God Turned Job’s Captivity When He Prayed For His Friends
Job 42:7 – And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
Job 42:8 – Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.
Job 42:9 – So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job.
Job 42:10 – And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
Hello readers, today I am talking about when God turned the captivity of Job. Last year I did a series of blogs on the book of Job, and didn’t make it too far through the book! Basically what happened in Job is a recording of the dialogue that he and his friends had as he went through an immense trial and tribulation in his life. I do hope this blog is a blessing to you and you get something out of it for your practical life. Job is such an amazing book in the Bible.
Most of our insight into Job’s life comes at the hardest time in his life. It’s in the hard times where we grow the most. It’s in the hard times, the fiery trials, that our faith is tested, purified and proven. It’s also when God is proven to us. Many people never face much adversity in their life, and when it comes they are knocked over, and furthermore they let it ruin them, Satan takes advantage of the turn of events, and we take it out on God and others. We get poisoned, and we get knocked off the wheel of Christianity.
Job is a unique man in that all these bad things happened to him, and he didn’t curse God, he didn’t blame God. That’s remarkable really. We are so quick to charge God with all sorts of accusations when things go bad in our life, yet he did not.
The Biblical witness of Job at the start of the book is that he was a perfect and an upright man who feared God and eschewed evil. That’s quite a witness isn’t it. If a book was written about us, would it say the same thing?
Job went through what he went through not because he’d done something bad and deserved it, but quite the opposite. His friends had no problem speaking on behalf of God, yet they really didn’t know who God was. That’s the same of many people today, they think they know God, but they don’t know him at all.
Persecution and trials in life are to be expected for a believer. They aren’t fun, but in them we grow as Christians. In them is the revelation of God unto ourselves, and that’s what Job had.
Into the suffering and pain in his life, Job’s friends came to see him. I’d often wondered where Satan disappeared to in the rest of the story after such a strong showing in the first two chapters. But he is there in rest of the book, he was using Job’s friends against him.
Today I want to talk about Job praying for his friends. This is a remarkable thing… God only turned his captivity when he prayed for his friends. There was a release and a blessing that happened when Job prayed for his friends. Maybe prayer is what you need to do today, and prayer for a person that you least want to pray for. The reason why you can’t is because your spirit has been poisoned by events of life.
When you consider all that his friends said to him, you could understand that Job might have been starting to nurse some resentment and bitterness toward them. They didn’t say what was right to him. What they were saying gave him no peace because what they were saying was wrong, he couldn’t accept it.
Job had no problem accepting the truth about who he was and who God is ini the light of the truth of God’s word, and we saw the acknowledgement of truth and repentance of Job when God spoke. But the logic and philosophy and wisdom of his friends just didn’t sit right with Job, their arguments didn’t make sense of the situation… sense that he was earnestly seeking.
One thing I saw last year was how that Job being in a position of disadvantage (dead family, ruined business and so on) gave his friends airs that they were above him. When people go through rough spots in life, those who aren’t going through the bad patches can develop an air of superiority. They think they’ve got their life in so much better order and that qualifies them to be experts on other people’s troubles. And it was from a high and lofty position that his friends talked down to him and condemned him.
When God spoke to Job toward the end of the book, clarity was brought to the situation. God’s word brings light. And Job had wanted light in the darkness he was going through. What should bring rest to an argument, a dispute, a dialogue is the word of God. Job ceded to the word of God when God spoke.
Job praying for his friends is huge. It truly shows that Satan did not overcome him. You can make it through dark spots in your life, and while that didn’t ruin you, Satan got you in the aftermath. Satan might not pick you off overtly, but he does his best work covertly. He has no shame in how he operates.
Satan is a genius, not to be admired but to be aware of, and we have to recognize his wiles, because he manipulates situations and turns them on us to destroy our faith and walk with God. He’ll get you to sin by tempting you that it’s something so good and fun and something you must do, and ruin the rest of your life with it with condemnation and guilt and death.
What an ace in his sleeve, to after all that, have successfully sown the seeds of resentment and bitterness which would’ve poisoned Job’s life forever thereafter. It’s important we recognize his work in situations of life, it’s important not to be ignorant of his devices.
