The LORD: the Author of Calamity

The Exceptional Case of Job’s Calamity.

The purpose of this chapter is to show that it was the LORD—not Satan!—who brought about Job’s calamity. Moreover, that which fell upon Job was not because of his sin against the LORD, but for other reasons (as I shall detail from the Scripture).

 


Remember that after calamity fell upon Job, his three “well-meaning” friends arrived to console him:

Job 2.11
Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, they came each one from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite; and they made an appointment together to come to sympathize with him and comfort him.

As the remainder of this account unfolds, it becomes clear they interpreted the events under the assumption that calamity unconditionally follows disobedience. Unmatched calamity fell upon Job, so regardless of what they thought they knew about Job, it must be that he had sinned—grievously—against the LORD to warrant such trials.

Job's friends were unable to grasp that another divine principle was at work, a vital truth that Job understood (albeit inconsistently at times!):

The LORD is sovereign and He can do as He pleases!

It is important to realize that Job did not understand the “why”, but he very well understood the “how” and “what”.

Regarding Job’s friends, if some should attempt to argue that the knowledge of the LORD in that day was limited and they therefore should be excused for their misunderstanding (at least in part), you’d run headfirst into this clear declaration by the LORD Himself near the end of this great account:

Job 42.7
It came about after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has.

It is therefore impossible to excuse any supposed theological ignorance because the LORD’s testimony of their words and understanding shows them to be culpable, even to the extent that they were in great jeopardy because of their foolishness.

Job 42.8
“Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”

This brief exchange is critical to a proper understanding of this great account. The LORD’s own words are that Job spoke “of the LORD what was right” in stark contrast to his friends.

[Below, I’ll mention Elihu briefly. He appears to have the most complete understanding of the LORD and His actions, greater even than Job. Elihu demonstrated beyond any doubt that substantial knowledge of the Almighty was available in that day.]


Let’s first establish biblically that Job did not encounter divine calamity because he was somehow rebellious against the LORD (either ignorantly or willingly):

Job 1.1,5
There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. … When the days of feasting [of Job’s sons] had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.

The divine testimony of Job is that he was of sterling, faithful and unblemished character. This is corroborated by a Scripture written (probably) centuries later by the prophet Ezekiel. In that passage, the LORD described to Ezekiel the depth of the depravity of national Israel during the time when He exiled them to Babylon for 70 years. Notice the contrast the LORD draws:

Eze 14.12-14
Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,” declares the Lord God.

 An essentially identical declaration is made here (in this case, prior to the exile):

Jer 15.1
Then the Lord said to me, “Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me, My heart would not be with this people; send them away from My presence and let them go!

Job is one of an extremely select group of five men in all of human history of which such a comment was made by the LORD Himself! Clearly, that which befell Job did not occur because of his sin!

[This is not to say, or even imply, that Job’s every response and statement during his trial were correct; they were not (as both Elihu and the LORD point out). But, although Job made some irresponsible and foolish comments and invalid assumptions, those things which he spoke of the LORD were correct, as I the text I showed above clearly teaches.]

So, especially in the context of this series, we must ask why did Job endure personal calamity, personal calamity unmatched by anyone else in all of human history?

The simplest, biblical answer is the LORD is sovereign and was pleased to bring these trials upon Job for His own reasons, reasons which He did not reveal to Job. However, many years later, the Apostle Paul wrote these words, truths which certainly apply to Job’s extraordinary experience:

Rom 5.3-5
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

James mentions the same truth (also using the specific example of Job):

Jam 1.2-4
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Jam 5.11
We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

As the account of Job ends, we see each of these characteristics of maturity demonstrated powerfully in his life.

 


It is useful at this point to review how Job’s trial began. A common misunderstanding of the account of Job is that Satan initiated Job’s trials; such an interpretation is grievous and foolish error! This is easy to prove by the following texts:

Job 1.6-9a
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” Then Satan answered the Lord

Job 2.1-3
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause.”

“Have you [Satan] considered My servant Job?”. Note that in both exchanges it is the LORD who initiates and directs Satan’s attention to Job.

Up to that first meeting, the LORD had been actively protecting and blessing Job, a fact that Satan noted in the futile attempt to claim that Job followed the LORD merely for “what he got out of it for personal gain”.

Job 1.9-11
Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.”

