“God Gives, God Takes Away, God Gives”

{Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.  In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. Job 1:20-22}

Scripture describes Job as “blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil” (There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. Job 1:1).God Himself endorsed this depiction when He twice declared, mere is no one like him on the earth’”( And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Job 1:8) (And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. Job 2:3).

In contrast with these early endorsements of Job’s character is Job’s final proclamation of repentance (Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. 42:6-7), ostensibly admit­ting a failure to maintain an upright character and integrity. Careful biblical exegesis allows for an alternate reading of Job 42:6, one that does not necessitate an admission of transgression. Rather, Job 42:6 can be seen as the result of what happens when sinful human nature encoun­ters the divine. And although Job’s nature was sinful, his integrity remains intact and God’s confidence in him was justified.

“(Job 42:10-17)” {And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.  So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. He had also seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch. And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.  After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, even four generations.  So Job died, being old and full of days.}

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