I’ve admired Job for a long time, but my respect for him just climbed another notch. This guy suffered unspeakable anguish when he lost his children and all his earthly possessions. Then boils ravaged his body. As if that weren’t enough, his friends gathered around him and, with skewed theology, tried to explain the underlying reasons for his tragedies. Their words and attitudes must have hurt like rubbing alcohol poured over an open wound. And yet Job maintained his integrity.
Job 42:7-10 shows us Job’s depth of character despite the pain his friends inflicted. It says:
After the LORD had finished speaking to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has. So take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer on your behalf. I will not treat you as you deserve, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite did as the LORD commanded them, and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer. When Job prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes. In fact, the LORD gave him twice as much as before.”
Job’s friends failed him miserably when he needed them most. They also offended the God he loved. A person of lesser character might have told those friends to take a hike, but Job set a higher standard by praying for their well-being. We don’t know the exact content of his prayer, but we can surmise that he asked God to demonstrate mercy and forgiveness toward them. What enabled him to do this?
Job considered himself a servant of God.
Four times in Job 42:7-10, God called Job “my servant.” Obviously then, Job was submitted to God’s commands and purposes. When the Lord told him to pray for his friends, he did so despite the way they’d treated him, and God accepted those prayers.
If we’re followers of Jesus, then we, too, are God’s servants. That means He’s our Master and has the authority to ask anything He wishes of us. When He tells us to pray for our enemies and those who despitefully use us, then that’s what we’re to do.
I’ve been learning this lesson firsthand. Someone spoke hurtful words that questioned my integrity several years ago, and I’ve been praying for that person’s inner healing ever since in obedience to my Master’s command. Sometimes my emotions lag, but I do it anyway, trusting Him to accept my prayers and answer in His way and time.
God is Master, and we’re His servants. If He says to pray for those who have hurt us, then let’s do what He says. If we maintain a pure heart as Job did, then we can rest assured our prayers won’t go unanswered. God will hear and accept them, and we can trust the outcome to His wisdom and sovereignty.
#bgbg2 #PrayForThoseWhoHurtYou #Job