Passage of the Day: Chapter/Verse Reference: Job, Chapters 29-31 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Job 29: … [Job, reflecting on his past – desiring to have it back again]
4 Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house,
5 when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me,
6 when my path was drenched with cream and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil.
Job 30: … [Job is a broken man]
14They come at me from all directions. They rush upon me when I am down. 15I live in terror now. They hold me in contempt, and my prosperity has vanished as a cloud before a strong wind.
16“And now my heart is broken. Depression haunts my days. 17My weary nights are filled with pain as though something were relentlessly gnawing at my bones. 18With a strong hand, God grabs my garment. He grips me by the collar of my tunic. 19He has thrown me into the mud. I have become as dust and ashes.
20“I cry to you, O God, but You don’t answer me. I stand before You, and You don’t bother to look. 21You have become cruel toward me. You persecute me with Your great power.
Job 31: … [Job recognizes his position before God]
1 “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?
- - -
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.
My Journal for Today: Today’s study in the life of Job from Chapters 29-31 in the Book by his name are Job’s reflections on his life in the midst of the fog of confusion and despair in which he finds himself. And if you want the full force of the lesson God is teaching Job to help him see how pridefulness is easily a fault of those who try so hard to walk the walk of righteousness, these chapters certainly teach us the challenges of having to rely on God to teach us how to be humble.
If you take the time to read through these chapters, as I have today, you will likely – as I have definitely – find Job’s reflections to be very revealing and self convicting. Job here is looking back over his life and reflecting on where he was, longing for the “old days” when he was a respected Elder in his community. And he now sees that he’s totally broken, having lost all respect from the young in his community and culture. And he also sees that past glories, past goodness, and past greatness are not where God desires for our life to be centered.
Job is beginning to get the picture God is painting for him about life, the likely purpose why God has allowed Satan to enter Job’s life and to bring him down to this place in life where Job was forced to look UP at God and see His Lord for Whom He really was/is. And this is dangerous precipice of pride we climb toward when we are walking – as was Job – the walk of Godly pursuits. Job did “have it all.” He was living “the good life;” and he was able to command the respect of everyone around him. But we see that God wanted Job to see his dependence on God and to humbly pursue their relationship rather than to rely on worldly goods or to rely on the respect of other men. God was giving Job a lesson in humility, one which Job apparently was not able to learn on his own; but God was – at this point in Job’s life – the Rabbi Job needed to learn eternally valuable lessons in humility. And in these three chapters, Job comes from reflecting on his past goodness to see that all that he is – or ever was – was in God’s hands.
Oh, how I pray that I can learn this lesson intentionally and with voluntary humility rather that having to be placed in the forge of God’s fire for purification as He molds me into my Savior’s image. It is said – about the Christian – that God will either reward our humility or He will teach us to be humble, like Jesus, by the lessons of trial and fire. Job apparently had to learn this lesson the hard way. I pray I can learn it by my own desires to choose to humbly seek out my relationship with my Lord.
My Prayer Today: Oh, my God, I recognize how dangerous is my prayer for humility. But I humbly pray that I can learn to CHOOSE humility rather than have to walk through the fire – Your fire - to learn the lessons of how to be humble like my Lord. Amen