“I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.” Job 42:2,5
Yes, Job’s best words were his last. The last words of any person before he dies are very important. Our Lord’s last words from the Cross are a prime example. But these were not Job’s last words before his death. They were simply his last words following a trail of trials almost unbelievable to man’s mind. The words of Job 42:2,5 are the words of a broken man who has been fully repentant of all his shortcomings and fully restored to fellowship with the Father.
The life of one called of God, and allowed to be tempted time and again by the wicked one, often without full understanding of the circumstances, yet not losing his faith, is a very special life, not only pleasing to the Lord, but perplexing to the world around him. Job’s friends could not understand, if you wish to call them his friends, distant family no doubt could not understand, and I sometimes think the devil himself, couldn’t quite grasp why he couldn’t keep Job down for the full count.
Yes, Job’s last words were his best. But what about our last words when going through unexplainable trials in our lives? How do we react? What is our response? Are our words penetrating to the perpetrator, or an evidence that we fully recognize that God is sovereign and we are not exempt from such attacks or testing as we seek to walk with Him?
There is no question that the theme of the book of Job is testing. There is no question that the three main characters are Job, Satan and God. There is no question who the leading character is – GOD! In my mind there is no question that the key verse of the entire book is Job 13:15: Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him!” Though my trials have paled in the light of those of Job, this verse has been a mainstay in helping me to keep focused when faint-hearted.
Job chapter one gives us the scenario needed to see what God was going to do in Job’s life, and why he would come forth refined from the fire. Just a brief outline and then some observations on why Job’s last words were his best words. First, in vs. 1-5, we see Job – the Mature Man: in his fame (vs. 1), in his fortune (vs. 2-4) and in his faith (vs. 5). Next, in vs. 6-11, we see Satan – the Accusing Adversary: in his appearance (vs. 6), in his activity (vs. 7), and in his accusation (vs. 8-11). Then, in vs. 12, we see God – our loving Lord: in giving His permission (12a), and in stating His prohibition (12b). Finally, the chapter again ends (vs. 13-22) with Job – a Mature Man: through his trial (vs. 13-19), and in his testimony (vs. 20-22).
Isn’t it interesting that the book ends as it began …. Job – a mature man! His fame and fortune did not affect his faith. His adversary did not alter his allegiance. His trials did not temper his testimony. His last words were acceptable words because through it all, he had learned to see as well as hear:
I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but NOW my eye sees You” (Job 42:5).
When our eyes are focused upon the Father our words will always be acceptable, no matter what the trial. Years ago I heard a message by Dr. Irwin Lutzer on Job. He concluded his message from Chapters 1 & 2 with these lessons that I wish to pass on to you to help you keep your “last words your best words.” Always remember that:
- When God wants to try a man, nothing is untouchable.
- In every trial what really is at stake is the worth of God.
- Events on earth have to be interpreted in light of events in heaven.
- It is possible to worship and praise God without explanations.
–Maynard H. Belt