Why Did God Restore Job?

“Why does God restore Job? I won’t bury the answer: God is God and he does what he wants. He wants to restore Job. This is what the entire book drives at.” - TGC


David, sorry to hear that. Praying for your comfort in this.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

@David, what Bert said +1.

A book I read in seminary that I can’t remember the title of now introduced to me the idea that the Book of Job is an examination of the retribution principle, the authors’ term for the thesis that God always rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked …pretty much immediately and obviously.

It really rang true. The book is more than that, but mostly that, and the author of the article above is saying pretty much the same thing. At one time or another, though, I’ve heard preachers/teachers draw exactly the opposite conclusion, effectively joining Job’s companions and the losing side of the debate.

Job’s honesty about his pain and confusion and sense of unfairness is refreshing and encouraging. But in the end, God vividly and poetically says, essentially, I’m God and you’re not, and that’s all the answer you’re going to get. Personally, in hard times, I’ve found that surprisingly satisfying. The surprise is that we feel like the question is “why?” and it’s not an answer to that. But maybe it works as well as it does because it corrects the question from “Why did You do this?” to “Who am I and who are You?”

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

It would be a mistake to be too dogmatic on what God accomplished with Job's latter part of life, but it's always struck me that he had ten more children and accumulated a huge amount of property. I have to wonder if those additional children were with the wife who told him to "curse God and die", if I remember right, or whether his first wife died and Job took another. Remarkable woman to have ten children towards adulthood, lose them, and then have ten more, if that's the case. Or for that matter, writing as a man with graying hair, to become a loving father to ten more children as one's hair turns gray and falls out.

But what we see here seems to be that for a few decades, Job was a man who'd been through the wringer and came through by God's grace. And so God's restoration of Job seems in some ways to be God poking His finger in Satan's eye--"see, you did what you wanted, and now look at him." There is some virtue in that.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Found this interesting in New American Commentary…

For the first and only time Job’s wife spoke. Job mentioned her in the course of his complaint (19:17) and in his self-maledictory oath (31:10). Was she the mother of the ten children who had died? Did she mother the second set of seven sons and three daughters at the end of the book? One must remember that though she was not physically afflicted, she also suffered the loss of children and wealth. Now it appears that she would lose her husband. Let us not be too hard on her

Alden, Robert L. Job. Vol. 11. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993. Print. The New American Commentary.

I’ve been doing an informal study lately on the theme “just the pain talking” in Scripture. There are places where people pretty clearly said things they didn’t really mean because at that moment, it was almost entirely an emotional outpouring. It’s just a cry of pain and the specific words are not really the point. In the case of Job’s wife, there’s no way to be sure how deep her thoughts went. But if we can forgive all of Job’s cries of pain, it seems fair to forgive hers also. Granted, though, Job’s never go so far as to say “curse God.”

But he does accuse God of some negative things.

It’s just helpful to remember that it’s easy to get stuck on what people are saying and miss why. The what may not be important at all sometimes. I think we see this in some of Jesus’ responses to people. Though they may not be uttering cries of anguish in some of these examples, they’re expressing a state of mind and Jesus chooses to respond to that rather than their actual words.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.