24 April 2022 PM – Job 29-31 – Job2022 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Several months ago, I set about to reflect over events in my childhood and to record a series of short accounts for our grandchildren. I was amazed at the number of events that I recalled. Times of reflection can be very fruitful, sobering and rewarding.
Transition: In Job 29-31, Job reflected on his blessings, his burdens and his business. His reflections reveal several important principles that can greatly help us in our Christian walk.
  1. Job reflected on his blessings (Job 29)
Reflecting on our blessings is very needful. Spurgeon was right when he said, “Too many people write their blessings in the sand, but engrave their sorrows in marble.”
a.         God had prospered him (29:1-11)
1)         God’s candle had shined on his head (29:3). By God’s light, he had walked in darkness.
2)         God’s intimate counsel was upon his tent (29:4).
3)         The Almighty was with him and his children about him (29:5).
4)         He prospered financially (29:6).
5)         He enjoyed the honour of others (29:7-11)
Reflecting on Christ’s atonement for us and God’s goodness to us is an exercise that we need frequently to undertake.
b.         Job had been a blessing to others (29:12-25)
1)         He had cheered the poor, fatherless and widows (29:12-13).
2)         He had helped the disabled and poor (29:15-16).
3)         He judged the wicked justly (29:16).
4)         Men eagerly listened to his counsel (29:21-23).
When burdens overwhelm us, it does us good to count our blessings. Recall the hymn writer’s words, “Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, and you will be singing as the days go by.” GH 370 That is good counsel for each of us.
2.        Job reflected on his burdens (Job 30)
a.         He was despised by unkind youths (30:1-15)
1)         Describing his young mockers, Job said they were the kind of men he would not have set with the dogs of his flock. His dogs were of more worth than they were.
2)         Such worthless men were as useless as old men (30:2).
3)         They were outcasts of society, living on what they could find or steal (30:3-5). They were homeless and lived like wild animals (30:6-7).  They were children of fools and base men (30:8).
4)         Job was now the object of their mocking songs (30:9).
5)         They abhorred Job and spit in his face (30:10). They pushed him away and made his path difficult (30:12-13). In many ways, they made life miserable for Job (30:14-15).
It grieved Job to reflect on the fact that he had been a man held in great honour, but now the outcasts of society mocked him, spit on him, and made life miserable for him. Folks, this is a reminder that when we fail, fall or suffer, only the dearest of friends will remain true to us. We must choose our friends carefully.
b.         He was afflicted by God (30:16-31)
1)         Job complained of his affliction (30:16-18)
2)         He knows that God has cast him into the mire, but this does not ease his grief (30:19).
3)         He discusses his grief with God (30:20-23).
4)         He longed for good, but evil came upon him (30:26).
5)         He described himself as a brother to dragons (i.e., dinosaurs) and a companion of owls (30:29). To this Barnes comments, “That is, my loud complaints and cries resemble the doleful screams of wild animals, or of the most frightful monsters.”
6)         His skin had turned black and his bones felt like they burned with heat (30:30).
After months of this painful agony, Job still had no answers or relief. Sometimes the most painful part of suffering is our lack of knowing what God is doing in our lives. In such times, we must trust God’s sovereignty and love.
3.        Job reflected on his integrity (Job 31)
As Job reflected, he examined his personal integrity.
a.         Job examined his integrity as a man
1)         He guarded against lust (31:1-4)
a)         Note Job’s vow to protect his eyes (31:1). This is a vow that every man and boy should make.
b)         Job’s consciousness of God’s all-seeing eye (31:4) is a prudent reminder to each of us. (2Tim 2:22) “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
2)         He sought to be honest (31:5-8)
3)         He had not committed adultery (31:9-12)
a)         Job knew that sexual sin begins with a deceived heart, and we must know it too (31:9).
b)         We must guard our hearts. (Prov 4:23) “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Lust and dishonesty have ruined many good men and women. Honestly examining our integrity in these areas on a regular basis is vital.
b.         Job examined his integrity as an employer
1)         He treated his servants compassionately (31:13-15)
2)         He treated his farmworkers fairly (31:38-40)
Those under us, whether employees or even our children, ought never to feel that we lack compassion or fairness.
c.          Job examined his integrity as a neighbour
1)         He gave to the poor, the widows, and the fatherless (31:16-18)
2)         He clothed the poor and needy (31:19-20)
3)         He never sided against the fatherless (31:21-23)
4)         He never rejoiced when an enemy suffered loss, nor had he ever cursed them (31:29-30). (Prov 24:17) “Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:” If someone has hurt us, this is not easy to obey, but needful.
5)         He was always hospitable and generous (31:31-32).
Some people have truly generous hearts toward those in need. May God richly bless them, and may He increase that virtue in each of us.
d.         Job examined his integrity as a worshipper
1)         He did not worship his wealth (31:24-25). While we would never bow before or pray to our money or possessions, we may place a higher value on materialism than God desires. Tithing and teaching our children to tithe on income they receive certainly help.
2)         He never worshipped idols of any kind (31:26-28). This includes sports, heroes, hobbies, pleasures.
3)         He had no secret sins (31:33-34). If secret unconfessed sin hides in your heart, you will never prosper. We cannot hide any sin from God. (Heb 4:13) “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
4)         He wished God would hear him (31:35-37).
While others could observe many of Job’s examinations, worship is something that took place primarily in his heart. God desires that we love Him with all of our heart.
Conclusion: God had been good to Job. It was helpful for him to reflect on God’s goodness during his great grief. It hurt Job to have the outcasts of society mocking him. His grief was made worse by not knowing why he was suffering, but that is often true. That is when we must trust God’s sovereignty and love. Job guarded his heart from sensual just. He treated people fairly. He was very generous. He loyally worshipped God. In many ways, Job was a great example to us of integrity.
As Job reflected on his blessings, burdens and business, did God identify something in your life on which you need to work or change? If so, do not ignore God’s still small voice. Obey him!
Song: Count your Blessings, 370