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and Yahweh increased all that Job had twofold.
C. Job's Restoration
Restitution as outlined above takes place.  This does not always happen in this life in stories of tragedy, but it did here.

Job is first blessed by man after his healing then by God

Satan had said that Job would curse (%r'B' barak) God to his face, but Job did not do that. It is curious that the writer uses the same word
(%r'B'barak) to describe what God did to Job, but in its opposite sense of blessing.

    Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that Yahweh had brought on him. And each one gave him one piece of money, and each a ring of gold. 

Yahweh blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had 14,000 sheep and 6,000 camels and 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys. He had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first Jemimah, and the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land no women were found so fair as Job's daughters; and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers. After this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations. And Job died, an old man and full of days. 

CONCLUSION:  How do we  justify God for allowing his person to suffer?  How do we answer the problem of suffering?  For the most part the second question must be answered by God in the ultimate picture.  Concerning the first question we must say that he is justified when his person is shown to be righteous and that person is satisfied.  It is always amazing that people see the believer suffer and God satisfy the person in their suffering and still criticise God.  The sufferer is satisfied!

Retraction of words: (sa;m' ma'as) -  this term refers to the casting off of something that is abhorred.

Repent: (~x;n" nacham) to feel sorry, to be comforted (after mourning), pity, regret, think better of, etc.  Three places that this word is used in Job are of interest to the development of the story. In 2:11 the friends come to naham/comfort Job.  Here God's presence brings Job to naham.  In 42:11 Job's family comes and gives naham  to Job.

Dust and Ashes:  Job's earlier symbol of deep mourning over the death of his children is now transformed to mourning over his sin of speaking evil words about God.