Job 42:9
So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD had told them; and the LORD accepted Job's request.
Sermons
Job's Confession and RestorationS. G. Woodrow.Job 42:1-10
Job's Confession and RestorationD. J. Burrell, D. D.Job 42:1-10
Job's Confession and RestorationC. A. Dickinson.Job 42:1-10
In the WrongDean Bradley.Job 42:7-9
Job's Friends Condemned and He AcquittedHomilistJob 42:7-9
My Servant JobJ. Jackson Wray.Job 42:7-9
The Accusers AccusedW.F. Adeney Job 42:7-9
Conclusion of the StoryE. Johnson Job 42:7-17
The Divine Vindication of JobR. Green Job 42:7-17

I. THE DIVINE JUSTIFICATION OF JOB. (Vers. 7-10.) The cure of the inward sickness of the sufferer's spirit is followed here, as we often see in the course of life, by outward health and happiness.

1. The reproof of the friends. (Ver. 7.) Addressing Eliphaz, as their chief spokesman, Jehovah declares his displeasure that they have not spoken the truth concerning him. Not that they have spoken with wilful dishonesty, but that they have been in error. There has been a want of heart, and therefore a want of right thought. They have refused to receive the testimony of a brother's substantial innocence; have persistently tried to fix on him a guilt which did not exist. The habit of censeriousness, the habitual exclusion of charity from our feelings, vitiates and falsifies the whole course of our thought. The grave question arises, whether any intellectual error can in the end escape condemnation; whether the very definition of such error is not the thought arising from an evil state of heart. But Job, on the other hand, has spoken the substantial truth, and for the opposite reason. Again and again we have seen how his contention is for truth; and how, beneath all the irritation of his hasty words, there has been throbbing a heart true to God. And now comes the hour of recognition, as it ever will come for every faithful soul. What a blissful sound is there in those words of recognition and of pardon and of justification, "My servant Job"! What grace in the long-delayed, but now fully granted answer to the prayer (Job 16:21) that right may be done before God and his friends! But let us clearly grasp and retain the principle and the contents of this Divine judgment. The friends spoke ill, and Job spoke well. This is the Divine judgment. On what ground is it based? Their one point was this: affliction is the evidence of God's wrath, and of the afflicted one's guilt. And they were wrong. Job's insistence is that afflictions are not always the sign of the sufferer's guilt nor of the anger of God. And Job is right. And there remains the grand principle illustrated by the discourses of Jehovah, and on which this judgment rests, that affliction comes from the will of supreme power and justice. And this is so, although the reasons of affliction cannot by our imperfect intelligence be fully known. At the same time, the judgment on this great point at issue does not exclude the elements of truth and beauty to be richly found in the discourses of the friends; nor does it excuse the passion and the hasty speeches of Job.

2. Sacrifice for sin and intercessoty prayer. (Vers. 8, 9.) The friends are directed to perform an act of worship, the character el which appears to point back to early times (comp. Numbers 23:1; Genesis 7:2, 3; Genesis 8:20, et seq.). All outward sacrifices were the visible expression of inward feelings, of thankfulness and joy, of reverence, and especially, as here, of the desire of the penitent to renounce his sin and be at one with his God. Blood was the most sacred symbol, because it was the expression of life. The life of the animal offered in sacrifice represents the life of the worshipper surrendered to God. Hence for us the deep significance of the "blood of Christ;" and the highest act of worship is the presenting ourselves, body, soul, and spirit, to God through Christ and his sacrifice; that is, with his spiritual sacrifice present to the eye of the spirit, as the ancient animal sacrifice was present to the bodily eye of the early worshipper. Then, on the other hand, sacrifice as divinely ordained is a language from God to us, as well as one on our part to God. It bespeaks the willingness of God to enter into relations of peace with man. It therefore announces the possibility of repentance and of forgiveness conditional upon repentance; and so calls man to turn, to be converted and healed. Thus regarded and used, the great Christian sacrament is a powerful means of grace, and is most appropriately resorted to at such great epochs of spiritual history as that here set before us. Again, the passage brings to notice the privilege of intercession. "Pray for one another, that ye may be healed" As the intercession of Abraham for Abimelech is honoured, so now is Job appointed a mediator and intercessor for those who have forfeited a measure of Divine grace, and thus the prophecy of Eliphaz (Job 22:30) is realized. We are encouraged in the New Testament to pray for one another. The great law of mediation runs through life (comp. Butler's 'Analogy'), and this is one of its illustrations. A value is justly attached to good men's prayers. How far this privilege extends, and what are its limits, we do not know. It belongs to spiritual laws, the operation of which cannot be fully verified in the field of experience. It is a truth revealed in the heart and for the heart; and the heart has reasons, as Pascal says, which reason knows not. Let us sacredly guard the oracles of the heart, and thankfully receive every ray of confirmatory light that actual experience affords. The song of a tiny bird by the wayside which brings us comfort, may be a messenger of God to the soul; and the prayer of our feebleness for those whom we know not otherwise how to assist may effect a far-working good, as may theirs for us. But what a beautiful touch is this in the narrative, "Jehovah turned the captivity of Job while he was praying for his friends"! For it points to the fact that amongst the best moments of our life are those in which we lose sight of self in thought for others; when we can forgive and forget the injuries we have received from others, and seek their good in deeds of kindness, in words of prayer.

