Forgiveness Flows

bible reading challenge day 73

Today I completed reading the book of Job as part of the Bible Reading Challenge for this year. I don’t think I’ve ever reflected on the chapters as much as I did this time around.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with Job’s story and to recap, from the beginning, Job is upheld as the most incredible man on earth as God tells Satan: “Have you seen my main man, Job, recently?” To which Satan says, “Of course I’ve seen him. No wonder he obeys you- you’ve given him everything he needs and more.

So God allows Satan to test Job and wow, does Satan get busy on it! The next thing we know, Job has lost all his children, all his wealth,  his wife is advising him to curse God and die, and his friends are not much of an encouragement at all. In all this, Job still worshiped God so Satan decided to pull the last straw.  He asked God for permission to give Job physical issues. And God allows it to be so.

At that point, Job is cursed with boils all over his entire body. And then Job himself is seized with his own humanity and wishes he had never been born.

Afterwards, the debates begin. Chapter upon chapter of horrible advice from Job’s friends and Job attempting to keep his name clear. When we arrive at chapter 37, the first verse says:

“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind…”

The nonsense stops and the next four chapters are beyond my description as the Lord God Almighty begins to question Job where he was when the foundations of the world were laid by God.  The depth of Job 38-41 is intense; you simply should read the passage yourself.

When the Lord finishes questioning Job, Job immediately repents. God then turns his attention to Job’s friend and requires him to make sacrifices to atone for the sins of those who spoke falsely against Job, in their own prideful knowledge.

I recalled most of this story as I read through the book, even the details, until the final chapter.   When I arrived at Job 42:10, my heart paused:

“And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends.”

God restored Job to beyond his beginning wealth, twice as wealthy as he was before, but the Bible says this occurred “when he had prayed for his friends.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure that I would have easily forgiven my “friends.”  They let me down when I needed them the most.  They criticized me at my lowest point in life.  They not only offered no support; they tore me apart.  Job could have felt this way.

But he didn’t. He prayed for them.

I realize I flew through this story of 42 chapters to boil it down to one small blog post, but the point of the pause is:

Once forgiveness flows, it grows.

Once forgiveness abides, it resides.

 forgiving others

Forgiving others creates a channel of blessing instead of a circle of messes.

Do you ever feel like you are going around and around in circles, not ever arriving at your destination?  Do you chase after dreams, but do not seem to be getting any closer?

Maybe today is the day.

The day to open up the channel of blessing God wants to pour out on your life.

Is there someone you simply need to forgive?

There was for me.

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15 Comments

  1. Amanda Blazer says:

    Thanks for your words. You truly are an encouragement. Praying for you and your family <3

  2. Oh, my. Yes. yes.

    Love hearing your thoughts on the book of Job. It does really grab you when those last chapters arrive. And I love the point about forgiveness. So, so true.

    1. God is gracious. Thanks Natasha. For your beautiful comment and your graciousness.

  3. Well I believe another point to make is from a verse before in part of Job’s reply to God in verse 5 and 6 “I had heard of you only by the hearing of the ear, but now my spiritual eye sees You. Therefore I loathe my words and abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

    The Lord had become bigger than the smaller vision of the Lord Job had before his tragedies and God’s answer to him. I also believe that larger vision of the Lord is also part of the answer Job could pray and forgive his friends. We can pray, but where is our heart when we are praying for someone else saying we forgive them? If our vision of God is too small, and our vision of ourselves is not in the proper place, we have a harder time forgiving someone else.

    Just a thought.

    1. very true, Joanne! I debated about adding that part, but had so many thoughts on it that I felt it could be a stand alone post. Perhaps next week. 😉 Blessings to you!

  4. Powerful reminder of the importance of forgiveness and prayer, Rachel. I hadn’t focused before on that verse about Job praying for his friends. Thanks for this.

  5. The Lord has been speaking to me about forgiveness, as well. My last blog post (day before yesterday) was on that topic. Feel free to check it out. Like you, I’ve read Job many times, but hadn’t noticed that one line. In essence, it is the same thing He impressed upon me. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  6. I’ve read the book of Job before, but I admit once the dialog between Job & his friends started I was a tad confused as to what was going on. The chapter 37 hits and from then on, WOW! I couldn’t do anything except praise our great God as the words went on. I’m a tad behind, so I was soaking up 37 – 39 today. Our God is simply amazing. And he loves each of us as well! Humbled.
    As for forgiveness what a difficult thing, but I have found the best way to begin forgiveness is like you were saying, praying for them. Talk about changing heart when you begin to lift those people who have hurt you up in prayer.

  7. ahhhh!!! i LOVE this!! i recently released a book on forgiveness … such an important and difficult message … but so very needed!! thank you for these beautiful words today!

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