Eph. 3:9 And to enlighten all that they may see what the economy of the mystery is, which throughout the ages has been hidden in God, who created all things.
1 Tim. 1:3-4 …Charge certain ones not to teach different things nor to give heed to myths and unending genealogies, which produce questionings rather than God’s economy, which is in faith.
According to Job 38:7 the angels of God (the sons of God) shouted for joy when God laid the foundations of the earth. The angels might have wondered what God’s purpose was in creating the earth and man. Adam himself did not know why God created him in His image after His likeness (Gen. 1:26). God kept His intention hidden throughout the ages, not telling Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Isaiah, or any of the prophets. The Creator did a lot in His creation, but before the New Testament time He did not unveil to anyone what His purpose was. (Life-study of Job, p. 51)
Job 42:7 tells us that God condemned Job’s three friends for not speaking concerning Him that which was right, as His servant Job had. Job was right in saying that his sufferings were not a matter of God’s judgment. Job felt that, according to his conscience, he had not done anything that required God to come in to judge him or to punish him. Nevertheless, he was suffering and he wanted to investigate his situation with God. Job’s three friends, however, insisted that Job’s sufferings were a proof that he had done something wrong and was being judged by God. Thus, God came in to condemn the three friends and to vindicate Job to a certain extent.
Job’s three friends were not right concerning God’s purpose in dealing with His people, because their concept was based on the principle of good and evil, on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the sideline alongside the tree of life as the main line.
Job was right because his concept in general was not based on the principle of good and evil. However, he was groping in relation to the purpose for which God deals with His people. On the negative side, he was right; on the positive side, he was devoid of the divine revelation, not knowing that God’s purpose in dealing with His people is that He wants His people to gain Him, to partake of Him, to possess Him, and to enjoy Him more and more, rather than all things, until their enjoyment reaches the fullest extent, as the divine revelation ultimately unveils in the New Testament, that His people may ultimately become the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem is the enlargement of God. We all will become parts of the New Jerusalem.
God, in His progressive revelation, did not make His purpose in dealing with His people clear to Job at his time. However, God did make this clear in the New Testament to the believers. In His reply to Job, God paid no attention to Elihu because his concept had not come up to the level of God’s ultimate standard, though it was not wrong. Elihu, a young man, thought that he was somebody, but he actually was nobody.
All the physical blessings with which God blessed Job were to show Job God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness in his latter days [Job 42:10-17]. This indicates that God is perfect and kind in dealing with those who love Him. Even today, after God deals with us by stripping us and consuming us, and after His purpose is accomplished, God gives us His physical blessings. However, God’s purpose in dealing with His people is not to give physical blessings to them but to give Himself to them as their eternal portion, which ultimately consummates in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21——22). (Life-study of Job, pp. 158-160)
Further Reading: Life-study of Job, msg. 30