Job’s days eventually came to an end. Chapter 42 in The Book of Job presents a concluding narrative of Job’s latter days in seventeen compact verses.
Seventeen verses … hardly enough to offer the level of detail one might appreciate. We want to believe life is consequential, and I think there’s no argument Job’s life was consequential but seventeen verses seem an inadequate summary.
In the final analysis, no matter who we are or what impressive accomplishments we’ve achieved, the summary’s the same: he (or she) lived, he (or she) died. When events are boiled down to this most basic information, the march of one’s days seems small.
In reference to Job’s life, I suppose we could add one more tidbit: he suffered. In truth, that statement could also apply to all. Suffering (on one level or another) is universal. One only has to read through the events in Job’s life to appreciate the extent of his suffering.
Arriving this week at Job Chapter 42, the narrative is surprisingly brief. In fact, here’s the Cliff Notes summary: Job confesses and repents. The Lord rebukes Job’s friends. The Lord restores Job’s family and fortunes.
Job’s confession is simple. He admits he’s incapable of understanding the wonders of Creation and he agrees to let God be God.
Job’s confession is also profound. Acknowledging his formerly casual attitude toward God (he had heard of God), Job now declares he has seen God … and the transformation is immediate. Seeing God as He really is, Job despises himself and repents in dust and ashes.
My sonnet below captures Job’s confession statement told in the first six verses of chapter 42. The confession surprises me. Considering the rest of the book is an open conversation, I get the idea when Job makes his confession, he hasn’t retreated temporarily to a private location. He’s still sitting amongst his friends, still showing the effects of his oozing sores.
Raise your hand if you’d like to confess to God your most heinous sins while your friends and everyone you know is listening in. I know I wouldn’t want to do that! But Job did. In these six verses, the narrative allows intimate access as a repentant Job does his [normally private] business with God.
Because chapter 42 relates three distinct threads, I’ve decided to address only the first section in this post. Two more sonnets will follow and that will conclude my sonnet study of The Book of Job.