The book of Job concludes in a most satisfying way. Job’s re-reversal of fortune always makes me sigh with contentment and dash away a tear or two.
As I read the last chapter, I noticed a verse that reminded me of the final scene from It’s a Wonderful Life, when George Bailey returns home to find the entire town gathered to support him. Remembering all the times that George had helped them, the townsfolk happily gave him enough money to cover his business’s lost funds; and George’s brother, Harry, returned home from the war to help the brother he loved.
Here’s the similar scene in Job:
And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold. – Job 42:10,11
What a comfort that must have been to Job, especially after the criticism he endured from Eliphaz and the others.
But did you notice what preceded it?
Job prayed – first, for forgiveness, for questioning God’s wisdom and working in Job’s life; and then, for the friends who had wrongly accused him and discouraged him.
Then Job answered the Lord, and said…I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you. – Job 42:1, 5-8
When Job’s heart was once again right with God and with his fellow man, God turned the tide of Job’s life.
So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. He had also seven sons and three daughters. – Job 42:12,13
Imagine how Job’s story might have concluded differently if he had hardened his heart to God and become bitter in his suffering…
For the sake of all of us who have gleaned so much from his story, I’m grateful he did not. Aren’t you?