Our pastor has been conducting a sermon series on the book of Job over the last several weeks and he finished up this past Sunday with a runthrough of Job 42.
Here’s the verse that struck me (Job 42:10) surrounded with a bit of context:
7 After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. 8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.
10 After Job had prayed for his friends [emphasis mine], the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.
This really struck me. Job had been through just about every conceivable horror that could befall a landowner, husband and father – the loss of property, loyalty of his wife and the lives of his children and even his dearest friends had eventually turned on him and accused him of a whole multitude of sins and infractions. In the wake of this, God restored him fully (in fact, He doubled Job’s previous holdings), but only after he had forgiven his friends and prayed to God for their sakes.
We may have very valid claims against our fellow men but, as is so often the case, in order for us to be fully blessed, we must have a right attitude. Job could have rejected his friends’ sacrifices and, in worldly terms, would have been more than justified, yet he would have missed out on all the blessings God had in store for him. We need not concern ourselves with eternal justice or rightness – God is sovereign and each and every one of us will be called to account eventually. We need to simply concern ourselves with our own thoughts and reactions and avoid holding grudges. To do otherwise is to run the risk of missing out on blessings that God holds in store for us.
Now the hard part: I “just” have to go about implementing that philosophy in my daily life.