Going through this whole trial could’ve ruined Job. Satan might not get him in the trial, but he can get him after the trial. It could have left him bitter and twisted about life, and particularly with regards to his friends. Job could’ve felt entitled to being salty about what had happened and what he’d been forced to go through. And his friends would be prime candidates to hold animosity towards. Some of us go through hard times in life, and we make it through that, but after it is where Satan sows some seeds in our heart.
Here are things that could have entered Job’s mind. I was right all along, who do my friends think they are. My friends deserve what I got. I’m not going to pray for them, let them sort it out for themselves seeing as they’re so right about everything. Payback and seeing people get what we think they deserve comes pretty naturally to us doesn’t it?
Remember in Luke 9 when a village of the Samaritans rejected Jesus Christ, and his disciples wanted to call down fire on them? Well, Jesus rebuked them… he said… Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. See, Job praying for his friends shows what spirit he truly had. He didn’t have a mean, vindictive, evil spirit over it. For some of us, Satan gets a foothold that becomes a stronghold in our life which ruins us. Life truly tests what spirit we are of. Satan truly hadn’t won in his life. He wanted to corrupt Job’s life, and thinking and spirit… but he didn’t. What a test of that truth this final step in his trial was.
Job could’ve obeyed God the whole way through his trial, but right at the end, God commanded him to intercede for his friends on their behalf. Could he obey this command? This is a toughy. Pray for friends who condemned me, who stabbed me in the back, who accused me, who weren’t there when I needed them?
Job didn’t let bitterness and resentment set in. He didn’t let the devil use what had happened to ruin his life. See, we don’t get to choose many of the circumstances and situations we are put in. And we can’t control them, Job couldn’t control his friends… but what he could do was make sure he himself was right with God. God is interested in each of us individually, our spiritual state. Sometimes we need to stop looking around and at others, and look at our own hearts and lives and make sure Satan hasn’t got that. Proverbs 4:23 – Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Bitterness and resentment would’ve put that light out in his life, it would’ve rendered him useless in life thereafter. Job praying for his friends is so significant because we see that had he made it through the trial and trouble… yet been filled with bitterness and resentment… Satan would’ve still won. Sometimes it’s not the actual trial and trouble, it’s the aftermath, it’s the time after when you’ve stewed and mulled on what has happened… and as you digest the unfairness and injustice of it all… Satan works on you over time to ruin you.
How often Satan wins in our lives. Satan wanted to corrupt Job’s walk of faith, and he’s so subtil. The whole point of all this adversity was to ruin Job, to make him turn on God, to show that he really was a fake and not legit, to prove he was only following God because of what God did for him. And while he may not have got him in it, he could yet destroy him by cultivating ill will and ill feelings in Job over what he’d been forced to endure.
You know how there are sometimes twists in movies right at the end where everything is flipped upside down and you never saw it coming… well that is this story of Job’s life. Satan’s masterpiece would’ve been Job getting bitter and resentful over the fact that he was right and his friends were wrong all along! Satan may not outright destroy you, but he can sow a little seed that sits in the back of your mind, a seed which left there and watered over time, becomes a very big problem in our life.
Satan uses his friends to accuse and condemn him, Job loses and suffers so much… and that doesn’t break Job. However, at the end of it, he could’ve still won had Job thought nah, I’m not praying for them, they don’t’ deserve it. Job would’ve been disobeying God, God told him to pray for them. God knows what’s best for our lives, we should just obey him. Obeying God actually kept Job safe in dealing and thwarting the plans of the enemy he could not see.
Jesus preached some tough truths, and one of those that is tougher than most is how we treat our enemies. Pray for those that despitefully use you. Ain’t that tough? Being vindictive and getting even comes naturally to us all. See, we think getting even will make us feel better, but it won’t. Harboring ill will and resentment and bitterness is a poison and cancer of the soul. Just imagine the freedom and relief that flooded Job’s heart as he prayed for those who had done him dirty. There’s nothing as freeing as letting sin and it’s bondage and slavery and darkness just go.
