The Restoration Of Job
July 5, 2019
The restorative power of God is like any other! One of the greatest hopes for all of God’s people stems from the hope we all have that God will exercise His perfect power, wisdom, and goodness to restore us. However, the Bible teaches that, while God is the Great Restorer, He restores His people in specific ways for specific purposes. In other words, while God doesn’t always restore us according to our initial desires, He always restores us beyond our expectation – especially in spiritual terms! Since God is eternally self-existing and self-sustaining, He is not limited to restoring the mere physical and practical circumstances of this life. He might, but His aim is much bigger and far more glorious. Nevertheless, when we study the instances in which God did restore people’s circumstances, it is important to note the details of that restoration so that we can approach the Lord with faith and hope that is premised with humility and contrition, lest we make the mistake of Job and lace our faith with self-entitlement.
People are frequently familiar with the Book of Job for two primary reasons. The first is found at the beginning of Job’s testimony. He was a very wealthy and influential man that was a great man of faith in God, whose life was suddenly turned upside down by the devil himself by God’s suggestion and appointment. The second is found at the end of Job’s testimony. This is where God restores Job to a degree that is nearly immeasurable. If Job was the greatest man in the all of the east before his trials, what was he considered when God restored him two-fold? It is a comforting thought when we consider the extent of Job’s suffering, but then the extent of his restoration. God indeed caused Job to suffer a tremendous degree, but then in an instant, totally changed his life around to be filled with amazing prosperity – not just in spirit, but physically, emotionally, socially, and financially. The common hope is this: If only God would do that for me…
The truth of the matter is, God can do this sort of work in anyone’s lives at any time He pleases. Sometimes He does! However, while God is not bound to any particular laws and regulations to use His restorative powers like He did with Job, the testimony of Job 42:10-17 shows that there is a certain pattern to the manner in which God reestablishes His people. First, and the most obvious (though often times the least considered), is that Job had to suffer GREATLY first! Job took on some of the worst losses anyone can experience, but all at once. He lost his wealth. He lost his security. He lost his health. He lost his children. All of this happened in the time span of a day. For those who seek to have the prosperity of the Lord, we must also be open to the humiliation God often brings through suffering before that prosperity comes. If not for that humiliation, we are seldom good stewards and good witnesses of God’s provision and majesty.
Aside from the suffering of Job, there is another obvious element to Job’s restoration. It is found in the first sentence that narrates this part of Job’s testimony. The Bible says that God restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. This is a big deal! God gave Job increase and prosperity in the midst of Job exercising the fruit of a newly-humbled heart. Job received the revelation of God concerning the miraculous appearing of God’s righteousness. When God declared His majesty and the wondrous workings of it from the whirlwind, Job listened, received, and despised himself in comparison to God. For all that Job esteemed for himself before, he considered himself as nothing after hearing and seeing the Word of the Almighty God! That experience had an effect on Job so that he was immediately willing to become a servant to all. His service was not concocted by his own interests, but in obedience to God. Job’s humility was expressed in service to others for their spiritual benefit. Moreover, Job’s service was to the very friends that had exhausted themselves trying to prove him as a hypocrite! The very friends that increased Job’s suffering in his time of need, were the subjects of Job’s prayer and service.
The scriptures show that Job took on the role of Jesus Christ. He humbled himself as a bondservant. He proved how lowly he felt of himself by humbly praying for his friends. He didn’t pray with spite because of their past treatment of him. When God sent Job’s other acquaintances to bring offerings, gifts, and donations to help with the restoration, Job didn’t despise them because of their past treatment of him. Job didn’t hold grudges. Job didn’t harbor bitterness towards others because of the ways they had treated him. His service to them was not back-handed. Job’s prayer was genuine. Job’s intercession by offering sacrifices on their behalf was heart-felt. Job had seen God and was thankful to be connected to Him by mercy rather than judgment for his self-righteousness. Job wanted his friends to receive the same benefits. He didn’t wish God’s judgment and wrath upon those who mistreated him or despised him. The humility caused by God’s revelation sparked a quality of meekness within Job’s heart that was parallel to Jesus’ own, who died while we were yet sinners, and did so without bitterness, anger, or malice.
