REAR-MIRROR GRATITUDE

REAR-MIRROR GRATITUDE

Opening Prayer

Almighty God, as I reflect on who you are and what you have done, I am, as the hymn says, “…… lost in wonder, love, and praise”. (Love Divine, All Loves Excelling hymn by Charles Wesley)

Read JOB 29

Job’s Final Defense

29 Job continued his discourse:

“How I long for the months gone by,
    for the days when God watched over me,
when his lamp shone on my head
    and by his light I walked through darkness!
Oh, for the days when I was in my prime,
    when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house,
when the Almighty was still with me
    and my children were around me,
when my path was drenched with cream
    and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil.

“When I went to the gate of the city
    and took my seat in the public square,
the young men saw me and stepped aside
    and the old men rose to their feet;
the chief men refrained from speaking
    and covered their mouths with their hands;
10 the voices of the nobles were hushed,
    and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.
11 Whoever heard me spoke well of me,
    and those who saw me commended me,
12 because I rescued the poor who cried for help,
    and the fatherless who had none to assist them.
13 The one who was dying blessed me;
    I made the widow’s heart sing.
14 I put on righteousness as my clothing;
    justice was my robe and my turban.
15 I was eyes to the blind
    and feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the needy;
    I took up the case of the stranger.
17 I broke the fangs of the wicked
    and snatched the victims from their teeth.

18 “I thought, ‘I will die in my own house,
    my days as numerous as the grains of sand.
19 My roots will reach to the water,
    and the dew will lie all night on my branches.
20 My glory will not fade;
    the bow will be ever new in my hand.’

21 “People listened to me expectantly,
    waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
    my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
    and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
    the light of my face was precious to them.[a]
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
    I dwelt as a king among his troops;
    I was like one who comforts mourners.

Footnotes

  1. Job 29:24 The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Meditate

‘The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand’.1 Thank the Lord for protection over your life.

Think Further

Job recalls his life before he was laid low. This is all the fruit of the fear of the Lord.2 Beginning with a vivid account of his walk with God (vs 2–6), he testifies to God’s protective care (vs 2,3) and how he felt equipped with a lamp for his feet and a light on his path.3 The word ‘friendship’ is important in verse 4; some prefer ‘protection’,4 but both are implied. Friends take care of one another; Jesus said that we are God’s friends if we follow his commands.5

Job’s testimony was marked by generosity. Not the self-righteous, showy giving of the Pharisees, but the practical mercy shown in rescuing the poor who cried for help and caring for the widow and orphans (vs 12,13). This is the heart of true religion.6 We know from chapters 1 and 2 that Job is not boasting in a self-righteous way. There was a generous, caring side to his wealth and wisdom; this was part of his walk with God.

We sometimes question whether wealthy people truly have integrity. We suspect the whiff of corruption, perhaps growing from our own envy. Job, however, enjoyed the esteem of his contemporaries, apparently without reserve. His speech, integrity, and demeanor all commanded respect for him, even in the heart of public life. While he was still young, others had seen this and honored him. As with Joseph and Daniel, his lifestyle equipped him for leadership and public service – as should be expected of those who love God. Job, however, was going to be tested to the core. It is a mark of the strength of his faith that he survived the stripping away of all this – although at times just by a whisker.

Apply

Recall the early days of your testimony, thanking God for his faithfulness to you over the years. Pray for strength to face whatever trials may lie ahead.

Closing prayer

Father, thank you for giving us your Word that reveals your power and love at work in your people. Help me to trust you for the future. Amen.

Last Updated on March 10, 2023 by kingstar

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