“Job is not really righteous,” Satan implies, “He merely responds "in kind" to the good You’ve poured out upon him. But, if You removed Your protection and blessing that "obedience" will vanish and he’ll curse You instead.”

What takes place next between the LORD and Satan in these two interchanges is clear: Satan can do nothing to Job without the LORD’s explicit command (not merely "permission"!).

[As you read the first two chapters of Job it is vital to understand Who is giving the commands and who is carrying out the commands. Clearly, the LORD commands and Satan obeys; the latter is unable to initiate any calamity without the LORD’s explicit direction.]

Satan’s reasoning before the LORD was that Job followed the LORD because of the incredible temporal blessings the LORD gave him. As a result, the LORD directed Satan to do whatever he wanted with Job’s possessions. We all know the result: Job lost everything (excepting his wife, see below):

Job 1.12
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.”

The remainder of chapter 1 shows that Satan followed that command to the letter; he did not touch Job’s physical body in any way but destroyed everything that Job owned, except for his wife.

[Job’s wife likely was spared because Satan gambled on the assumption that she could do more psychological damage to Job if she remained alive than if he killed her. cf. Job 2.9]

Satan failed miserably with his first attempt:

Job 1.20-22
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said,
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.

The LORD proved conclusively that Satan was very wrong about Job by using the very calamity which Satan so confidently “knew” would turn Job against the LORD. The truth of “perseverance, proven character …” of Rom 5.4 was demonstrated in full force.

But, as we all know, Job’s trials were only beginning.

The second meeting between the sons of God and the LORD began just as the first had in chapter 1. What is interesting is that, once again, Satan is the reactor rather than the actor; the LORD initiated while Satan merely responded.

Note that Satan volunteers no information on Job; his silence is noteworthy. Job did not turn against the LORD as he had so confidently predicted; it seemed as if he wanted to forget about the whole matter since it was such an embarrassing failure.

But, the LORD was not finished with the matter even if it appeared that Satan would rather avoid the topic altogether…

In this second interchange, the LORD once again forced Satan’s attention to Job with the reminder that he failed to corrupt Job as he so confidently predicted. The LORD began again with the same “Have you considered My servant Job? …”

But, what the LORD continued to say went well beyond what He said in the first interchange:

Job 2.3
The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause.”

Did you see this: “… you incited Me …” !?!?

I wonder how many professing Christians (a small number perhaps?) who have spent the time to carefully read this great account have actually noticed that astonishing phrase and thought about what it means.

[This is a deliberately an oxymoronic point: of course a majority of "Christians" miss this pivotal point, otherwise they would hold to the position which I now present—something clearly in the minority in so-called "Christian theology".]

At this point I expect at least some of my readers to respond:

“Dave, you’ve been making the point (over and over!) that the LORD is sovereign. How then can you explain verse 2.3? It clearly states that the LORD was “incited” to react because of Satan's actions.”

The text means exactly what it says; I will make no attempt at a “linguistic trick” here to attempt to make the verse say something else.

The verb incite [H5496: to incite; to allure, lure; to instigate] was understood in the ancient Hebrew just as it is in modern English. Here are just a few OT examples (highlighted):

1 Kin 21.25
Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife incited him.

1 Chr 21.1
Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.

Jer 43.3
“… but Baruch the son of Neriah is inciting you against us to give us over into the hand of the Chaldeans, so they will put us to death or exile us to Babylon.”

Moreover, the LORD Himself makes the unambiguous statement:

“… you incited Me against him …”

Without any doubt, the LORD took full responsibility for all that befell Job; Satan was merely the instrument by which the LORD worked His sovereign will to bring calamity to Job.

So, how are we to understand that Satan “incited” Him to act against Job?

“… you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause.”

The answer is in that tiny phrase “without cause”.

The main point of this series is that calamity is—and must be—a necessary aspect of the LORD’s sovereignty over all things throughout all time. As previous chapters detailed from the Scripture, calamity follows sin and disobedience.

However, it is vital to realize the following distinction:

The LORD is sovereign, and as a result He frequently dispenses calamity on the sinner; but, He also may choose to not do so. Moreover, He has the right, as the Almighty, to dispense calamity for any reason He chooses.

