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Job was in great pain with owies from the bottom of feet to the top of his head. All he would do was sit in ashes on the ground scratch, scratch, scratching his bleeding, itching, stinking, hurting owies.
Some of Job’s friends heard about what had happened and three of them decided to go find Job and try to make him feel better.
As they saw Job in the distance, sitting in those ashes, they were shocked! “Is that our friend Job? He looks totally different.“ They could hardly recognize him because he was so sick. His three friends began to cry aloud. They ripped their clothes and put dust on their heads. They wanted both God and Job to know just how sad they were.
They sat down on the ground with Job for seven days and seven nights. No one said a single word to him.
But after sitting silently for seven days and seven nights, Job’s friends decided to try to help by starting to talk about all the possibilities of why, why, why this was happening to Job.
They said, “Job, God only punishes bad people, so you must have sinned to deserve all this trouble.”
But Job didn’t think he had done anything wrong, so he kept telling them, “No, I haven’t disobeyed God.”
This went on and on. Job’s friends would say he did something bad to deserve punishment, and Job would say he didn’t.
The big problem with that was…. they needed to turn to God and find out what HE thought about it all. “What do YOU say about this, God?”
Job and his friends didn’t know about God’s conversation with satan. They didn’t know that God was trying to prove to satan and the angels that Job was a righteous man. And they would have been better off to keep sitting silently with their mouths shut, rather than keep talk, talk, talking about why, why, why without hearing from God.
And maybe Job and his friends didn’t even need to understand “why” all this was happening. Job’s job was just to worship and be soft to God no matter what. And his friends’ job was to be friends without guessing “why” God let this happen to Job.
Well, after all the talk, talk, talking went on for quite a while, God decided to step in and put a stop to it.
From a whirlwind, God spoke: “Who do you think you are to question my wisdom with such ignorant words, words, words? Get ready to man up. Brace yourself and take this like a man… because I am going to ask you some questions, and you must answer Me, if you can.
“Where were you when I created the whole earth? Do you tell the ocean, “Your waves must stop here!”? Have you ever even seen the deepest darkest parts of the ocean? Have you ever told the sun when it’s time to get up in the morning? Can you shout to the clouds and make it rain?
“Speak up, Job, if you know the answer to these questions. Tell Me!”
God went on to ask Job over 50 questions just like this. He knew Job couldn’t answer these questions. But He was trying to show Job how little he was in comparison to God!
God tells Job amazing details about the sun, rain, snow, lightning, mountains, stars, planets, all kinds of animals and the food they need and the babies they have and what they are like — how God makes the whole universe work! If you want to hear all of it, ask someone to read Job chapters 38 through 42 in your Bible. God had amazing things to say to Job!
God asks Job over and over, “Where were you when I did this? And what about that? Can you do that? With all this talk, talk, talk you are acting like you know something!”
Then Job started to understand God’s point — Job was NOT God!
Job finally answered God, “I am nothing — how could I ever know the answers to Your questions? I will cover my mouth with my hand. I have already said too much. I have nothing more to say.”
Job put his hand over his mouth and bowed his head.
But God said, “No, I’m not done yet. Man up and answer Me, if you can.”
Then God continued, “Do you think I’m doing things the wrong way? Do you want Me to say that I’m wrong so you can feel right about yourself? Are you as strong as Me? Can your voice be as loud as thunder like Mine? If so, then show Me! Dress yourself with glory and splendor like I can! Show that you can crush evil with one stomp of your foot like I can! Can you do that? Can you?”
Job dropped to his knees and answered, “I had heard about You with my earth-ears before, but NOW I have seen you with my Heaven-Eyes. I am so sorry for talk, talk, talking about things too wonderful for me to know! I will change my heart and life.”
You see, now Job was starting to go somewhere deeper. Before, Job was a very good man who wasn’t full of sin or badness, but he still needed to know, know, KNOW God even better. And, now, He did!
Do you remember where this story started? Satan had this plan to hurt Job in every way he could, hoping Job would say bad things about God. But GOD not only used this whole thing to make satan look bad — but God also used it to bring Job closer, closer, closer to Him.
Job had started out with a lot of stuff and a great life, but Job had needed much more than just “doing the right things” and “knowing the right things” to please God. And now, Job knew God Himself better, closer, personally. Now his Heaven-Eyes were seeing more clearly than ever!
Do you want to know how the story ends? Job prayed for his friends. When Job did that, God decided to make Job’s sickness all better and He gave Job back double of all the stuff he had lost. Job had more stuff than he ever had before. He also had more children — 7 more sons and 3 more daughters. All those children grew up and had children. And then those children grew up and had children. And then those children grew up and had children.… and Job lived so long that he saw them all!