Grace and Mercy
Read: Job 42
Throughout the book of Job, Job’s three friends believe Job must have sinned against God to be experiencing the trouble he has in his life. They continuously criticize him for refusing to confess his sins, and they assume God is punishing some evil in Job’s life. They leave no room to consider how God may be working through this situation. In Job 42:7-9, God specifically addresses Job’s friends. He tells them He is angry with them and instructs them to sacrifice burnt offerings for themselves. He also says Job will pray for them, and He will accept the prayer instead of dealing with them according to their folly.
The way both the Lord and Job dealt with Job’s friends are beautiful examples of grace and mercy. Job’s friends let their theology become bigger than the sovereignty of the Lord. Instead of disciplining them, God shows them mercy, and through His grace, they are forgiven their actions. Job also shows mercy and grace. For an entire book, Job’s friends blame him for his problems, accuse him of hidden sin, and lack any sympathy, encouragement, or care. Yet, when the Lord asks Job to pray for his friends, so that their folly may be forgiven, he does so without question. Despite their misgivings, Job forgives his friends and speaks to the Lord on their behalf through prayer.
Job is a beautiful reminder of the immeasurable grace and mercy the Lord has for us, but it is also a reminder of the grace and mercy we should have for others. We are to follow the example of Christ in all that we do, including praying for and forgiving those who have hurt us.