I was surprised by God’s response to Job’s three friends at the end of the book. In 42:8, God tells them, “I will not treat you as you deserve.” I don’t know why that surprises me. That’s the way God is, isn’t it? He treats us much better than we deserve. That’s so encouraging! But notice that it was in direct contrast to their personal theology of retribution. From their arguments with Job we can see that they saw God as a demanding God of pure justice, not a God of compassion and grace.

He tells them to bring sacrifices to offer to Him in Job’s presence. It seems as if the sacrifices are to serve as a means of saying “I’m sorry” to Job and acknowledging their error. It’s “I’m sorry.” I read that these are the two most difficult words in the English Language. But the sacrifices also involved them saying the three most difficult words in the English Language; “ I was wrong!” To humble them even further, God told them that He would forgive them when Job prayed for them.

Then, moving on, In 42:12 we read, “When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes.” It seems like forgiveness was requested and it was granted. The apology was essential on the friends part to receive forgiveness and forgiveness was essential on Job’s part for restoration of his former life.

It’s that way for all of us. Jesus taught us “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15)

“Why are you looking among the dead for some