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The Book of Job: Chapter 29

In the Twenty-Ninth Chapter of Job, we are given a glimpse of Job’s life prior to the enemy’s attack. Job was in a place of position and helped prosper his community. He was honored and respected, people called him blessed and sought out his counsel. Yet all of it had become empty. Job had so filled his life with the things he was doing, he forgot the things God was doing. Yes, his actions were righteous, but they came with self-righteousness. In this chapter we see what led to the distance between Job and God in the first place.

Position and Friendship

When I went out to the gate of the city, when I took my seat [as a city father] in the square, the young men saw me and hid themselves, the aged arose and stood [respectfully]; the princes stopped talking and put their hands on their mouths; the voices of the nobles were hushed, and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths […] I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the orphan who had no helper. The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me, and I made the widow’s heart sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban!

Job 29:7-14 AMP

Job did all the right actions, but he began to see himself as the originator instead of God. He continually says, “I did this,” not “God did this.” Job put himself in the place of glory instead of giving the glory over to God.

Sometimes when we’ve been the vessel used for blessing others, we may begin to think that it really is our doing. What we have to continually remember is that all good things come from God (James 1:17) and that it is God who makes all things possible.(Matt. 19:26)

It wasn’t Job’s wisdom that made the others listen to him, it was God’s. It wasn’t Job rescuing the poor, the widows, and the orphans, it was God. Yes, Job was working in partnership with God, but the ability to act and judge and speak wisely ultimately came from God. It was God who so blessed Job that he became an integral and righteous part of the city in which he lived.

If only I could be as in months gone by, in the days when God watched over me, when His lamp shone above my head, and I walked through darkness by His light! I would be as I was in the days of my youth when God’s friendship rested on my tent, when the Almighty was still with me…

Job 29:2-5 CSB

Position in any place, even within the church, is nothing compared to having the friendship of God.

Job longs to be near to God again, to see and know His blessings, to see and know His voice, but the way Job has become self-righteous put a barrier between him and God.

God didn’t stop offering Job any of those things he longed for. It was Job’s own doing that separated him from God. It was his self-elevated opinion that hardened his heart, damming the flow of the Living Water and turning it into a trickle.

Job had the wealth, the power, the position that so many wanted, yet he had lost the intimate relationship with God that had made way for those things in the first place.

We have to ask ourselves: What do we long for, position or friendship?

What is the former without the latter? We might have the position, in the church or in the world, but it is nothing without the friendship of God.

Job did many great things in his community, and yet he still longed for the one thing that had become sparse: His close relationship with God.

Parched and Dry

My root will spread till it reaches water, and dew will stay all night on my branch;

Job 29:19 CJB

When we begin resisting God or stop listening and following Him, we begin building a wall around our tree roots––a wall that stands between our roots and the Living Water.

Our roots will become parched––dry and brittle––if we go long enough without tearing that wall down. If that happens then once that wall is torn down, we’ll need to be baby fed as if we were newborn Christians.

People would listen to me; they waited and were silent when I gave advice. After I spoke, they didn’t talk back; my words were like drops [of dew] on them. They waited for me as if for rain, as if for spring rain, with their mouths wide open.

Job 29:21-23 CJB

Christian Standard Bible version says, “Men listened to me with expectation…”

Do we anticipate God’s word as much as Job perceived others anticipating his voice?

Do we listen with expectation for God’s advice, His counsel, allowing His voice to be the last word?

Do we long for Him to speak in every situation? Or are there times when we wish He would remain silent so that we may go our own way?

Do we seek Him with joy? Do we bring Him joy?

If we lose that expectation, that passion for hearing God’s voice then our hearts will begin to harden, our roots will begin to dry out and turn brittle. The Living Water within us will be dammed up by our own doing and it will stop overflowing into our lives and the lives of others.

That’s not to say that God isn’t or has stopped doing anything. It is us.

God is still speaking. We just stopped listening.

The Living Water is still flowing. We’ve just covered the well within us.

God is still blessing. We’ve just removed ourselves from positions to receive.

God is still with us. We’ve just stopped acknowledging Him.

And so the wall is built, brick by brick, each one a decision we make as we turn away.

The good news is that we don’t have to take that wall down by ourselves. God’s love for us is a flood that rushes in and nothing can stand in its way. When we begin removing the bricks, seeking Him instead of ignoring, His love begins to trickle back into our lives more and more until it sweeps away the wall entirely. The Living Water flows back into our lives.

It might be hard at first. We might struggle with our own choices, with listening to our world-conditioned voice over God’s, but if we continue pressing on, seeking Him and walking the path to Him, then eventually our roots will flourish once more and the Living Water will begin to flow and overflow freely into our lives and the lives of others.

God Still Remains

As we know, Job lost everything that made him who he thought he was: his position, his family, his health, and his wealth. Instead of being the rescuer he became the one needing rescuing. Instead of people standing in respect at his presence, they turned away and pretended not to see or know him.

Yet when everything else was taken away, God still remained. He waited patiently for Job to face himself and all his faults, to be truthful and humble himself, then He flooded Job with His loving-kindness, His friendship, just as Job longed for.

What is our position, our power, our health, our family, our wealth when compared with God’s intimate, loving friendship?

Out of everything we have that we think makes us who we are, only God can never be taken away from us. Only God will eternally still remain.

Happy Wednesday!!

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