Job continued talking and Job said in Job 30:3-15, For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste. Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat. They were driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief;) To dwell in the clifts of the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks. Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together. They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth. And now am I their song, yea, I am their byword. They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face. Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me. Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction. They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper. They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters: in the desolation they rolled themselves upon me. Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud. In these verses Job starts out by mentioning those who are outcasts. Because we are social creatures and we have a sense of fairness, to be an outcast from our social surroundings is a great suffering. Some people want to be accepted so badly that it will keep them from coming to Christ.
Job suffered being an outcast. Notice in verse 3 the words solitary and fleeing. In verse 5 Job uses the phrase, driven forth from among men. In verse 10 Job said, They abhor me, they flee far from me. The ones who cast Job out were not satisfied with only making him an outcast. They also turned on him, and made his sufferings even greater. That is why Job said in verse 15, Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud.
Job continued talking and Job said in Job 30:16-22, And now my soul is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me. My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest. By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat. He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes. I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not. Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me. Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my substance. Job kept coming around to his sufferings because he was in the midst of them. He was hurting. He was troubled. He knew God was behind all of this, and Job was trying to figure it all out. Day and night Job is troubled. He said in verse 17, My bones are pierced in me in the night season. In verse 19 when Job says, He hath cast me into the mire, Job is stating that he knew that God did these things to him. It wasnt evil people, and it wasnt the devil, it was God. And so Job sought an answer from God. Job said to God in verse 20, I cry unto thee. Job prayed, but Job felt like there was no answer. Job said at the end of verse 20, thou dost not hear me. Was God ignoring Job? Of course not. But things must happen in Gods time and in Gods way. We all must learn that lesson. It is part of living by faith.
Notice Jobs conclusion in verse 21, Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me. I have known people who have suffered some great calamity such as the untimely death of a loved one, and they turn against God. They know that God could have kept it from happening, but God did not. Job did not become hardened against God. Job kept seeking an answer from God even though Job knew his sorrows came from God.
Job continued talking and Job said in Job 30:23-31, For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living. Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry in his destruction. Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor? When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness. My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me. I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation. I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls. My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat. My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep. Job had a healthy view of death: a realistic view. We are all going to die (unless the rapture takes place first.) If you have a healthy view of death, then you will properly prepare for it, especially from a spiritual standpoint. If you are not saved, then turn to Jesus, call upon His name, and get saved thereby. If you are saved, keep your eyes on the Lord. We will be kneeling before Him soon.
In verses 25 through 31 Job returns to the theme of his great sufferings while he is on the earth. Notice carefully verses 25 and 26, Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor? When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness. There is a basic principle in the world that we reap what we sow. If you want to have good things happen to you, then do good deeds and live a good life. One of the benefits of knowing Jesus as Savior is you have the capability to live a much better life than you otherwise would have lived, and the good results will follow. But this is a general rule, and there are exceptions. This particular period in Jobs life was an exception to that principle, and he knew it. Job was living a good life, doing the right thing, and helping other people; and then he was crushed by sorrows, troubles, and afflictions. Be ready. You will need your faith. Life can be hard.
Job continued talking and Job said in Job 31:1, I made a covenant with mine eyes: why then should I think upon a maid? One of the things that Job did properly was to control his thought-life. Jesus gave a very high standard for purity. Jesus said in Matthew 5:27-28, Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery.  But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath commited adultery already with her in his heart. Out of control desire is a great problem for the human race. Job understood that it was very important what he did with his eyes and his thoughts, and he guarded them both. God wants us to learn to do the same thing.
Job continued talking and Job said in Job 31:2-12, For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high? Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity? Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps? If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity. If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands; Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out. If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour's door; Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her. For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges. For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase. In spite of all the bad things that happened to Job, he knows that God punishes the wicked and rewards those who follow God. That is why Job says in verse 3, Is not destruction to the wicked? And that is also why once again in this passage that Job points out that he has been serving the Lord. Job says in verse 4, Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps? Job knows that God sees, and Job is confident that the Lord is going to work things out because of this. And of course, since we know the end of the story, the Lord does this very thing. The Lord does the same thing in our lives. As it says in First Corinthians 15:58, Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
In these verses in Job chapter 31 Job goes on to list some things that if he had done them would have merited the kinds of things he was suffering. Job said in verse 7, If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands. Following the Lord Jesus is a very narrow way, and it is easy to get off that path and get on the wrong path. You stay on it by continuing to confess your sins whenever necessary, probably daily. Asking for forgiveness is part of the Lords prayer. Notice the phrase if mine heart walked after mine eyes. What we see can lead us astray, if we react to it with our selfish human nature. And so we have to be diligent and careful with what we look at and how we react to it.
In the last phrase of verse 7 Job said, if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands. You do not want to be walking around with guilt hanging over you because of unconfessed sin. Because a holy God controls His kingdom, that would put you in a very dangerous place in life. Repent and confess before the consequences fall upon you.
Job said in verse 9, If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour's door. Why is adultery such a great sin? For one thing, it is the breaking of a promise. You promised your spouse that you would forsake all others. Does your word mean something or does it not? God keeps His promises. For another thing, the marriage between a man and a woman symbolizes the relationship of Jesus with a believer. To mar that symbolism is a great sin. If you commit adultery, you not nly harm your own soul with that sin, but you also harm others. You harm your spouse, your children, your reputation. You harm the person with whom you commit adultery, and you harm their family too. You become an active agent in home-wrecking and marriage-ruining. If you commit adultery, you are helping to ruin two families. Even in Jesus discussion on divorce, Jesus gave adultery as a valid reason for divorce. Jesus said in Matthew 5:31-32, It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:  But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
Job understood the importance of being faithful to the woman that he was married to. And remember that Jobs wife was not being a very good wife during this time. She was not supporting him. In fact she was continuing to mock him for trying to serve God after all these bad things had happened to him. Jobs wife said to him in Job 2:9, curse God and die. But Job remained faithful to his wife. And because of that Job knew that good things would follow.
Copyright; 2018 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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