Job 31

‘… And I am innocent’

In Job’s 3 chapter cry of injustice he’s said how blessed he was, how cursed he is and now how little he believes he deserves it.

I confess it’s testing my patience a little, we aren’t getting anywhere as much as adding emphasis. I wanted the discussion to move on.

The structure of it is a series of very stereotypically Jewish curse statements, along the lines of ‘if I am lying may I be struck dead!’. He calls down curses like losing his wife, his arm falling off, his fields being full of stinkweed and briars.

It gives us an interesting insight into what is regarded as the model of moral, ethical behaviour.

First he shows porn is not a new problem by describing his ‘covenant with my eyes’ not to look lustfully at young women. I recall at moore theological college an internet monitoring system keeping all the students honest was called ‘covenant eyes’…

He includes with this honesty, especially cheating in business, so lust and greed, which he calls ‘my heart being led by my eyes’… Nice one.

Then justice and fair treatment of servants and the vulnerable. His sense of justice comes from the equality of creation, he takes it back to both of them being formed in the womb by the same God. Made in God’s image. It extends to generous use of his property and compassionate use of his influence.

Next false idols, whether gold and wealth or nature such as Sun or Moon worship.

As it concludes, in quick succession: not gloating over enemies misfortunes or wishing ill on them, hospitality, hypocrisy – putting on a false front for political purposes, unsustainable or selfish farming practises.

He calls again for God to hear him, to argue the case.

It’s really smashing poetry, winning me over again, despite the earlier reservations. A good picture of an ethical life.

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