Job 1:5 And when the days of feasting ran their course, Job…would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their heart. Job did this continually.
10:13 But You have hidden these things in Your heart; I know that this is with You.
Job and his friends probably lived in the age of Abraham. At that time the Pentateuch of Moses was not yet written. Surely they had received some divine revelation from their forefathers verbally. However, what they had received of their forefathers could reach, at most, only the level of the revelation in the age of Abraham. Hence, in their debates concerning God’s relationship with man, there was no hint that indicates that they had received divine revelation beyond the matters of God’s judgment and God’s regard for man in his burnt offering. And they did not speak any word that implies anything concerning Christ and the Spirit of God. They were in the primitive stage of the divine revelation. (Life-study of Job, pp. 172-173)
After all the speaking of Job, his three friends, and Elihu, we have God’s appearing to Job with the divine unveilings (Job 38:4—41:34). This is followed by a word concerning Job’s gaining God in his personal experience and his abhorring of himself (42:1-6). I am concerned that, by paying attention to so many other things, you may not see the central point of God’s appearing to Job. This central point concerns what God intended to do to Job by His appearing to him.
God appeared to Job in order to help him to realize that God is unlimited, unsearchable, and untraceable. God asked Job many questions about the universe and about the animals to impress him with the fact that He is unlimited. God seemed to be saying to him, “Job, you actually do not know who I am. You do not realize that I am unlimited. Also, you cannot imagine what I intend to give you. Job, I intend to give you Myself, making Myself your enjoyment so that you can become a part of Me. I am not satisfied that you have your own integrity, perfection, and uprightness. I want you to have Me. My intention is to give you nothing other than Myself.”
To understand God’s intention in His appearing to Job, we need the entire Bible, especially the New Testament. For God to give Himself to Job was not a simple matter. This involved a long process beginning with Christ’s incarnation and including His human living, His all-inclusive death on the cross, His resurrection, and His ascension. Because Job was in the primitive stage of the divine revelation, God could not have spoken to him about all these things. It would have been impossible for Job to understand them. All these matters were clearly defined and recorded in the New Testament two thousand years later. Even today, many believers do not have the proper understanding of these things.
Job and his friends were devoid of all the above divine revelations. God’s dealing with Job in all the disasters and His stripping him of all that he was, were to take away his contentment in his godly attainments and obtainments and to remove all the barriers and coverings so that he could be emptied for some further seeking after God and could realize that he was very short of something in his human life. At the end of the book of Job, after all, God came in, indicating that what Job was short of in his human life was God Himself. But up to the age of Job, there was not a revelation like what is positively, clearly, and fully unveiled in the New Testament. For this reason, the book of Job does not actually have a completed ending, which should be God fully gained in Christ by Job to make him one with God that he might enjoy God as his portion in Christ. Such a revelation can be fully found only in the New Testament. (Life-study of Job, pp. 175-176, 185)
Further Reading: Life-study of Job, msg. 33