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What Ultimately Happened to Job?

Biblical Authority Devotional: The Higher Ways of God, Part 14

by Steve Ham on November 23, 2010
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Although Job was a godly man, he suffered and died. Was this fair? Steve Ham, AiG–U.S., addresses this subject.

So Job died, old and full of days. (Job 42:17)

Today’s big question: what ultimately happened to Job?

Questions surrounding death and suffering are some of the most prominent questions being asked by people today. We know from Genesis 3 that man’s sin corrupted this entire world and that God cursed His creation as a result of that sin. We know that God is the ultimate Judge of the world and that sinful humanity falls short of the glory of God and His perfect standard.  

People may read the account of Job and think that he may have been treated unfairly because he was a righteous man and yet lost his family, possessions, and health.  When people read the last chapter of Job they often feel a little more relieved. It is a little like playing a country music song backwards: he got a wife back, children back, his land back, his health back, and his possessions back. Job lived a long and prosperous life. Feel better? . . . And then he died.

Job died, being old and full of days. Job suffered a terrible consequence of sin—death. Although he was a godly man (Job 1:1), he was a sinner by nature, sinned in his life, had human pride issues (maybe not as many as others), and eventually died. Job trusted in God and had faith in the Redeemer (Job 19:25). Yet he still died. But by God’s grace, Job will enjoy the eternal glory of salvation secured by the Messiah, Jesus Christ. 

When all is said and done, we might think that the right thing happened to Job by getting “fair” treatment in the end, but the fairest treatment every human deserves is the judgment of a holy God. God’s grace to Job was spectacular in light of what every human deserves. Through his suffering Job obtained a much greater intimacy with his Maker. After that suffering, God providentially restored to him a family and belongings so that Job delighted in his Maker’s grace. Job died because, as a descendant of Adam, he was a sinner as are the rest of us who also deserve death.

God’s ways certainly are higher than ours. We would have handled the whole situation with Job differently. Yet we are not the all-knowing, all-powerful God, who, through His work in Job’s life, displayed His immeasurable glory.

We also see God’s glory in His consistency. Job did not defy death just because he had some harsh sufferings or because he was a godly man (Ezekiel 14:14). As a result of sin, he died—to meet his Maker. God’s higher ways are shown through His consistent grace toward a rebellious creation. Through God’s judgment on sin, death came to mankind, but through faith in Christ, we do not have to fear it.

Today’s big idea: Job deserved death . . . and so do we.

What to pray: thank God that He is pure in judgment and faithful in salvation. 

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