It was in the very moment that Job was fulfilling his duty as intercessor, as priest, as the servant of God with meekness, as one fulfilling his salvation, that God instantly restored his health, his fortune, and in time, his family! Those who desire the Lord’s restoration as given to Job, cannot provoke God to do so, but can be in position to receive God’s grace if He should give it in this manner, by living with the humble faith that Job had – that which was just an imitation of Christ Jesus.
The manner in which God restored Job is worth taking note of as well. The scriptures show that when God restored Job, part of that restoration came from Job’s brothers, sisters, and acquaintances. Each of them brought a gold ring and a piece of silver, which was a common custom in the eastern regions at that time. Those donations would have been as good as cash. Notice that God didn’t just multiply money out of nowhere, though He could have just as easily as He spoke the world into existence. Instead, God restored Job much like the way He built the church. God placed it on the hearts of certain people to give to a common cause for His ultimate glory. The motives of the people are unclear, but it is certain that God impressed their hearts. Perhaps the people were convicted by Job’s service to his friends, to pray for them and to labor in sacrifices on their behalf. It must have been a compelling sight to see Job offer himself as a servant to those who had spoken so poorly of him. Perhaps Job’s family and acquaintances were afraid of the manner in which God spoke to Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. It is possible that they heard the warning that God gave to them, and they were afraid after hearing God validate Job while they had despised him previously.
Regardless of the cause, God used the increase of others to fill the needs of His people. This is a common theme throughout the Bible as it relates to material resources and money. God doesn’t provide material increase and financial gain so that a few people can save and horde – especially at the expense of others. Instead, God provides increase so that the excess can be shared with those in need. This was a regular practice of Job when he was wealthy at first. He often gave to those who were less fortunate, and did so with a right attitude – as giving unto the Lord Himself. Later in his life, Job was the beneficiary of this sort of giving. It is important to note that Job was not ashamed to receive restoration in this way. The gifts of his friends wasn’t an insult to him, especially as they had recently despised and mocked him. Job was thankful for the gifts given to him. Job was humbled by the manner in which God was restoring him. It wasn’t just that the people gave Job money and gifts, but that the Lord had restored his honor. The people also gave Job respect. The people gave Job comfort. The people gave Job friendship again. Seeing the miraculous turn-around in Job’s life had likely gotten their attention to clearly see that he was favored by God. It was clearly stated before that material prosperity is NOT an indication of God’s favor. However, because so many people around Job felt that way, God seemed to go out of His way to increase Job’s material wealth anyway to give Job extra validation unto His own glory.
The Bible clearly shows that God “blessed” Job’s life more in the latter days after his suffering. In that God “blessed” Job refers to the fact that God provided obvious signs of His approval of Job. Today, the sign of God’s approval is the outpouring of His Spirit in the lives of His people. God’s Spirit was certainly with Job to some degree, but having lived long before the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, the Father took to different methods to provide evidence of His approval. God didn’t just restore Job’s wealth, but exactly doubled it. In Job 1:3, the Bible provides specific numbers of sheep, camels, oxen and female donkeys that Job owned. In Job 42:12 the Bible shows that Job owned exactly double those original amounts. These are not mundane details, but concrete and quantifiable evidence of God’s control and faithful grace.
God also multiplied Job’s family. Perhaps the greats part of Job’s loss at the beginning was losing all ten of his sons and daughters in one day at the same time. The gut-wrenching feeling that such a loss can deliver to a loving parent like Job was, has to be unbearable to a person without faith in the eternal God. However, though some speculate that Job was about 70-years old when his suffering began, the Bible teaches that Job was fully restored with seven sons and three daughters. This is the exact count of children that he had before. The scriptures even go on to mention the details about Job’s three daughters to show the changed perspective that Job had about God’s provision. The names of Job’s daughters are mentioned: Jemimah, Keziah, and Keren-Happuch.