II. RESTORATION OF OUTWARD PROSPERITY. (Vers. 11-17.) "Twice as much as he had before." God takes away only to enrich, never to ruin and destroy, the faithful heart. He knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation; and as we have seen throughout the book the powers by which he leads souls to himself more nearly, so here we see his "end" (James 5:7-11; 1 Corinthians 10:13). The swallow-like friendship of men, vanishing as the winter of trouble draws on, returning when the sun of prosperity gains power once more, is contrasted with t he enduring, never-changing friendship of the eternal, one God. The life, then, the sufferings, the triumph and happy end of Job, are a type for all ages of the lot of the Christian, of the child of God. A harmony of the inward spirit with the outward surroundings is necessary to the completeness of life. This restored possession of wealth and honour is a happier state than his life's beginning, because it is a state more truly in relation to God. All that he has and enjoys he now possesses for God's sake. God is revealed in his gifts, and from his presence and love they derive their savour. Dens meus et omnia! "My God and my all!" is the motto of the heart purified and humbled by affliction. The darkness and the mystery pass away from the life when the great secret is discovered that in all outward changes "God is God to me." Here is a type of him who was humbled to the death of the cross, and who, because he, though a Son, learned obedience by the things he suffered, received a name above every name. What, then, have we to do, as followers of him, but to commit ourselves to God as to a faithful Creator; to receive what he assigns us humbly, and enjoy it thankfully, knowing that by denying us many things on which our hearts are set, he is doing us the greatest kindness in the world, which is to "keep us from temptation," and by keeping us from temptation, to "deliver us from evil," and by delivering us from evil, to prepare and fit us for all the good that can be desired, and for himself, the endless inexhaustible Fountain of it, "in whose presence there is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand there are pleasures for evermore"? To whom be ascribed all praise, might, majesty, and dominion for ever. Amen. - J.







My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends.
Homilist.
These words suggest the following reflections.

I. GOD IS AN AUDITOR TO ALL THE DISCUSSIONS OF MANKIND. If men realised this, all frivolous, vain, ill-natured, deceitful, profane, irreverent, and untruthful speech will be hushed.

II. THE PROFESSED ADVOCATES OF RELIGION MAY COMMIT SIN IN THEIR ADVOCACY. These three men were engaged in an endeavour to vindicate the ways of God. They considered Job a great heretic; and they took on themselves to stand up for God and truth. Notwithstanding this, they had not spoken of Him the thing that was right. There are professed advocates of religion who speak not "the thing that is right" concerning God.

III. A PRACTICAL CONFESSION OF SIN IS THE DUTY OF ALL SINNERS. "Take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering," etc.

IV. INTERCESSION OF ONE MAN FOR ANOTHER IS A DIVINE LAW. "Go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you; for him will I accept."

1. Intercessory prayer is an instinct of the soul. Nothing is more natural than to cry to heaven on behalf of those in whom we feel a vital interest.

2. Intercessory prayer is a blessing to the soul.

V. THE LIFE OF A GOOD MAN IS A BLESSING TO A COMMUNITY. "My servant Job shall pray for you; for him will I accept; lest I deal with you after your folly." For Job's sake these men were forgiven and blessed. God educates, saves, and ennobles man by man.

(Homilist.)

As My servant Job hath.
Look at Job in his misery. Now comes the problem. Why this sudden, this awful change? Morally, spiritually, religiously, this man is just what he was before. The friends vainly tried to account for it on the score of his own ill-doings and moral defects. Job victoriously repels all their charges and insinuations. Elihu tries to meet the case by arguing that "God is greater than man." How can the finite have the infinite made simple? You cannot pour the ocean into a pond. Though we cannot understand His matters, yet He has revealed enough of Himself and His doings, and more than enough, to show us that trust in His providence, loyalty to His rule, and hope in His Word is gloriously certain to result in our safety and security, our sustentation and deliverance, our ultimate prosperity and peace. "My servant Job." God calls him by that name in the days of his wealth and prosperity. Riches and grace can go together. God calls him by the same name before ever the days of testing, trial, and calamity came upon him. The expression is used by the Almighty at the end of the book as well as at the beginning, and what was Job's condition then? Just before this was said, Job bad uttered hard things of his God, — of His government, of His dealings with himself. Even when God came to speak to him he was sullen under a sense of wrong. And yet, in spite of all his faults, infirmities, and sins, the Lord lays His hand lovingly on his bended head, and fondly owns him, in the presence of his three friends, as "My servant Job."

(J. Jackson Wray.)

It is not the first time in the history of the world that the majority of religious professors have been wrong. The solitary thinker, the philosopher, the heretic, the forlorn monk, the rejected of his day, has been sometimes, even in spite of many errors, in the right, That little group in that unknown land of Uz, who tried to silence the one among them who was in his wild cries and low wails the herald and the apostle of a truth that was one day to be embodied in the symbol of Christ's religion — they warn us against thinking that truth is always to be found on the side of numbers, that the God of truth marches always with the largest battalions. How startling to those who heard them, how instructive to us who read them, are the words which we shall find when next we meet, "Ye who have been so earnest, so rigid in justifying My ways, and asserting My righteousness; ye have not spoken the thing that is right, as My servant Job hath."

(Dean Bradley.)

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