The book of Job has a happy ending. Job is rebuked but vindicated; God’s righteousness is maintained. Job’s three friends, with the notable absence of Elihu, are chastened by God and ordered to make sacrifices. Finally, Job has riches and family restored to him.
At the risk of constantly rehashing an important theme, let us remember as we finish this book that Job never receives a rationale from God for Job’s great suffering. If you are looking to Job for a philosophical treatise on how an all-loving and all-powerful God could still allow evil to befall us, then you will be disappointed. Honestly, the Bible as a whole is similar to the book of Job in many ways. Though the entirety of scriptures gives us greater clues into God’s providential purposes in our suffering, the Bible teaches us a lot more about the greatness, mystery, and love of God without trying to parse all the particulars about our many troubles. More importantly, scripture teaches that suffering is temporary for those who will trust God like Job.
Lastly, scripture shows us that God enters our fray and is exposed to the worst suffering imaginable, the wrath of human jealousy against goodness, and the wrath of God’s decided hatred against sin. Like Job, the story of scripture invites us not to comprehensive understanding of God’s ways, but to worship and love. Let us end the book of Job with appropriate affection for the God who taught the morning stars to sing and laid the foundations of the earth.