Doublin’ Down with Job!

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017 in God Moments | 0 comments

When someone we love dies, do we really loose them???

You’re probably familiar with the story of Job; He’s a rich landowner who lived sometime around the time of Abram.  There’s this strange conversation in heaven, and the next thing you know he’s lost all of his possessions and his children.  But some of the fine print details that we tend to skip over in a passage like this need to be noticed.

Here’s what it says in Job 1:1-2…

There once was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless—a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil.

He had seven sons and three daughters.  He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and he employed many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area.

OK.  He was a rich guy who feared God.  The details don’t matter.  You’ve probably read those verses a million times and always skimmed over the numbers and sheep, camels, and female donkeys. 

In quick succession the Sabeans attack, Fire comes down from heaven, the Caldeans attack, and then a mighty wind takes what’s left.  In the space of several verses, Job goes from being one of the richest guys alive to one of the most despicable.  He starts off with a lovely family of 7 sons and 3 daughters, and ends up a pauper sitting in the ashes.


But fast forward 41 chapters.  In Job 42:10 we learn…

When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before!


Twice as much!  Those details in the first chapter take on some meaning when you compare it to the end of the story (in 42:12)…

So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys.


Let’s tabulate it out…

Sheep 7,000 14,000
Camels 3,000 6,000
Teams of Oxen 500 1,000
Female Donkeys 500 1,000


Cool.  A perfect double; as far as “stuff” goes, Job is twice as rich as he was before Satan did his little experiment.

But there’s something strange here…


Job 1:2 says that Job started out with 7 sons and 3 daughters.  But after the big doubling of blessings, 42:13 says….

He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. 



Wait a minute… something’s wrong with the math here.  If the number of sheep, camels, oxen, and female donkeys doubled, shouldn’t the number of sons and daughters double?  He ends up with 7 sons and 3 daughters; the same number of kids he had before disaster struck.  The kids were just replaced, not doubled.  Why doesn’t 42:13 say that Job was given 14 sons and 6 daughters?  Why aren’t they doubled like everything else???

Realizing that God’s math abilities beat any super computer, there’s only one explanation:  The original 7 sons and 3 daughters are still alive!  No, they’re not hiding out somewhere in the desert- they did die when that mighty wind blew in.  But in God’s eyes, they still live.  They are in heaven.  God gave Job MORE sons and daughters!

So it seems like one of those minor details.  But we see over and over again, that God is in the details!  If you take the long term view and try to see thing’s from God’s perspective of eternity, God really DID double the size of Job’s family!  Some 140 years after the big wind storm, Job died “full of years” and reunited with his eldest 7 sons and 3 daughters.  And some years after that, you can be sure that there was a big welcome dinner with all 14 sons and 6 daughters!

Livestock and riches go away and are temporary.  But God’s people live forever.  In heaven or on earth, they all count in God’s eternal kingdom.




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