Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | March 16, 2016

“Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.”

Today’s devotion comes from Job chapter 42.

“Then Job answered the Lord and said,

2 “I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”
4 ‘Hear, now, and I will speak;
I will ask You, and You instruct me.’
5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
6 Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes.”

7 It came about after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has.  8 Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you.  For I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”  9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the Lord told them;  and the Lord accepted Job.

10 The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold.  11 Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house;  and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that the Lord had brought on him.  And each one gave him one piece of money, and each a ring of gold.  12 The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning;  and he had 14,000 sheep and 6,000 camels and 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys.  13 He had seven sons and three daughters.  14 He named the first Jemimah, and the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch.  15 In all the land no women were found so fair as Job’s daughters;  and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers.  16 After this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations.  17 And Job died, an old man and full of days.”  Job chapter 42.

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The temptation for us is to focus only on our own faith and righteousness.  We could easily focus only on Job’s confession of faith:  “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”  Verse 2.  Certainly, it is true, and our mind races to our Scripture to support it.

But, we notice and find it interesting that the LORD did not immediately praise Job for his confession, retraction, and repentance.

Instead, immediately after Job’s confession and repentance, we read about the LORD addressing Eliphaz the Temanite, one of Job’s friends, informing him of His wrath against them and commanding that he offer up a burnt offering so that He would not punish them according to their folly.

We also notice that the LORD did not restore the fortunes of Job when Job made his confession, retraction, and repentance;  rather, “The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold.”  Verse 10.

We can be proud of our own wisdom and understanding of Reformed Doctrine.  We can be satisfied with our own faith and righteousness.

But, today’s Scripture leads us to care for and pray for others like Job did for his friends.

“I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”  Luke 15:7.

We, Reformed Folk, tend to be like the older brother in the parable of The Prodigal Son.  We think:  “… Look!  For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours;  and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends;  but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.”  Luke 15:29-30.

And yet, we notice the father’s response:  “… Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.  But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”  Luke 15:31-32.

In conclusion, let us use today’s Scripture to seek to be a good Big Brother and care for and pray for our brothers rather than being content with our own faith and righteousness.


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