Summary: Job is saying, now he really knows God, and has a great concept of God. He, like so many, had dragged God down into the realm of mere words. God was a subject in theology to be explained, instead of a person to be encountered.

Job is one of the masterpieces of world literature. It is studied

today even in secular colleges, and students are required to write

papers comparing Job's sufferings with those of the Greek god

Prometheus. I know this, because I just recently loaned a

commentary on Job to my neighbor who had to write just such a

paper. Victor Hugo called the book of Job, "Perhaps the greatest

masterpiece of the human mind." Carlyle claimed that nothing, "Of

equal literary merit," has ever been written. If it has such merit as

literature, of how much more value ought it to be to us, who believed

it to be the inspired Word of God? Yet few Christians ever read it,

and fewer still understand it when they do. It is the story both

simple and sublime. It calls for too much thinking to appeal to our

age of push button results.

It has a happy ending, however, in common with many great

stories. It differs from most, in that usually the villains do not end

up happy. The wolves, witches, and wicked, usually end up dead or

defeated, but in Job even the losers end up happy, because they are

dealt with in mercy. It ends with a total triumph of God's grace. In

this respect, it becomes a picture of the ultimate outcome of all

history, and the lives of all believers. This happy ending, after much

suffering, is filled with so many practical lessons that we are going to

consider it verse by verse.

In the chapters before this, from 38-41, God had been asking Job

a whole series of questions. These made Job realize that God alone

was master of the universe, and that man was powerless and

ignorant before his power and wisdom. Now, in this concluding

chapter, Job answers the Lord and says in-Verse 2:

I know that thou canst do everything. Job admits that God

is absolute sovereign. After hearing of all of God's wisdom in

making the wonders of the universe, He recognizes that nothing is to

hard for God. In fact, He knows now that God can even use evil to

bring forth good. The second phrase is more accurately translated

in the Berkley version, "And that no plans of thine can be foiled."

Or, the RSV has, "No purpose of thine can be thwarted." God is not

only able to accomplish His purpose, He definitely will. However

one solves the problem of evil, believers know they will all be happy

in the end.

Job is submitting to God here. The arguments about suffering

are over, and nothing has been accomplished, but now Job sees that

the only real conclusion is to submit to God's sovereign purpose,

knowing that it will certainly be accomplished. Samuel Terrein

says, "Existence is fulfilled when man is aware, not of his ultimate

concern, but of becoming the concern of the ultimate." In other

words, the greatest knowledge in life is to know that God cares for

you as an individual, and that you can trust your destiny to Him.

This is a parallel to Paul's statement that nothing can separate us

from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Job has arrived at

certain security, even in the center of suffering. This means, even if

he is not restored, there will be a happy ending, for he cast all his

care upon God.

Verse 3. In this verse Job quotes the question that God asked him in

38:1-2. He repeats it in order to answer it, by admitting that he

spoke out of ignorance. He had sought to justify himself at God's

expense. He knew he had not sinned, and he knew he was unworthy

of such suffering as he was enduring. So he said in that state of

mind, it must be God who is wrong. He was right as to his basic

innocence, but wrong in accusing God of injustice. Now, after God

has spoken, he recognizes he was speaking in ignorance.

Theologians are often guilty of speaking of God in such a way as

to hold Him guilty for evil. All men need to come to an awareness

that some things are beyond their understanding. We all have finite

minds, and when we speak, as if we comprehended the infinite, we

obscure the issues, and encircle them with ignorance. Many debates

would end as happy as this one if those involved could be made to

see their arrogance in presuming to speak on the mysteries of God's

infinite mind. When God speaks, even a righteous and godly man

like Job becomes aware of the poverty of his wisdom. He thought he

could speak on deep things, but now he confesses his folly. No man

can measure the bottomless depths of the wisdom of God, and the

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