If I Could Preach On Job

Job is a difficult book.  It is particularly difficult in that it is framed in a “neat” fairy-tale way, in the beginning and the end–while the center of it is filled with the mess of life: the unanswerable questions of pain.

Today in class my group gave a short presentation on our reading of the Epilogue of Job: the last ten verses that (somewhat hastily) brings the book to a close.  My (short) two minute contribution was basically this:

Job’s epilogue communicates that in God’s dynamic of “restoring things,” the difficult act of forgiveness is at the center.  I understand Job’s prayer for his friends as a massive act of forgiveness, and the “inner” restoration, while from that point on (verse 10),  the outward, or “visible” restoration begins to take place (e.g. 10 more kids, thousands of livestock, his daughters–they even have names!–get an equal share of the inheritance, etc.)  Most of the time, we only think about the significance of Job’s visible restoration.

I’m not sure what you may think about Job’s insta-prosperity following verse 10, but I think that it is just an exclamation point on the real restoration that takes place between Job and God, and between Job and his community (the loud-mouthed friends.)     

In class today, I shared briefly that I have seen this restorative dynamic quite pointedly in my own family’s life.  If I had a pulpit, I’d definitely preach Job 42 on how much we underestimate the power of forgiveness, both visibly and invisibly.

3 Responses to “If I Could Preach On Job”
  1. sue says:

    Preach on, sister!

  2. teeveebee says:

    Job is actually one of my favorite books of the Bible. We can learn so much from his life, although I hope to never have to go through what Job did in order to learn it!

  3. Agent B says:

    I’d say you have a pulpit (here). So preach.

    Job, great topic. That’s the kind of prosperity I can go for – forgiveness.

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