You see, calamity is the outworking of His sovereignty just as withholding calamity is the outworking of His sovereignty. His sovereignty is the preeminent principle, not the dispensing of calamity. Calamity is subject to His sovereignty, not vice versa!

The LORD was “incited” because, from the perspective of divine justice, there was no cause direct cause for Job’s calamity. Instead, the LORD intended to work something very great in Job’s character and maturity through the instrumentality of the evil one, Satan!

Consider:

Mat 13.10-12
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.

The direct context of this verse is the short Q&A the disciples had with the Lord Christ after He told the parable of the sower/soils to the Jews. His disciples had some knowledge of God, and the Lord Christ therefore chose to grant them more.

Working in the same principle—that the LORD gives and/or withholds information as He is pleased to do—, the LORD gave great privilege to Job and he responded with great faithfulness. As a result, through a great trial “incited” by Satan, the LORD gave even more grace and privilege to Job as the end of the account clearly shows.

There is no doubt that this was an exceedingly difficult time for Job. He had many, serious questions, and (until the very end) no divine answers. This fact is mentioned very early in the account:

Job 2.13
Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.

Chapter 3 contains the initial record of the outpouring of Job’s grief; to read it is to get a glimpse of the scope of his affliction and just how deeply he was affected:

Job 3.3
Let the day perish on which I was to be born,
And the night which said, ‘A boy is conceived.’

Job 3.11
Why did I not die at birth,
Come forth from the womb and expire?

Job 3.24-26
For my groaning comes at the sight of my food,
And my cries pour out like water.
For what I fear comes upon me,
And what I dread befalls me.
I am not at ease, nor am I quiet,
And I am not at rest, but turmoil comes.

While Job sometimes falls into a troubling pattern of thinking, Job nonetheless realized that the LORD’s sovereign hand was explicitly at work in all that he experienced. Through it all, while Job couldn’t explain it, with some difficulty he ultimately recognized and accepted the LORD’s sovereignty over everything in his life:

[As you'll see in the texts below, sometimes Job accuses the LORD of unfairness and seeming capriciousness. He would later recognized his sin and error, repented, and testified to the LORD's perfect sovereignty.]

Job 6.4
For the arrows of the Almighty are within me,
Their poison my spirit drinks;
The terrors of God are arrayed against me.

Job 6.9
Would that God were willing to crush me,
That He would loose His hand and cut me off!

Job 7.17-21
What is man that You magnify him,
And that You are concerned about him,
That You examine him every morning
And try him every moment?
Will You never turn Your gaze away from me,
Nor let me alone until I swallow my spittle?
Have I sinned? What have I done to You,
O watcher of men?
Why have You set me as Your target,
So that I am a burden to myself?
Why then do You not pardon my transgression
And take away my iniquity?
For now I will lie down in the dust;
And You will seek me, but I will not be.”

Job 9.2-3
In truth I know that this is so;
But how can a man be in the right before God?
If one wished to dispute with Him,
He could not answer Him once in a thousand times.

Job 9.12
Were He to snatch away, who could restrain Him?
Who could say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’

Job 9.17-19,22
For He bruises me with a tempest
And multiplies my wounds without cause.
He will not allow me to get my breath,
But saturates me with bitterness.
If it is a matter of power, behold, He is the strong one!
And if it is a matter of justice, who can summon Him?

It is all one; therefore I say,
‘He destroys the guiltless and the wicked.’

Job 9.32-33
For He is not a man as I am that I may answer Him,
That we may go to court together.
There is no umpire between us,
Who may lay his hand upon us both.

Job 12.13-14
With Him are wisdom and might;
To Him belong counsel and understanding.
Behold, He tears down, and it cannot be rebuilt;
He imprisons a man, and there can be no release.

Job 14.5
Since his days are determined,
The number of his months is with You;
And his limits You have set so that he cannot pass.

Job 19.6
Know then that God has wronged me
And has closed His net around me.

Job 19.21-22
Pity me, pity me, O you my friends,
For the hand of God has struck me.
Why do you persecute me as God does,
And are not satisfied with my flesh?

Job 23.2
Even today my complaint is rebellion;
His hand is heavy despite my groaning.

Job 23.13-14
But He is unique and who can turn Him?
And what His soul desires, that He does.
For He performs what is appointed for me,
And many such decrees are with Him.

