Today’s Scripture Selection: Job 42:9
“So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.”
In the ancient story of Job, one of the oldest in the Scriptures, there is an ending with a twist.
After all the trials and testing; after all the accusations made by so-called “friends”; after all of Job’s pleading and questioning – and finally humbling himself in awe of God – there is a dramatic turn of events.
The one whom they accused of being sinful and unacceptable (as evidenced by all the calamity he had suffered) proves to be the one God accepts. And those who had accused him of so many sins – had to make sacrificial atonement – so that Job could pray for them and they could be in turn accepted by God.
I think there’s a lot to unpack there – in this final chapter of the book of Job.
There’s much to think about how the difficulties in life are not always (as Job’s friends thought) somehow the result of his wrong doing.
There’s much to think about how even when we are struggling – we should not assume we are somehow “unacceptable” to God. Maybe we just need to learn; adjust; seek God’s greater purpose in what he has allowed to happen.
There’s much to think about how a holy and just God, before whom we must kneel in awe, is also a merciful and loving God, before whom we can kneel in thanksgiving.
There’s much to think about what divine discipline – and divine acceptance – is all about.
So I invite you to look at the book of Job again. Especially when you, or someone you know, are going through some very dark times.
You may just find – as Job and his friends did – that the story ends not with judgment; but blessing and mercy – wonderful, merciful, acceptance.
Prayer: Lord, may my life choices be acceptable in your sight. And if they are not; show me a better way. AMEN.