God Denounces Job’s Friends (Job 42:7-9)
God denounces the three friends whose arrogant proclamation of false wisdom had so tormented Job. In a satisfying and ironic twist, he declares that if Job prays on their behalf he will not punish them for their ignorant speeches in God’s stead (Job 42:7-8). They, who wrongly urged Job to repent, must now depend on him to accept their repentance, and on God to fulfill Job’s entreaty on their behalf. Job’s act of praying on their behalf reminds us of the first chapter where Job prays for his children’s protection. Job is a praying man, in season and out.
As part of our recovery from failure, we would do well to pray for those who have tormented or doubted us during our grief. Jesus later called us to pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27-36), and this teaching is seen in both contexts as more than simply therapeutic. If we can pray for those who have persecuted us, we can transcend the fleeting circumstances of life and begin to appreciate the picture from God’s perspective.