JOB’S ‘COMEBACK’

                                   How did he make a ‘comeback?’  

          As you perhaps know, toward the end of the story Job recovered his wealth, doubled it in fact.  And in the years that followed the incidents recorded for us, he fathered seven more sons and three daughters.  Not a lot was said about the sons, but the daughters were apparently prize-winning beauties. So stunning, in fact, that their names are given and the sons’ names aren’t (Job 42:13-14).  That was quite unusual in those places in those days.  Job even made the daughters heiresses to his fortune, along with his sons. Highly unusual as you would imagine, especially when you see how women are regarded even today in some regions of the Middle East.

          As far as the recovery of wealth is concerned, some people seem to have an innate ability to build wealth.  Midas was apparently blessed with such a touch, although he was the stuff of myth.  Donald Trump is a more current example and he’s very much alive and effective today.  Even if he’s forgotten how to comb his hair, you gotta hand it to him.  He knows how to make money.  If he loses a fortune, he just dusts off the seat of his pants, goes right back out and makes another.  He probably considers that as an achievement.  I view it as a gift. . . the instincts as well as the accomplishments and his acquisitions.

          But so is every breath I draw.  So is every heartbeat.  In fact, every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above.”   It is also true that “rain falls on the just and the unjust.”*   Despite gaudy claims to the contrary, the fact that someone drives the finest automobile and has a large beach house is not  “proof” that God blessed you and forgot someone else.  

          Personally, I’ve never been able to identify a direct connection between spirituality and wealth.  Or poverty, for that matter.  And I don’t believe anyone can prove categorically that if you’re a good person you won’t ever suffer or be poor.  You won’t ever get sick.  And all your problems will be miraculously solved.  Jesus didn’t make such a connection, either.  Remember the time some real religious guys asked Him a question, knowing either answer He gave would trip Him up or trap  Him:  “Who sinned?  This man, or his parents?” that landed this poor man in such a sad condition?  Jesus ignored the fact that they left Him with only two options, both of which He swept aside.  The question was loaded, like so many designed by His enemies simply to trick and trap Him. He brought up a third possibility the superficial religious professionals hadn’t even considered:  Maybe, just maybe neither this man nor his parents sinned.  Neither of them!  This suffering was so that God might be glorified.  That possibility had not even occurred to their narrow minds.

          Job’s “comeback” financially could perhaps be explained if you take into account the talent for success Job had already displayed and allow enough time. He had proven he knew how to do it, so now all he had to do was use steps which had already been used correctly and successfully.

          My focus now, though, is on how Job managed to survive and escape unscathed, and return perhaps even more solid in his faith, and stand as a splendid example of “God’s Comeback Kids.”  Stunned by the turn of events, shaken to his foundation, you can tell Job had no quick, easy, pat answers.  If you’re serious about how he got through this ordeal, his trial by fire, you need to read and ponder the entire document. 

          That’s what I’ve done.  Several times, in fact.  Slowly.  Deliberately.  Prayerfully searching for the answer to my question, knowing it would be worth gold, 

          HOW DID HE COME BACK? 

          Most of the time you can gain valuable, usually accurate insight into such matters by simply listening to what someone says.  Look at the  record.  There are keys to the man’s mind. That’s what makes him tick.  That’s a clue. . . a key to his thought processes. . . and an example for us to imitate.

          My purpose in this study is to try to figure how Job figured a way back after others would probably collapsed into a pile of quivering, complaining, defeated protoplasm.  He passed this incredible “test.”  Heavy hypothetical theological and metaphysical issues are raised throughout the early part of his ordeal.  Unanswerable questions are asked and, of course, no answers are given.  Even to this day, with all our scientific discoveries, advances, and instruments, we still cannot answer all of them.  Much less can we give an adequate answer or explanation to why Job suffered.  But, we can arrive at some objective  conclusions about how he came back.

          What I believe we can determine with a good degree of certainty is this: HE HAD MADE UP HIS MIND BEFORE DISASTER STRUCK.  You do not see that in exact words, but the evidence clearly indicates it.  Somewhere, before Satan launched his outright assault on the man, Job had confronted spiritual reality and made a commitment. . . One from which he never backed down.  About which he NEVER CHANGED HIS MIND.  It was a milestone.  Forever afterward, that would be a reminder of a life changing commitment.  Something Billy Graham would later call an “Hour of Decision.”

          Somewhere, ‘back yonder,’ he’d driven down a stake.  Before the storm struck, he had entered a relationship with God.  I don’t know where or when it happened, but it is within that framework that was able to “stand, having his loins girded about him and, having done all. to stand. Steadfast and unmoveable!”

          Listen to what he says and then see if you agree:  “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”   “He doesn’t have to explain His every move to me,”  Job seems to say. . .  “Perhaps I’d be unable to understand, even if He attempted to explain.” 

          Think about what he said after his entire world collapsed around him and left him with no explanation for his loss, no hope of recovery, and no path ahead to recovery:  “The Lord gave me everything I had, and  they were His to take away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  (Job 1:21)

          Does that sound like a man who hasn’t yet made up his mind?  If you consider his reaction and compare it with how you face cruel loss, does it give you an idea of how we can approach adversity?  I mean the overwhelming things which seem to threaten our existence, as well as the dirty little nitty gritty details of live that just slowly and surely grind us down.

          If I read things like this, and don’t ask my self the appropriate questions, I miss the point.  In this case, a very important point.

          Or consider this: “Who am I that I should argue with God, or even reason with Him?  Even if I were sinless, I wouldn’t even say a word.  I would only plead for mercy.” Job 10:14

          Thoughts like that may pulverize our pride.  They are true, nevertheless.

          It is obvious to me that Job had made up his mind. 

          So should I.  

          So may you.        

God’s servant, your friend, brother, and fellow student                         ~donkimrey

                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 *  I’m not getting lazy on you, honest!  Sometimes a can recall the verses, but don’t know immediately exactly where it’s located.  Besides, if you look it up for yourself (use your concordance), you’re getting more involved.  And you’ll probably find something else that makes the effort even more worth your time.                                

Post script: I believe there are other factors which figured in Job’s remarkable return.  I’ll share what I think next time.  Meanwhile, I’m also interested in knowing what you think.

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