Jemimah was the first daughter whose name means, “day-by-day.” This is likely a two-fold reference. First, to the fact that a new day had begun in Job’s life, whereas before, he had frequently mentioned that his life seemed to be stuck in the darkness of night. Also, in that her name means “day-by-day” refers to the fact that Job had learned to humble himself in God’s control of every day, living thankfully instead of presumptuously.
The second daughter was named Keziah, which means “cassia.” Cassia is a sort of aromatic spice, much like cinnamon. Many commentators speculate that Job named his second daughter in this manner as a sign of his restoration from the stench of his skin and boils. One of the things that Job’s friends despised and mocked was his stench because of the skin disease he had. Since that had been healed and he was fully restored, Job gave homage and thanks to God by naming his second daughter after a sweet-smelling aroma. So long as that daughter lived, Job would be reminded of God’s redemptive power to change his condition as a horrible stench and byword, to a sweet-smelling spice of value.
Job’s third daughter was named Keren-Happuch, which means “horn of paint.” This was a common phrase used to describe a sort of glistening and glittering. Commentators speculate that Job named his third daughter this name to signify that God had removed the tears from his face and the looks of discontentment and dysfunction. Job’s face was now a face of praise and humble gratitude. Each look at his third daughter would remind him of the change that God did to remove the old bitter countenance of suffering and construct a newly refreshed and hopeful countenance of servitude and humility.
The scriptures go on to explain that Job’s three daughters were exceptionally blessed with a unique beauty so that they were honored and respected throughout the land. Job ended up giving his daughters an equal portion to his inheritance as his seven sons, which was unique to the customs at that time. Traditionally, the firstborn son would receive the larger sum, and each son thereafter a lesser portion. Daughters were seldom included in the inheritance. Here, Job, having learned about the impartiality of God through his suffering, did not play favorites with his kids, nor adopt the traditions of men to govern his treatment of them. Job was highly regarded by God in one sense, but not to the point where God played favorites with him. Job was subject to suffering just as much as the next person because God is not a respecter of persons. Job treated his kids the same way, giving the increase He received from God to his kids in equal portions. Job was a good steward of God’s possessions, recognizing that God was the provider of his wealth at first; proved His sovereign control of all things during his suffering; and validated His gracious abundance when He replenished Job. Job realized that his possessions were never his to use as mere men used them. Job recognized that he was just a steward of what God had given, and any degree of increase was to be used in the manner that God does.
Thus, the faithful, gracious, mercy, power, wisdom, and providence of God was POWERFULLY shown to Job and the people around him. Job lived one hundred and forty years AFTER this whole ordeal, and was fortunate to see his family increase up to four generations! This was the true sign of God’s approval: not just the increase, but the long life to share it and enjoy it according to God’s righteous standards by faith, in humility. While many people hope that God would provide this sort of restoration in their lives, this prosperity was merely an example of what God ultimately promises through the crown of life that awaits those who love the appearing of the Lord Jesus by faith. He is our inheritance. He is our glory. He is our prize. Job was afforded the privilege to have wealth and comfort for the better half of his life, but only because he had learned to cherish the God who provides more than the provision He gives. Job had to be humiliated so that he abhorred and detested himself, hating the self-righteousness and self-entitlement that had dwelt in his heart for so long, undetected. It was then that Job learned how to properly receive and steward the comforts and good things that God gives, and did so by redistributing the abundance of God unto others for their benefits as his personal thanks to God. Job used that which God gave to give by to God by exalting His name in the use of the increase God provided. If and when God should do that for any of us, our faith is made useful and pleasing to God when we follow the example of Job, who learned to live as a prophetic picture of Christ by enduring the trials of his suffering with faith.