If you have a moment, catch up on my post from yesterday giving a little background to what you will read today.
One of my many questions about the book of Job is this – how does Job move forward with his life after facing such calamity? When he was given back double his possessions and provided what amounts to “replacement children”, how does Job live another 140 years in light of all he lost?
If Job was human like any of the rest of us, the bargain satan made with God would loom forever.
But, Job had courage to move forward.
And, based on some clues in the text – he also moved forward as a man who found freedom.
So, to figure this out we have to go all the way back to the first chapter. Check out Job 1:4-6
Job’s sons would take turns preparing feasts in their homes, and they would also invite their three sisters to celebrate with them. When these celebrations ended—sometimes after several days—Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said to himself, “Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice.
If I am reading this right, Job would fall under the category of a classic “helicopter parent”. Job was so completely pious that he had to make sure his children were included in his never-ending quest to keep God happy. So daily, Job would provide a sacrifice early in the morning on behalf of his children for fear they might have made God mad in their partying.
Job was a holy man, but he also seemed to be scared of God and wanted to be sure everything was absolutely correct. This effect trickled down to his kids.
With this in mind, let’s jump back to the end of the book to the epilogue in chapter 42. At this point, we find a dramatic shift in how Job parents his new kids. You have to look close to see it, though. Read through Job 42:13-15
He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. He named his first daughter Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land no women were as lovely as the daughters of Job. And their father put them into his will along with their brothers.
At first glance this passage gives us little information. But a while back a good friend taught me that when you see women’s names listed in the bible – especially in the Old Testament – you had better pay attention.
Why would the writer list the daughters names, but not the sons? There could be many reasons, but one might be found in the literal meaning of these names:
Jemima means “Turtle Dove”.
Keziah means “Cinnamon”.
Keren-happuch translates into what amounts as “jar of eye-shadow”.
And, don’t miss the text saying his daughters were really good looking.
Also, there is one other thing we can’t miss. Job wrote his daughters into his will which was completely unheard of in the ancient East. The inheritance was always for the sons, and not the daughters.
Job makes a dramatic shift on how he parents based upon these clues. He named his beautiful daughters names that would do nothing but point to their beauty. They were sensual names for beautiful women. Then, he gave them his inheritance on top of this.
What does this say about Job that he would turn gorgeous women out into the world with names that would make men desire them and give them a lot of money to boot? Wouldn’t this point towards bad parenting?
Perhaps we find something has changed about Job. Because of Job’s encounter with the living God, maybe Job can live with more peace about his relationship with Jehovah. As I wrote yesterday, after hearing God speak mightily in chapters 38-41, he knew much better where he stood in the eyes of the living God.
Job found his freedom knowing God really loved him, despite the tragedies that befell him and his family. Plus, he figured out he could speak his mind to God (he did many times amongst his friends), and live to tell about it.
We see from Job there is freedom found in knowing who God really is. When we miss the mark on who God is and what he cares about, we find ourselves in bondage, not freedom.
Jesus set us free. Knowing Christ is knowing God and this is where we find freedom. We no longer have to worry about God being upset with us or getting every last detail right. We can live free knowing God will never leave us or forsake us – even though sometimes it can feel that way.
How does this strike you today? Does knowing who God really is help you feel free? Share your thoughts below.