by Peter G. Feenstra
And so it was, after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. (Job 42:7)
Admitting guilt and confessing our sin before the Lord and others is never an easy thing to do. The arrogance and pride of our hearts keeps us from reconciling with our neighbour. By the grace of God the three friends of Job are brought to a confession of their guilt. They had become judgmental and placed themselves in the seat of God. The Lord was angry with these men because their thinking and subsequent conclusions prohibited the advancement of the work of Christ.
After having been rebuked by the Lord, the three friends confess their error. In order for them to be reconciled, God requires that they take seven bulls and seven rams and sacrifice a burnt offering. Afterwards they need to go to Job and have him pray for them. Ironically, those who had wanted to be Job’s mediators are now in need of a mediator themselves. Job must intercede for his friends. Following the sacrifice, Job acts as priest. He prays and asks that God will not deal with them according to their folly.
What transpires is another test for Job. Earlier he had confessed his guilt before the Lord. Now Job is to demonstrate the genuineness of his own repentance. Having been forgiven by God, he must be willing to forgive others. When the three friends ask for forgiveness, Job is to have a forgiving attitude. We can only pray for others if our life is right with God and our hearts are renewed by His Spirit. This is what Paul instructs us to do in Ephesians 4:32 when he calls us to be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving as in Christ God forgave us.
In many ways Job’s actions foreshadow the work of Christ. Jesus is the Mediator of the covenant and the Advocate of His church. He made the perfect sacrifice, and today acts as our great Intercessor. When we repent of our sins and misdeeds we can go to the Lord and be sure that He will forgive us and pray for us. We can celebrate the triumph of the Lord’s grace and the perseverance of the saints. The Lord will vindicate us and show the world that the cause of His children is just and right. Satan cannot conquer the grace of God our lives. The Lord will see to it that we receive the unfading crown of glory as He has promised. May what we have been given, freely and fully, motivate us to seek forgiveness and to forgive others.For further information about this resource, click here.