Job 27.2-4
As God lives, who has taken away my right,
And the Almighty, who has embittered my soul,
For as long as life is in me,
And the breath of God is in my nostrils,
My lips certainly will not speak unjustly,
Nor will my tongue mutter deceit.

Job 30.9-11
And now I have become their taunt,
I have even become a byword to them.
They abhor me and stand aloof from me,
And they do not refrain from spitting at my face.
Because He has loosed His bowstring and afflicted me,
They have cast off the bridle before me.

Job 30.19-23
He has cast me into the mire,
And I have become like dust and ashes.
I cry out to You for help, but You do not answer me;
I stand up, and You turn Your attention against me.
You have become cruel to me;
With the might of Your hand You persecute me.
You lift me up to the wind and cause me to ride;
And You dissolve me in a storm.
For I know that You will bring me to death
And to the house of meeting for all living.

Job 31.23
For calamity from God is a terror to me,
And because of His majesty I can do nothing.

Throughout his trial, Job had many questions he longed to ask the LORD face-to-face (if that was possible!):

Job 6.11
What is my strength, that I should wait?
And what is my end, that I should endure?

Job 7.17-21
What is man that You magnify him,
And that You are concerned about him,
That You examine him every morning
And try him every moment?
Will You never turn Your gaze away from me,
Nor let me alone until I swallow my spittle?
Have I sinned? What have I done to You,
O watcher of men?
Why have You set me as Your target,
So that I am a burden to myself?
Why then do You not pardon my transgression
And take away my iniquity?
For now I will lie down in the dust;
And You will seek me, but I will not be.

Job 10.1-7
I loathe my own life;
I will give full vent to my complaint;
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me;
Let me know why You contend with me.
Is it right for You indeed to oppress,
To reject the labor of Your hands,
And to look favorably on the schemes of the wicked?
Have You eyes of flesh?
Or do You see as a man sees?
Are Your days as the days of a mortal,
Or Your years as man’s years,
That You should seek for my guilt
And search after my sin?
According to Your knowledge I am indeed not guilty,
Yet there is no deliverance from Your hand.’

Job 10.8
Your hands fashioned and made me altogether,
And would You destroy me?

Job 10.18
Why then have You brought me out of the womb?
Would that I had died and no eye had seen me!

Job 12.9-10
Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the Lord has done this,
In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind?

Job 13.23-24
How many are my iniquities and sins?
Make known to me my rebellion and my sin.
Why do You hide Your face
And consider me Your enemy?

Job 23.3
Oh that I knew where I might find Him,
That I might come to His seat!

Job 24.1
Why are times not stored up by the Almighty,
And why do those who know Him not see His days?

Job 28.12
But where can wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?

 


The discussion between Job and his three friends concludes with the end of chapter 31.

There was a fourth witness of the scene, however, a (relatively) young man named Elihu, the son of Barachel. He was able to see truth that both Job and his friends missed and identified some aspects of Job’s responses which were irresponsible (at best!).

Job 32.1-3
Then these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. But the anger of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram burned; against Job his anger burned because he justified himself before God. And his anger burned against his three friends because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.

Job 32.11-12
Behold, I waited for your words,
I listened to your reasonings,
While you pondered what to say.
I even paid close attention to you;
Indeed, there was no one who refuted Job,
Not one of you who answered his words.

But, Elihu went straight to the heart of the matter with these words to Job:

Job 33.8-13
Surely you have spoken in my hearing,
And I have heard the sound of your words:
‘I am pure, without transgression;
I am innocent and there is no guilt in me.
Behold, He invents pretexts against me;
He counts me as His enemy.
He puts my feet in the stocks;
He watches all my paths.’
Behold, let me tell you, you are not right in this,
For God is greater than man.
Why do you complain against Him
That He does not give an account of all His doings?

Job was correct when he maintained that all which befell him was from the LORD; but it was Elihu who saw that Job went too far when he expected the LORD to justify His actions to Job.

Elihu continued with more, clear declarations of the LORD’s sovereignty:

Job 33.29-30
Behold, God does all these oftentimes with men,
To bring back his soul from the pit,
That he may be enlightened with the light of life.

Job 34.10-13
Therefore, listen to me, you men of understanding.
Far be it from God to do wickedness,
And from the Almighty to do wrong.
For He pays a man according to his work,
And makes him find it according to his way.
Surely, God will not act wickedly,
And the Almighty will not pervert justice.
Who gave Him authority over the earth?
And who has laid on Him the whole world?

