Praying Through the Bible #41 | with Daniel Whyte III
TEXT: Job 42:1-10
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible”. The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the new Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have done 40 messages in this series.
This is message #41 titled “What To Do After You Have Just Gone Through Hell”.
Over the past few weeks, we have been looking at the topic of prayer from the book of Job. Job, a Godly, wealthy, successful man was hit with a series of tragedies that would probably make any of us give up on life. If we had suffered as Job suffered, most of us would have been willing to die rather than to keep on living. But Job — whose own wife suggested that he ‘curse God and die’ — determines to live on. His only problem is that he wants to know why such terrible things are happening to him.
Job’s friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, who come to comfort Job in his affliction think that they have the answer to Job’s dilemma. In their minds, it was simple — either Job had sinned or Job’s children had sinned and God was punishing Job by taking away all of his blessings. However, Job, knowing that he had carried himself in an upright manner, never admitted to any wrongdoing. He defended his innocence, while at the same time, never accusing God of being unjust or unfair. However, his question of ‘why this was happening to him’ still did not get answered.
Eventually, after Job and his friends have exhausted their own abilities to answer this problem, God comes down — which is what we all want in each of our own difficult situations. We want to know that God knows about our problems, about our confusion, about the pain that we are suffering. And, for Job, when God comes down it means that Someone greater than him is in control and is going to resolve all of the problems that Satan has caused for Job.
After all of the crying out to God that Job had done, when God comes down, Job is delivered from his miserable situation. The last chapter of the book of Job tells us about Job’s restoration and deliverance, and how he responded to his sudden good fortune. For those of us who are going through difficult situations ourselves, Job’s example is important because it shows us what to do once we get to the other side — when we receive deliverance from our problems, when we cross the bridge over troubled waters. Let’s look at three lessons that we can learn from Job’s example.
1. Job remained humble in his deliverance. In verse 6, Job is talking to the Great deliverer himself. God has just made it clear to Job that human knowledge is extremely limited, and that man has no hope of actually figuring out God’s ways. The reason why God allowed Job’s suffering was far beyond human understanding. Job responds to this in a very humble spirit: He tells God, “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee… Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”‘
2. Job allowed God to vindicate him. You can imagine the thoughts that were running through Job’s friends’ heads when God came down to speak to Job. They had been so convinced that Job was suffering because of some sin that he had committed, and when God did not confirm their assumption, they must have been stunned. Job could have adopted a negative, ‘I-told-you-so’ attitude towards his friends. No doubt, he was hurt by the accusations of these people who knew just as well as anybody the type of man he was.
3. Job was able to serve God and his miserable comforters through prayer. Verse 10 of our passage reads, “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.” There is a very interesting message in this verse that is often overlooked. The Bible says that the Lord “turned” or reversed Job’s “captivity.” It does not say, ‘the Lord reversed Job’s poverty, or Job’s financial situation, or Job’s lack of material possessions,’ but rather it was his “captivity” that God reversed.