10 And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11 Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold.
12 And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. And he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. 13 He had also seven sons and three daughters. 14 And he called the name of the first daughter Jemimah, and the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch. 15 And in all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters. And their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. 16 And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations. 17 And Job died, an old man, and full of days. – Job 42:10-17 ESV
Rather than seeking vengeance against his accusers, Job graciously interceded for them and God forgave them. He did for these men what they should have done for him. Yet, in 42 chapters of recorded history, not once did Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, or Elihu lift up a single prayer on Job’s behalf. Their words were directed at him, but never for him in intercession to God. Whatever sin they believed Job to have committed, they could have called on God to provide forgiveness and restoration, but they refused to do so. And now, when given the opportunity to get even, Job revealed his true character and prayed for his tormentors.
Without knowing it, Job was keeping the command that Jesus would give centuries later.
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” – Matthew 5:44-46 ESV
Luke records a slightly different version of this same command.
“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” – Luke 6:27-30 ESV
And Jesus went on to provide a strong source of incentive for demonstrating this gracious and unexpected kind of love.
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” – Luke 6:35-36 ESV
Because of his willingness to love his enemies, Job ended up experiencing the truth behind Jesus’ words. He became the recipient of God’s mercy and magnitude. The text states, “the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before!” (Job 42:10 NLT), and it was all because Job demonstrated undeserved love and grace to those who had caused him much pain and suffering. Job did so, not because he was expecting a great reward but because he had survived his encounter with God and had lived to tell about it.
Job knew that he had experienced the mercy and kindness of God. His demand for an audience with God had been out of line and his assertions that God was somehow unjust had been undeserved and worthy of God’s wrath. But instead of judgment, Job had received nothing more than a stern reprimand. Now, much to his surprise, he would receive a double blessing from God.
So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. – Job 42:12-13 NLT
This list is meant to take the reader back to the opening chapter of Job’s story.
He had seven sons and three daughters. He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area. – Job 1:2-3 NLT
God effectively doubled Job’s material wealth and graciously replaced the ten children he had lost. The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, states that Job was 70 when his suffering began and that he lived another 140 years after his fortunes were restored by God. This doubling of his life span would have been another sign of God’s gracious reward.
This man who had lost everything, including his reputation and former status as a well-respected leader in the community of Uz, was welcomed back with open arms by all those who had abandoned him in his darkest hour.
…all his brothers, sisters, and former friends came and feasted with him in his home. And they consoled him and comforted him because of all the trials the Lord had brought against him. And each of them brought him a gift of money and a gold ring. – Job 42:11 NLT
Notice that his friends “consoled him and comforted him” after his fortunes were restored and he graciously hosted them in his own home. Job was the one who took the initiative. There is no indication that they reached out to Job or offered to provide him a costly feast in their own homes. But Job held no grudges and refused to be bitter about their former treatment of him. He opened up his heart and home and showered them with undeserved love, and this gracious act prompted them to respond with money and gifts intended to forestall any act of revenge and assuage their own guilt. They knew Job had every right to be angry and the resources to seek retribution.
But Job was content to live out his life with an attitude of gratitude to God. He lived an additional 140 years, enjoying the pleasure of watching four generations of his offspring grow up right before his eyes. He would have attended weddings and celebrated births. He would have reveled in the daily blessings of God and vividly recalled those dark days when his life had been turned upside down by unexpected and inexplicable events. And there is no indication that Job ever received an explanation for what had happened.
It’s interesting to note that the text seems to place the responsibility for Job’s losses on God. It clearly describes Job’s sufferings as “the trials the Lord had brought against him” (Job 42:11 NLT). But this phrase is in the context of Job’s friends offering him consolation and comfort. It may be that they still held the mistaken view that Job’s suffering had been the judgment of God for sins he had committed. Yet, the opening chapters reveal that it was Satan who was behind the disasters that devastated Job’s life. Yes, God was aware and provided Satan with permission to implement his diabolical plan to test Job’s faithfulness, but God was not the author of Job’s misery and pain. In fact, God is displayed as the restrainer and restorer throughout the story. He is the one who put a limit on Satan’s aspirations. The enemy could test Job’s allegiance to God but he was prevented from taking Job’s life. Everything that Satan took from Job was eventually restored – twofold. God plays the part of redeemer and restorer. He came to Job’s defense, not because he deserved it but because God is gracious and loving and cares for His own.
King David provides a timely reminder for all those who express belief in God and place their faith in His unwavering love and mercy.
The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
Our days on earth are like grass;
like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
The wind blows, and we are gone—
as though we had never been here.
But the love of the Lord remains forever
with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
of those who are faithful to his covenant,
of those who obey his commandments!
19 The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
from there he rules over everything. – Psalm 103:13-19 NLT
Job would live an additional 140 years and throughout all that time, he would experience the unconditional and unmerited love of God. Not only that, he would grow in his understanding of God’s sovereignty and providential care. Had Job not experienced his season of pain and loss, it is likely his grasp of God’s sovereignty and gratitude for God’s love would never have deepened as it did. His appreciation for God’s love, mercy, grace, power, and provision had been deepened by the darkness as well as the light.
The apostle Paul provides an apt summary of the events of Job’s life and he does so out of his own experience. He knew what it was like to suffer for the sake of his faith. He understood the pain that comes with living in a fallen world, and while he prayed for God to remove the source of his pain, he clearly heard God say, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT). Which led Paul to say:
“So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NLT
Job’s darkness had been dispelled by the light of God’s righteousness and his life had been restored by the undeserved outpouring of God’s love. He had come to know that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17 ESV).
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.