Father God, use my daily interpersonal contacts to mature me. May I learn patience, forgiveness, courage, and challenge from others.
Read JOB 31
“I made a covenant with my eyes
not to look lustfully at a young woman.
2 For what is our lot from God above,
our heritage from the Almighty on high?
3 Is it not ruin for the wicked,
disaster for those who do wrong?
4 Does he not see my ways
and count my every step?
5 “If I have walked with falsehood
or my foot has hurried after deceit—
6 let God weigh me in honest scales
and he will know that I am blameless—
7 if my steps have turned from the path,
if my heart has been led by my eyes,
or if my hands have been defiled,
8 then may others eat what I have sown,
and may my crops be uprooted.
9 “If my heart has been enticed by a woman,
or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door,
10 then may my wife grind another man’s grain,
and may other men sleep with her.
11 For that would have been wicked,
a sin to be judged.
12 It is a fire that burns to Destruction[a];
it would have uprooted my harvest.
13 “If I have denied justice to any of my servants,
whether male or female,
when they had a grievance against me,
14 what will I do when God confronts me?
What will I answer when called to account?
15 Did not he who made me in the womb make them?
Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?
16 “If I have denied the desires of the poor
or let the eyes of the widow grow weary,
17 if I have kept my bread to myself,
not sharing it with the fatherless—
18 but from my youth I reared them as a father would,
and from my birth I guided the widow—
19 if I have seen anyone perishing for lack of clothing,
or the needy without garments,
20 and their hearts did not bless me
for warming them with the fleece from my sheep,
21 if I have raised my hand against the fatherless,
knowing that I had influence in court,
22 then let my arm fall from the shoulder,
let it be broken off at the joint.
23 For I dreaded destruction from God,
and for fear of his splendor I could not do such things.
24 “If I have put my trust in gold
or said to pure gold, ‘You are my security,’
25 if I have rejoiced over my great wealth,
the fortune my hands had gained,
26 if I have regarded the sun in its radiance
or the moon moving in splendor,
27 so that my heart was secretly enticed
and my hand offered them a kiss of homage,
28 then these also would be sins to be judged,
for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.
29 “If I have rejoiced at my enemy’s misfortune
or gloated over the trouble that came to him—
30 I have not allowed my mouth to sin
by invoking a curse against their life—
31 if those of my household have never said,
‘Who has not been filled with Job’s meat?’—
32 but no stranger had to spend the night in the street,
for my door was always open to the traveler—
33 if I have concealed my sin as people do,[b]
by hiding my guilt in my heart
34 because I so feared the crowd
and so dreaded the contempt of the clans
that I kept silent and would not go outside—
35 (“Oh, that I had someone to hear me!
I sign now my defense—let the Almighty answer me;
let my accuser put his indictment in writing.
36 Surely I would wear it on my shoulder,
I would put it on like a crown.
37 I would give him an account of my every step;
I would present it to him as to a ruler.)—
38 “if my land cries out against me
and all its furrows are wet with tears,
39 if I have devoured its yield without payment
or broken the spirit of its tenants,
40 then let briers come up instead of wheat
and stinkweed instead of barley.”
The words of Job are ended.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’1 Thank the Lord for the bread before you today.
Job’s speeches end here, other than brief responses to God’s words.2 In this final part of his defense he comes to a grand finale, picturing himself arraigned before the court of God, signing his own response to the charges (v 35). We know that Satan is his accuser but a different word is used here, indicating that it may be one of his friends or even God himself. Either way, Job protests his blamelessness (v 6). This is not the same as being without sin. God has proclaimed him blameless,3 but Job has owned up to his own sin.4 If anyone had the right to proclaim Job blameless, it was God himself. For those of us who know the forgiveness and grace of God in Christ, it is so good to be able to rest in what God says about us rather than our own assessment or that of others. We confess our sin, but it is God who justifies us through Christ.5
There is helpful teaching here on the kind of sin that can flow from an indiscreet use of the eyes. Job speaks of making a covenant with his eyes not to look lustfully on a young woman (v 1). In his day, he was expected to take more than one wife, so it would have been culturally acceptable for him to size up an eligible teenager, but he knows that he needs to make a commitment about this matter, which is significant for most men. In verse 7 he warns that our hearts can be led by our eyes – true for both sexes – and can lead us into sin. Today, let us make a commitment to focus our eyes and our hearts on things that please God.6
‘Who is a pardoning God like thee, or who has grace so rich and free?’7 Thank God for his grace and commit yourself to be obedient to his Word.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. · Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits ….” (Psa. 103:1-2, KJV).
1 Matt 4:4 2 Job 40:4,5; 42:2–6 3 Job 1:8 4 Job 7:21 5 Rom 8:33,34 6 Matt 5:28; Phil 4:8 7 Samuel Davies, 1723–61, ‘Great God of Wonders’
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.