There’s something immensely satisfying about getting to the end of the Job narrative and knowing that the cosmic contest is over and that Job’s fortunes are restored. There have been great highs amidst the desperate lows and now the concluding sentences of the book complete the story arc for us – “After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so he died, old and full of years.”
But before we reach this resolution and close the book, God asks one more thing of Job – that he pray for his friends. How hard is that request! Surely this is the ultimate test – can Job forgive those who have wronged him? We’re not party to any internal debate that Job may have had, we’re simply told, “When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes.”
This is a prevenient outworking of Jesus’ words to his followers recorded in Matthew 6:14 – ““If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you” – and of Paul’s later words – “Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” (Colossians 3:13). We can only assume that Job was so in tune with God by this time, so confident of his love and forgiveness of him, that forgiving those who had wronged him was an inevitable extension of his heart’s posture towards God.
A fitting conclusion to these musings on Job would be to take time to listen to Matt Redman’s song Blessed be your name – (http://youtu.be/jaLXQubmUmE). I hope it will help to realign your heart.