Monday, April 17, 2017
Daily reading assignment: Job 31-32
Job 31 records the conclusion of Job’s defense against his three “friend’s” accusations that his sufferings are the consequence of unconfessed sin.
The opening verse of Job 31 is one every man should vow before God: “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” (Job 31:1)
What a powerful statement for 21st century believers to embrace and commit themselves to…purity in heart, thoughts and emotions! The violation of moral and marital fidelity is one of the greatest sins of the 21st century church and I doubt there is a pastor who comprehends the degree to which his members have titillated their lusts and emotions with lewd and pornographic images in the privacy of their homes and hearts.
I remind my readers of the following commands and principles regarding adultery; the first, our Lord’s summation on this subject reminding us that to look on another with lust is adultery.
Matthew 5:27-28 – “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: [Exodus 20:14 – 7th Commandment] 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
God’s people are not to tolerate adultery and its punishment under the law was severe: “the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death” (Leviticus 20:10).
Adultery destroys a man’s reputation, scars his life, brings reproach he will carry to his grave and wrecks his marriage, home and family.
Proverbs 6:32-33 – “But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding [without moral principle]: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul [life]. 33 A wound and dishonour [disgrace] shall he get; and his reproach [shame] shall not be wiped away.”
Declaring his innocence and integrity, Job asserts, let me suffer the dreadful consequences of my sin if I have lusted after another man’s wife (Job 31:9-12).
Job 31:12 – “For it [adultery] is a fire that consumeth [eats; devours; burns up] to destruction, and would root out [pluck up; uproot] all mine increase [good; income].”
Elihu, a fourth and younger “friend” of Job, joins the others in Job 32, not only condemning Job, but also his “friends” who had failed to convince Job of his sin. It is interesting that the youngest of the five, Elihu, begins a monologue of judgment and condemnation that will continue for six chapters (Job 32-37).
Elihu’s introductory statements to his elders are sadly familiar for they are reflective of the proud, untempered spirit of inexperienced youth (32:1-3, 5). In his own words, Elihu confesses, “I am full of matter…my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst” (32:18-19). That statement, dear friend, is the gushing of unrestrained pride. In the words of Solomon, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). When the LORD addresses the contention that rose between Job and his “friends”, He will disregard everything Elihu said.
In a parting observation, the sins I have addressed in this devotional commentary are prevalent, not only in our culture, but also in our churches and homes. Adultery is destroying lives, marriages, and families. Webroot.com estimates that 40 million Americans visit pornography sites regularly and 2.5 billion emails a day contain pornography. That same website estimates pornography is a problem in 47% of American homes. In other words, you, your spouse, your children, or your friends are struggling with the putrid effects of pornography.
The other sin in today’s devotional is the besetting sin of today’s youth…Pride! Pride has been the curse of man from the fall; however, this Millennial generation is enslaved to it like no other before it. The pride of this generation is manifest in their self-centered, unteachable, demanding, narcissistic spirit…a sin that will inevitably bring them and our nation to ruin.
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith