Scripture reading – Job 29
Job’s parable, his answer to Bildad (Job 25), continues in today’s Scripture reading. Having found no relief from his afflictions, and bearing the disappointment of friends who treated him as adversaries, Job reflected and remembered. He remembered better days, and happier times. Job 29 is his recollection of the way things used to be.
Job 29:1–2 – “1Moreover Job continued his parable [wise sayings], and said, 2Oh that I were as in months past, As in the days when God preserved me [watched over him].”
Job had stated throughout our study his feeling of abandonment by God. Indeed, he had felt as though God had turned against him. Afflicted by his friends’ assertions that he was being punished for some wrongdoing he was unwilling to confess; Job bemoaned his deplorable state and the advantage it had given to others to mock and scorn him.
Job remembered the security and sweet communion he once enjoyed with his Creator (29:2-6). When he was a young man, the light of God’s favor shined upon him (29:3), and the “secret of God,” literally his friendship and fellowship, was upon his household (29:4). He had been comforted by the presence of “the Almighty,” and enjoyed the company of his children (29:5).
He had been esteemed in all quarters of his realm (29:7-17). He was numbered among the respected elders and judges of the city (29:7), and when he passed by, young men shied from him, and aged men rose in his presence out of respect (29:8). When he spoke, all men listened and none questioned his wisdom (29:9-11). In former days, he had been beloved for his charity and compassion on those less fortunate (29:12-13).
Job had been hailed for his righteous character, and good deeds (29:14-17).
He had distinguished himself as a righteous judge (29:14), and had been charitable to those in want (29:15-16). He had served as the eyes for the blind, and feet to those unable to walk (29:15). To the needy, he demonstrated a father’s concern (29:16), and he had been a foe of the wicked, when men sought justice (29:17).
Job had believed his prosperity would last forever (29:18-23).
No doubt, Job believed God would favor him for his righteous deeds (29:18-19). He was admired for his glory (i.e. strength), and his counsel was valued by men (29:20-21). Lesser men were silent when he spoke, and they waited on his counsel, like dry soil waits on the rain (29:22-23).
Job had been beloved by all men; rich and poor, strong and weak, all found him amiable (29:24-25).
Though he had been great in his possessions and person, the people had found him a friend, and not the proud, haughty man his friends had accused him of being (29:24). He was the chief, the sovereign in his realm, but he easily moved from leading men, to comforting those who were overcome with sorrows.
A Closing Challenge
Enjoy the good times, and remember those less favored. Be assured, there may come a day when you will find yourself in the midst of trials, and the memories of God’s grace and favor will sustain you, and give you hope of better times to come.
2 Corinthians 1:3–4 – “3Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith