There is no doubt at all that the account of Job is one of great trial.
The experiences that God allows in His life are tough. They are some of the hardest that can be humanly endured. Pain, sorrow, and loss.
Yet, as I come to think about these three daughters, at the end of the book - Jemima, Keziah and Keren-Happuch - my heart cannot help but be drawn to an all-prevailing truth.
God is good, and we don't deserve it.
As Job came to the end of his trials - not the least of which was the torment he had to endure from his "comforters" - he didn't conclude with a "poor me" speech. He didn't lament his losses, and cry bitter tears. He had much for we could understand if had had a reaction of questioning and self-pity.
But, that is not where we find Job.
In the end of his trials, we see him speaking these words.
"I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."
Through all his deliberations with his friends, and the trials he had gone through, he had come to a deeper understanding of God. He had heard of God and His greatness - but now he REALLY understood. He had seen, with His own eyes, how great God was.
How great God was, and how small and sinful HE was.
He hated himself, and repented.
You see, when we go through trials, God allows us a glimpse of His greatness. We see how unworthy we are, beside His greatness. How deserving we truly are, of any trials God allows. Trials should bring us to the stark understanding that we are NOTHING and God is EVERYTHING.
Job was a righteous man. He did what was right. However, by the end of it all, he was a righteous man who knew God in a deeper, more meaningful way. What a humbling realisation. What a challenge in my own life.
It doesn't end there.
What we read next is God - the very essence of His nature. The sum total of His being.
"The LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before"
God is not just good.
Good would replace what he had lost.
Good would simply give.
God is not simply good.
God is GREAT.
"Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable."
God is so great we cannot express it. We can never fully tell of His greatness and His goodness.
We cannot, but we must try.
Psalm 145 is FILLED with the declaration of God's goodness, imploring us to do the same.
Moreover, the way God blessed Job, enabled him to do exactly as the Psalms instructs.
"One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts."
Job had lost all his children. They had all died, in one short space of time. Yet, God blessed him again, for all children are a blessing from the hand of God. His first 10 children had died, but God gave him 10 more.
Seven more sons.
Three more daughters.
Ten children to declare God's greatness TO.
Not only that, but they were BEAUTIFUL!
God isn't just good, He is GREAT!
Job went from mourning and ashes, in the beginning, to abundant blessing in the end.
God allows trials. He allows them to bring glory to Him. So that we can echo, with Moses of old
"Ascribe ye greatness unto our God.
He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he."
Job was not alone in his experiences. Reading the Psalmist, in Psalm 71, reads as if Job himself could be speaking.
"Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!
Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side."
Job's daughters were a living testimony to God's greatness. They were a daily evidence to Job, and his wife, of course, that God is not only good, but He is great.
If we but stop for a moment, and look around, even in the midst of trials, we will see God's greatness. It's always there, if we look.
His great salvation. (Hebrews 2:3)
His great mercies. (Isaiah 54:7)
His great love. (Ephesians 2:4)
His great faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:23)
His great grace. (II Corinthians 4:15)
His great reward. (Psalm 19:11)
His great Priesthood. (Hebrews 4:14)
His great promises. (II Peter 1:4)
Even if we can't see it right now, we know that God will give greatly, when we receive our eternal reward.
It may be, like Job, that you don't see it whilst you are in the midst of the trial. The trial is real, and it just keeps coming in waves. Don't despair, His greatness will come. You WILL receive an evidence of His greatness, if you, like Job, remain faithful and true as you go through the trial. That is what God requires of us - to be faithful right to the end, and that will be where we see God's greatness at its fullest.
"be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."
Precious daughter of the King, keep on through your trials. You may be dragged low, as Job. You may plumb the depths of despair. Don't look down, look up. Look to see God's greatness, beside your insignificance. Look forward, to the time when you will see the evidence of His greatness. It may not be now, it may not even be soon, but even if it is not until you reach glory, eternity will be too short to tell of His greatness.
He WILL give you beauty for ashes.