Alexander Maclaren wrote in his “Expositions of Holy Scripture” “The close of the book of Job must be taken in connection with its prologue in order to get the full view of its solution of the mystery of pain and suffering. Indeed the prologue is more completely the solution than the endings; for it shows the purpose of Job’s trials as being, not his punishment but his testing.” “So we have the grim thing lighted up, as it were, at the two ends. Suffering comes with the mission of trying what stuff a man is made of, and it leads to closer knowledge of God, which is blessed; to lowlier self-estimation, which is also blessed; and to renewed outward blessings, which hide the old scars and gladden the tortured heart.”
I love that.
As gold is purified by fire, so a good man is tested and purified by trial.
Was it unjust for God to allow Satan to test Job?
We look at the miserable and painful events that came to Job and we feel pity for him. We think, “How could a loving God allow this?”
But God had the end in mind even before the enemy ever thought of attacking him. God knew the heart of Job. He knew that Job was a good man. He said to Satan, “Have you seen my servant Job?” My servant. God knew that Job loved Him, and would continue to do so even if everything was taken away from Him. And He knew that in testing Job, Job would come to love and trust Him even more.
I am quite sure that if we could ask Job today if he regretted going through the trial, his answer would be a resounding, “No!”
If you belong to God, if you have given your heart to Him, if you have trusted Jesus and asked Him to be your Lord and Savior, don’t ever believe the lie that God is angry at you if you are going through hard times. He uses the fire to purify you and bring you into a more intimate relationship with Him.
I’m not talking theory here, my friend. I’m talking from experience. My wife and I have had many heartbreaking and painful events come into our lives over that last several years, and I am here to tell you that both of us are closer to each other and closer to God than we have ever been. Our faith has been strengthened, and we have a much sweeter and richer understanding of the love and power and faithfulness of God than we ever did before.
The book of Job is one of the greatest gifts God ever gave to us, and I will be forever grateful to Him for it.
I hope you’ve gained more of an appreciation for this book, and will be encouraged if you are now going through the fire, or when you are tested by our Heavenly Father.
Twice in the first two chapters God referred to “my servant Job”. And then four times in two verses in this final chapter. I pray that God will say the same about you, and will say when you meet Him face to face, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
What do you think?