It is early. I got up this morning after a great night sleep as Eliza our 5 day old slept through the night, minus her nursing. It was cold in the house so I cut some wood, lit a fire, brewed some coffee and sat down to read my daily bible reading. I am going through the bible Chronologically this year and today’s reading found me in the book of Job, chapters 29-31.
I am pasting a few sections of the chapters below, the sections that are the inspiration for this post.
Job 29:3-20 Oh, that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me,3 when his lamp shone upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness,4 as I was in my prime, when the friendship of God was upon my tent,5 when the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were all around me,6 when my steps were washed with butter, and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!7 When I went out to the gate of the city, when I prepared my seat in the square,8 the young men saw me and withdrew, and the aged rose and stood;9 the princes refrained from talking and laid their hand on their mouth;10 the voice of the nobles was hushed, and their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth.11 When the ear heard, it called me blessed, and when the eye saw, it approved,12 because I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him.13 The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban.15 I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame.16 I was a father to the needy, and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know.17 I broke the fangs of the unrighteous and made him drop his prey from his teeth.18 Then I thought, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand,19 my roots spread out to the waters, with the dew all night on my branches,20 my glory fresh with me, and my bow ever new in my hand. (bold highlight is mine)
Job 31:16-2 If I have withheld anything that the poor desired, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail,17 or have eaten my morsel alone, and the fatherless has not eaten of it18 (for from my youth the fatherless grew up with me as with a father, and from my mother’s womb I guided the widow),19 if I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, or the needy without covering,20 if his body has not blessed me, and if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep,21 if I have raised my hand against the fatherless, because I saw my help in the gate,22 then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder, and let my arm be broken from its socket.23 For I was in terror of calamity from God, and I could not have faced his majesty. (bold highlight is mine)
Where was this section of scripture when I was growing up? Maybe a better questions is why didn’t I see this scripture and hundreds of others like it when I was growing up? For me it was all about making sure I was disciplined in my time with the lord and that I was telling others about Him and inviting them to church. This verse and other verses like it are what have wrecked me, my faith and my life over the past 6 years and beyond.
There are two words that stand out to me in this. The word because in chapter 29 and the word then in chapter 31. In Chapter 29 Job talks about how blessed he was. He shows us that his life was one of favor, respect, honor and blessing. Then he goes on to say that it was all because he helped the poor, the fatherless, the needy and the widow. In short, all his blessing came because he did justice (vs.14). Then in Chapter 31 Job says that if he ever stopped clothing the naked, caring for the widow, providing for the poor or helping the fatherless then let the bodies hit the floor and cause Job to be broken.
This is a hard word. This is also an encouragement and an affirmation. God has called us to ‘do justice’ It has always been His heart through out scripture, old and new testament. If you are wondering about this coming year and how you can spend it to the glory of Him know that God’s call on your and my life is to ‘do justice.’ It is so clear, yet many of us forget or have never seen it. Once again, this is why Steps Of Justice is here, to help you and I ‘do justice.’