Job 34.21-22
For His eyes are upon the ways of a man,
And He sees all his steps.
There is no darkness or deep shadow
Where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.

Job 35.6-7
If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against Him?
And if your transgressions are many, what do you do to Him?
If you are righteous, what do you give to Him,
Or what does He receive from your hand?

Job 35.13-14
Surely God will not listen to an empty cry,
Nor will the Almighty regard it.
How much less when you say you do not behold Him,
The case is before Him, and you must wait for Him!

Job 37.13
Whether for correction, or for His world,
Or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen.

Job 37.23-24
The Almighty—we cannot find Him;
He is exalted in power
And He will not do violence to justice and abundant righteousness.
Therefore men fear Him;
He does not regard any who are wise of heart.

Note that while the LORD rebuked Job’s three friends for their comments about Him there was no corresponding rebuke directed to Elihu. Elihu may have been a young man (at least compared to Job and his friends), but his understanding of the LORD was solid, very mature and exceeded even Job in several vital matters.

[Elihu understood, multiple centuries ago, that the LORD is sovereign in everything, something which modern “Christians” too frequently either deny or concerning which remain willingly ignorant!]

But, the LORD still was not finished! There was yet more to teach Job.

Above I mentioned that Job’s statements were not always correct and careful. He alternates between a deep realization that the LORD is absolutely pure, holy and unassailable, while simultaneously longing to make his case before Him to prove that he didn’t sin against the LORD.

[cf., Job 7.17-21; 9.2-3; 9.13-16; 9.19-21; 9.32-33; 10.1-7; 13.3; 13.15; 13.23-24; 16.21; 23.1-7; 30.19-23]

By the end of this remarkable book we learn that the LORD chose to give Job the opportunity to speak with Him directly!

However, the LORD's opening statement is ominous:

Job 38.1-3
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,
Who is this that darkens counsel
By words without knowledge?
Now gird up your loins like a man,
And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!”

It is clear that Job was well out of his depth; by the LORD’s own words, at least some of Job’s expressions were “without knowledge”! The LORD is about to prove Job’s earlier claim:

Job 9.3
If one wished to dispute with Him,
He could not answer Him once in a thousand times.

Indeed, Job couldn’t answer even one of the at least 40 questions the LORD posed in chapters 38 and 39! After this barrage, Job was completely humbled:

Job 40.1-5
Then the Lord said to Job,
Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
Let him who reproves God answer it.”
Then Job answered the Lord and said,
“Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You?
I lay my hand on my mouth.
Once I have spoken, and I will not answer;
Even twice, and I will add nothing more.”

Job had gone too far in his expressed longings for “justice” and in desiring an audience with the Almighty to plead his case. Job understood that the LORD was sovereign, but nonetheless impugned Him when He brought calamity into his life and property. The LORD’s statement here is particularly illuminating:

Job 40.8
“Will you really annul My judgment?
Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?”

The LORD then asked Job another set of about 20 questions, particularly related to His unlimited power. It was clear that Job was convinced and had learned the proper attitude of humility and truly repented before the LORD:

Job 42.1-6
Then Job answered the Lord and said,
“I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
‘Hear, now, and I will speak;
I will ask You, and You instruct me.’
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes.”

It is evident that the LORD accomplished what He set out to do: to teach Job a better knowledge of Himself, to grow Job in maturity and character, and to ensure that Job attained a position of great privilege and blessing.

Remember how James summarized this amazing account:

Jam 5.11
We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

The calamity which befell Job is unique in human history, but so also is the depth of fulfillment of this ageless, gracious promise to God’s own people:

Rom 8.28 [literal translation highlighting the perfect mode of the main verb]
But we have come to understand that to those loved by God, all things work together for good, to those who are according-to-His-purpose-called.

Just as the Apostle Paul taught (centuries later), the LORD proved that He indeed “works all things together for good” for those who are His true people:

Job 42.10-17
The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold. Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that the Lord had brought on him. And each one gave him one piece of money, and each a ring of gold. The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had 14,000 sheep and 6,000 camels and 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys. He had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first Jemimah, and the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land no women were found so fair as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers. After this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations. And Job died, an old man and full of days.

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