After this Job lived one hundred and forty years and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. So Job died, old and full of days. (Job 42:16-17)
He Lived A Long And Full Life
Job is one of the most remarkable men recorded in holy scripture. His story is one of righteousness, devotion, prayer, dedication, and loyalty. He was an intensely patriarchal man who cared deeply for his ten children. God had blessed Job with a good life as one of the greatest men of the East. Job’s wife was a recipient of these blessings, and her love for God and husband would be tested beyond measure. For all the good things of life enjoyed by Job and his wife, a day came when suddenly everything was taken. It was not a series of events that happened over a lifetime. Tragedy struck within hours, and in one single day, news came to Job and his wife; their ten children were killed in a freak storm. The Sabeans raided the livestock of Job, killed his servants, and took the oxen and donkeys. Fire suddenly appeared from the sky, killing all the sheep and the servants who tended them. The Chaldeans came and raided the camels and took them away. All the servants, save one, who tended the camels were killed. Not only did Job lose his ten children but the hundreds of servants who cared for his flocks. Untold numbers of families lost loved ones that day. Life was turned upside down.
The story of Job, his wife, and his four friends is a struggle of faith, doubt, blame, anger, and hopelessness. Throughout the dialogue of those around Job, he searches for answers to life and the tragedies that fell so suddenly upon him. Mrs. Job was devasted by the death of her ten children and reacted with intense grief. She lost hope early. Three of Job’s friends sat in judgment against a righteous man accusing him of being less than righteous. Job struggled in his own faith to know why God would allow such a tragedy to happen to him. The conversation wore on with little hope of an answer. Finally, Elihu, who had quietly sat listening to his elders, rebuked them and chastised Job for their lack of faith in the purpose of God. Then the Lord God took up the rebuke and answered Job from a whirlwind. Job’s response was humbling. He repented and sought the Lord’s blessings once again.
Job never asked why the calamities happened to him. His family surrounded him and consoled him, and comforted him for all the trials he had suffered. His ten children were still dead and could never be replaced. The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life with ten more children, great wealth, and the joy of seeing his children to the fourth generation. Job lived one hundred and forty years more. Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life. There would be more struggles in those one hundred plus years. As Job felt the spirit of life leaving him, he reflected on his life and the incredible journey he had endured and smiled. It was a good life with incredible blessings, and it was a good life with unexpected hardships. He knew that life was not measured by the number of camels, oxen, sheep, and donkeys he had. Job also knew that as blessed as he was to have fourteen sons and six daughters, his life was measured by his relationship with God.
Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar were good friends and cared for Job. They heard of the tragedy he had suffered and got together and traveled from their homes to comfort and console him. When they saw Job from a distance, they scarcely recognized him. Wailing loudly, they tore their robes and threw dust into the air over their heads to show their grief. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights. No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words. They did not understand the plight of Job and tried to rationalize but, sadly, were mistaken. At least they were there trying to comfort Job, and he appreciated them being there. Job had good friends, and he had a good life.
A good and full life is sometimes filled with sadness and tragedy. Job and his wife experienced more than most. The book of Job is more about victory than sadness; as the end of life came, Job could look back and know that God had never deserted him or abandoned him. That one day that turned his world upside down did not define his life with despair but helped him grow closer to his God. He lived for the glory of his own death with the sorrows of life would end, and he would see his Lord face to face. Living a long life and enjoying a full life is found in God. At the end of life, that is the only thing that mattered to Job.