It’s tough as a Christian to let things go, our fleshly nature wants to chow down on bitterness and resentment. People nurse and feed and treasure on it their whole lives. We love to eat bitterness up like a crow tearing flesh off a dead carcasses. But Jesus said to bless them that curse you. Our nature is to want blood in return. But we can’t handle it, it destroys us. It always feels like “weakness” to do as Jesus said, but actually it requires the most strength and in fact without God’s grace we cannot muster the energy to do it. It takes God’s grace not to be overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
It’s interesting to note that Satan wasn’t for Job’s friends either. He used them, but he would’ve been happy for Job to bury them and himself and get them all at the same time. Satan is a bad friend because he always forsakes you and leaves you with the consequences after you’ve sinned.
How often Satan uses disputes, debates, and dialogues to build ill will and resentment between two parties. No wonder the Bible has much wisdom on how to deal with other people, how to interact. 2 Timothy 2:16 – But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. This whole dialogue, just like many of our dialogues with people, can leave a very bad taste in the mouth. Job didn’t let their conversation corrupt him, his walk with God, his life and even his care for them. We need God’s grace because it’s impossible, just like the whole Christian life, impossible without the grace of God to live it.
God’s wrath was kindled against Job’s friends. You know, God’s wrath is kindled against this unbelieving and Christ rejecting world. What are we going to do about it? We all get mistreated by this world, are we going to let that put our light out? Or are we going to make a difference? Job cared about obeying God’s word, and he truly cared for his friends. Had he let bitterness and resentment poison his thinking and spirit Satan would’ve won.
God turned his captivity when he prayed for his friends. What a wonderful deliverance for our spirit and soul when we obey his word, and when we love others. It’s a man’s glory to pass over a transgression. There’s liberty and freedom in letting go of things people have said and done to you. God shed his grace and love aboard in Job’s heart when he prayed for his friends, and the trial and tribulation and darkness disappeared. Maybe your darkness will disappear when you choose to obey God’s word in your life and you get some grace to deal with all the twisted and broken affairs of your life.
The final thing I will say is, maybe it looks a bit stupid that it was praying for his friends that ended Job’s captivity. It kind of seems a strange way for it to be resolved doesn’t it. Maybe your issues in life have a different solution to what you think the solution really is. There’s a better way, Paul talked about a better way in 1 Corinthians 12:31… just before the famous chapter on charity. If you’d think of ways for Job to fix his state in life, you probably wouldn’t have put praying for his friends at the top of the list. He needed money and doctors and so on to fix his state right? But no, the fixing to your state is obeying God, and maybe obeying God in an area of life that you don’t think will make much difference, yet is the difference between captivity and liberty.
Do you want freedom in your heart and spirit? Job’s captivity was ended, and if you are in captivity today maybe you could learn from Job’s life… as should we all. What a wonderful book, and what a wonderful truth late in his story. He prayed for his friends, he cared enough, he loved enough… because he loved God and obeyed his word. We need grace to do life, we can’t make it without God’s grace. Job had God’s grace on his life, grace that we also need, and grace that God will give. What a freedom and liberty came over Job’s life when he let it go, he let go the mistreatment and false accusations, and he actually saved those very friends who’d tried to bury him. What Satan thought was a masterpiece was turned into God’s masterpiece. Your life can go two ways, you can succumb to Satan and be strangled in bitterness and resentment, or you can obey God, and pray for those who have done you dirty, it’s not weakness, it takes a strength this world doesn’t have in fact.
The way out of your captivity, and my captivity in life… it’s not necessarily the way out that we think the way out should be. God will turn your captivity to sin, to despair, to darkness… trust and obey him. Learn from when Job prayed for his friends. That was no light thing. He had boils on his flesh as he prayed you know that right. Things can be fallen apart, but you can still let it go, and do right and obey God’s word. He wasn’t praying because things were so much better, this wasn’t a fair weather easy prayer. Nothing was fixed, but he prayed nonetheless. You may have self diagnosed your problems in life, but God knows where the solution and cure is. Obey him and let him fix what he can see to fix and knows how to fix.
At the very end of the book of Job we are told he had daughters that were the fairest in the land. You can choose an ugly, twisted result in your life based on bitterness, vengeance and resentment, or you can choose the path that Job took of obedience to God’s word, of grace, mercy and love towards his friends. Your life can go ugly or fair. Today is the day to be saved, and today is the day to obey God in your life. God turned the captivity of Job, and he’ll turn your captivity, obey him and walk in his grace and liberty and truth today.
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Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)
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