Job’s Past Was Glorious
29 And Job again took up his discourse and said,
2 “Oh that I were as in months gone by,
As in the days when God watched over me;
3 When His lamp shone over my head,
And by His light I walked through darkness;
4 As I was in [a]the prime of my days,
When the [b]friendship of God was over my tent;
5 When [c]the Almighty was yet with me,
And my children were around me;
6 When my steps were bathed in butter,
And the rock poured out for me streams of oil!
7 “When I went out to the gate of the city,
When I [d]took my seat in the square,
8 The young men saw me and hid themselves,
And the old men arose and stood.
9 “The princes stopped talking
And put their hands on their mouths;
10 The voice of the nobles was [e]hushed,
And their tongue stuck to their palate.
11 “For when the ear heard, it called me blessed,
And when the eye saw, it gave witness of me,
12 Because I delivered the poor who cried for help,
And the orphan who had no helper.
13 “The blessing of the one ready to perish came upon me,
And I made the widow’s heart sing for joy.
14 “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
My justice was like a robe and a turban.
15 “I was eyes to the blind
And feet to the lame.
16 “I was a father to the needy,
And I investigated the case which I did not know.
17 “I broke the jaws of the wicked
And snatched the prey from his teeth.
18 “Then I [f]thought, ‘I shall die [g]in my nest,
And I shall multiply my days as the sand.
19 ‘My root is spread out to the waters,
And dew lies all night on my branch.
20 ‘My glory is ever new with me,
And my bow is renewed in my hand.’
21 “To me they listened and waited,
And kept silent for my counsel.
22 “After my words they did not speak again,
And my speech dropped on them.
23 “They waited for me as for the rain,
And opened their mouth as for the spring rain.
24 “I smiled on them when they did not believe,
And the light of my face they did not cast down.
25 “I chose a way for them and sat as chief,
And dwelt as a king among the troops,
As one who comforted the mourners.
Job had it made, and as he notes, people listened to and respected him. It seems a big part of that was because he was wealthy and successful, but with that he had a great deal of influence and used it for good. He comforted those who mourn, and came to the aid of widows and orphans, and did not pervert justice for money. Yet it’s all for naught if Job isn’t speaking truth.
In our lives, do we pay more attention to the successful and glamorous people? Do we seek after their advice more than someone who doesn’t look all flashy and have a winning smile? Far too often, we hear the words of someone who is winning, and assume they must be truthful. After all, they’re doing pretty well, right?
Yet, as we’ve seen in Job’s story, people with good intentions can say some misleading things. Let alone those who appear successful and are only looking out for their own interests. How do we know the truth? First, we need to be reading God’s word for ourselves. His word is the ultimate plumb line, and it helps us to separate fact from fiction.
Second, we can ask God to shine his light on things. Ask Him for wisdom to know what is right, and what is only “resounding cymbals”. And then listen, and let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart. These are not separate things though. Sure, the Spirit can give you a feeling that something isn’t right, but as you read the Bible, you’ll be more in tune with God’s heart. And yes, feelings can be fickle, but often God gives us that feeling in the pit of our stomach for a reason. Don’t ignore it, seek Him, and listen to His voice. Or as the old song says “Trust and Obey, for there is no other way…”