Job 42: 8,”Now take seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. Then My servant Job will pray for you. I will surely accept his prayer and not deal with you as your folly deserves.”
This morning the Lord drew my attention to the above verse and particularly to the phrase “seven bulls and seven rams”.
God was angry with Job’s friends. But why, you may ask? Because Job’s friends during the time of his suffering said many inaccurate things about God, most particularly: they all stated that God allows suffering ONLY if there is sin in a person’s life and they demanded of Job over and over again to examine himself and to ask God for forgiveness SO THAT God will turn from being angry with Job and not cause suffering in his life anymore. This reasoning by Job’s friends made God SO angry that He commanded them to sacrifice 7 bulls and 7 rams as burnt offering.
In Leviticus 23 we read that the sacrifice required as a burnt offering was only ONE bull and ONE ram because of unintentional sin against God. Seven bulls and seven rams were an extraordinary sacrifice.
Only in one other instance in the Bible is such a sacrifice made: in the case of Balaam and Balak. Balak was a Moabite king who felt threatened by the size of the camp of the Israelites and felt that if a prophet of God (Balaam in this case) could just curse them, then the people would be cursed by God and would not prevail. Balaam makes an altar with an extraordinary sacrifice of seven bulls and seven rams and enquires of God on what to speak over Israel.
In Numbers 23:8 Balaam proclaims, “How can I curse someone God has not cursed?
How can I denounce someone the Lord has not denounced?”
And again in Numbers 23:19-21, “God is not a man who lies,or a son of man who changes His mind. Does He speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill? I have indeed received a command to bless; since He has blessed, I cannot change it. He considers no disaster for Jacob; He sees no trouble for Israel.
The Lord their God is with them,
and there is rejoicing over the King among them.”
I do not know which camp you belong to today: perhaps like Job’s friends, you have sinned against God by accusing fellow brethren going through rough times of having committed a sin against God. Or perhaps like Balak you feel threatened by a person or a people. Or perhaps like Job, you have been unfairly accused of sinning against God by the very people who ought to support you just because God allowed rough times your way.
If you like Job have been unfairly accused, know that God is with you. This extraordinary trial is there to test you and refine you. It is not meant to consume you! I pray the Lord will give you tremendous grace to forgive your offenders and to extend compassion towards those who have hurt or harmed you. Jesus did that and by His grace and by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit so can we! Pray for those who offend you. Show them Christ like love. Bless and do not curse.
Also be encouraged: no amount of cursing or judgement by anyone around you can alter the blessings that God has decided for you!! You are His chosen one. Whatever He has planned for your life and every blessing stored up in Heaven just for you will come to pass. Keep singing His praises! God is a good God. There is morning at the end of the night. There is light at the end of the tunnel. A life that is hid in Christ need not ever fear. Job declared in his suffering that he KNOWS that His Redeemer will STAND on the dust AT LAST (when all else and everyone else fails him) That is your blessed hope too.
If you like Job’s friends have sinned against God by judging someone suffering among you, I pray the Lord will open your eyes today and that you will go before Him and to the person you have wronged and ask for forgiveness. God is very displeased when we judge people around us. It is such a grave sin in His eyes. So grave was it that he required of Job’s friends to go to Job (how humbling!!) and sacrifice 7 bulls and 7 rams. Job had to intercede for his offenders so that His wrath may not fall upon them!
The motives of our hearts and our words are not hidden from God. He knows them all. May we always strive to please Him in our words and in our actions. May we bless and not curse those who belong to Him. May we show compassion instead of judgement on those enduring seasons of suffering. Oh may we reflect the heart of Christ in all that we do.