John T. Willis

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Longing For the Good Old Days--Job's Third Response to Bildad--Part 3--Job 29

Job yearns for the "good old days," the days Job experienced before his horrible suffering entered into his life. He had enjoyed approximately 60 wonderful years of his life. BUT NOW, Job's life is in shambles. So, Job yearns for his former life. All of us sooner or later experience this situation. We focus on past times when things were "perfect." But those days are gone. And, like Job, we face the realities of present daily living.

There were three major things that made Job joyful and fulfilling. Job describes these three types of experiences in Job 29. He presents this with an ABAC structure.

I. God Himself BLESSED Job. Verses 1-6.
God "watched over" Job, I was in my prime and "the friendship of God" was on Job's tent, God was still "with" Job, and Job's children were around him.

II. Young and Old held Job in the highest respect. Verses 7-10 and 21-25.
a. Job was a highly respected member of the community. He was an "elder" of the city who participated in the activities of the "city gate." Verse 7.
b. When Job appeared in public, "young men withdrew" and "the aged stood up" to show respect to Job, "the nobles refrained from talking," "princes" could not speak in Job's presence since Job was such a powerful person. Verses 8-10.
c. When Job spoke, all who heard accepted and honored Job's views. Verses 21-23.
d. Job's words assured people who were uncertain and comforted mourners. Job was held in such high regard that he "sat as chief" among the people and "lived like a king among his troops." