True Righteousness is Honored

When I went out to the gate of the city, when I prepared my seat in the square,

the young men saw me and withdrew, and the aged rose and stood;

the princes refrained from talking
and laid their hand on their mouth;

the voice of the nobles was hushed,and their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth.

When the ear heard, it called me blessed, and when the eye saw, it approved,

because I delivered the poor who cried for help,and the fatherless who had none to help him.

The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me,

and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.

I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban.

I was eyes to the blind
and feet to the lame.

I was a father to the needy,and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know.

I broke the fangs of the unrighteous
and made him drop his prey from his teeth.” Job 29:7-17.

Job went looking for good to do. He did not just do good when the opportunity came to him. His righteousness was not just a list of the things he did not do, like drink, smoke, and cuss. That would just make him an inconsequential prude; someone to mock.

But reaching out to the poor and defending the defenseless convicts the selfish and hard-hearted people who won’t lift a finger. Job made himself the hands and feet of God, going and helping on His behalf. He shared his blessings.

If all we do is polish our trophies, but won’t wash the feet of the dirty, we become like those Jesus called “white-washed tombs.” We become expert critics of bad behavior instead of coaches for the weak players.

Mining and Wisdom

“Man puts his hand to the flinty rock
and overturns mountains by the roots.He cuts out channels in the rocks,
and his eye sees every precious thing.He dams up the streams so that they do not trickle,
and the thing that is hidden he brings out to light.“But where shall wisdombe found?
And where is the place of understanding?Man does not know its worth,
and it is not found in the land of the living.” Job 28:9-13.I don’t know if Job already knew these things about wisdom, or if you have to go through hard times to start having these thoughts. But I did find it interesting that people mined for gold and for precious stones in the times of Job. And that they dammed Rivers. I suspect it required some wisdom before even starting such projects.Job eventually concludes that it is the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom. It is something elemental; something foundational to everything else.

Never Give Up

And Job again took up his discourse, and said:

“As God lives, who has taken away my right,
and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter,

as long as my breath is in me,
and the spirit of God is in my nostrils,

my lips will not speak falsehood,
and my tongue will not utter deceit.

Far be it from me to say that you are right;
till I die I will not put away my integrity from me.

I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go;
my heart does not reproach me for any of my days. Job 27:1-6.

Many have given up because God “failed” in the short term. It may feel like the long term to you, but you lack the divine perspective of an eternal God.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Roman’s 8:18.

Man’s Perspective

Sheol is naked before God,
and Abaddon has no covering.

He stretches out the north over the void
and hangs the earth on nothing.

He binds up the waters in his thick clouds,
and the cloud is not split open under them.

He covers the face of the full moon[b]
and spreads over it his cloud. Job 26:6-9.

Part of the Bible is revelation, and part of it is man’s observation of the glory of God. Here Job is describing clouds, and the phenomenon of the new moon. Is not meant to be a revelation. of those things.

Of Men and Worms

Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:“Dominion and fear are with God;
he makes peace in his high heaven.Is there any number to his armies?
Upon whom does his light not arise?How then can man be in the right before God?
How can he who is born of woman be pure?Behold, even the moon is notbright,
and the stars are not pure in his eyes;how much less man, who is a maggot,
and the son of man, who is a worm!” Job 25:1-6.Yes, compared to God, we are unworthy vermin. Yet, he cares enough to get involved with our lives and communicate with us. Eventually, He will even come to earth as one us, suffer being accused and tried and executed, and promise us eternal life. But no on one living in Bildad’s day knows this. It is a time of limited vision.