July 29, 2020 – Wednesday
Job 29:23-25 NIV
23 They waited for me as for showers and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief; I dwelt as a king among his troops; I was like one who comforts mourners.
Believe it or not this is the same Job who was earlier complaining greatly about everything, not understanding what has gone wrong, why things are now so different. What are we then to make of these and earlier verses in this chapter? Job is reminiscing when things were effectively great in his life.
To get a strong sense of what Job is reminiscing about we need to go all the way back to chapter one where we read 1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. 2 He had seven sons and three daughters, 3 and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. 4 His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom. From our reading it is clear Job was a Godly man who had been greatly blessed by God and he was known as the greatest man among all the people of the East.
If you read further in chapter one, and chapter two, you will find Satan was trying to find some way, any way, he could to cause Job to curse God when he lost everything and was even physically afflicted. Even Job’s wife thought he should curse God as told to us in 2:9 Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die! Job’s reply was very telling about his character, You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? It was only a short time (days) later Job’s friends heard about what had happened to him and came to commiserate with him initially at least.
After Job’s second reply to Bildad in chapter 26, he declares his integrity (chapter 27), speaks on wisdom (chapter 28), and then we come to our current chapter where Job is recalling his past when times were good, very good. Job was so well thought of When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them. Imagine, they were not angry at his position above them, they respected him and thought very well of him. So well, if he would smile at them, they scarcely believed it! They were glad to have his favor. In many ways he was a beloved leader. He never sought to profit from anyone’s misery, but to do what he could to alleviate it. Earlier in the chapter we read 11 Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me, 12 because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist them. 13 The one who was dying blessed me; I made the widow’s heart sing. In my 72 years I have met a few such men, too few. In knowing them I wished to know more like them and to become more like them, like Job.
This is the last reference to belief or believe in Job, so tomorrow we move to Psalms. Nonetheless, I hope this has whetted your appetite somewhat for more of Job. Some of the writing of his ‘friend’ is difficult for me, but the more I discovered about Job and about God, the more I profited in my reading. May the same be true for you.