“If I have put my trust in gold or said to pure gold, ‘You are my security,’ if I have rejoiced over my great wealth, the fortune my hands had gained, if I have regarded the sun in its radiance or the moon moving in splendour, so that my heart was secretly enticed and my hand offered them a kiss of homage, then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.”
Job was a man who was “blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1).
When life’s tragedies began to hit him from all sides, his friends suggested to him that God was punishing him for his sin.
In Job 31, we see Job’s defence to these accusations and get a glimpse into the key character traits of a God-honouring life. There are the obvious ones like putting God first in worship, sexual purity, integrity, and honesty. But with Job’s response we are also challenged with the practical, tangible actions that must be evident in a believer’s life.
• Using our money and possessions as a way to bless others
• Treating people with dignity and integrity
• Living generously towards the needy
• Offering hospitality
• Caring for God’s creation
• Responding to the needs of the fatherless and widow
• Administering justice
There is so much in this chapter that inspires us to put God and others before our own natural desires and wants. It is obvious from Job’s tone that at the core of his resolve to live uprightly is a deep reverence for God. May this encourage our own determination to live in a God honouring way no matter what life throws at us.
SCRIPTURE TO REFLECT ON: JOB 31
1. Read Job 31 and ask the Spirit of God to highlight a specific area where you need to be more intentional in your actions.
2. Ask yourself: Do my acts of charity and my commitment to right actions stem from a deep reverence for God or from a selfish desire for blessing or recognition?
Joanne Beach serves the C&MA in Canada as the Director of Alliance Justice and Compassion.