Job’s Summary Defense
29 And Job again took up his discourse, and said:
“Oh, that I were as in the months of old,
as in the days when God watched over me,
when his lamp shone upon my head,
and by his light I walked through darkness,
as I was in my prime,
when the friendship of God was upon my tent,
when the Almighty was yet with me,
when my children were all around me,
when my steps were washed with butter,
and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!
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.
Then I thought, ‘I shall die in my nest,
and I shall multiply my days as the sand,
my roots spread out to the waters,
with the dew all night on my branches,
my glory fresh with me,
and my bow ever new in my hand.’
“Men listened to me and waited
and kept silence for my counsel.
After I spoke they did not speak again,
and my word dropped upon them.
They waited for me as for the rain,
and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain.
I smiled on them when they had no confidence,
and the light of my face they did not cast down.
I chose their way and sat as chief,
and I lived like a king among his troops,
like one who comforts mourners.
Job 29 Commentary
by Hank Workman
In remembrance of days gone by, Job revisits how life used to be. These were the glory days for him. From his words, it appears he was very influential and respected. His leadership was sought. Digging a bit into this passage, some believe he could have been a judge within the city he lived. If you look back at his words it does appear that way. In those days judges would sit at the city gate and help manage the community they lived in and settle disputes. These positions were not necessarily given due to training but respect and standing in the town itself.
His walk down memory lane though is a fine line. There’s almost a bordering of pride here or at least could be. That stroll into the past took him back to when things were great and how needed he was; how important even he saw himself. Surely the things he speaks of are true but because pride is so deceptive when things are going well, the moment it all falls apart we can look toward God and wonder in frustration as to what happened.
Pride – the silent killer of our spiritual life.
The problem with such a walk is this has potential to become the beginning of separation between ourselves and God. For when we let our thoughts go this direction we can begin to think we’re better than we are. This gives birth to our own opinions that we will trust over the counsel and wisdom of God. And if not brought into check, we will revel in what “we’ve done” rather than what God has provided and how He has directed our lives.
There is nothing wrong with walking into the past and observing things that have been amazing. But, and this is a huge but, what we should turn our focus toward is recounting the way God has blessed us. All that has happened in our lives, the opportunities we’ve experienced, even the way we have been used are a direct result of God’s blessing and not our own doing.
Job 29 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
What does it mean to reflect on the former times? We’ve all heard people talk about the “good old days.” Many of us have gone back to a time in our lives when things seemed better than the current state. Honestly, in these times, it’s hard not to. And really there are two thoughts that cross my mind. The first is gratefulness. When we look back, let’s remember to be grateful for the blessings God has provided. When we have Christ, we have the peace that enables us to be grateful in all circumstances.
Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NASB
The second thought I have when reading this passage is the natural longing that all humanity possesses to be reunited with God and His creation before the fall. Even though we don’t always say it like this, I think what we really desire is to go back to the days before sin entered this world. When we place our faith in Jesus, obey His will, and seek His heart, we experience a small slice of our pre-sin relationship with God when He walked in the garden with Adam.
Because of what Jesus has done, we can revel in the promises that we gain through this faith. We can walk confidently through this life with nothing to fear knowing that at death we will be given a seat at the heavenly table of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The only thing we may justifiably long for is to be like Adam and Eve were before the fall… but even then, a New Heaven and New Earth are coming for those who hold true to their faith in Christ. In the meantime, let us rejoice and praise Him for what He has done, how He is using us, and for the place He has prepared for each one of us in eternity.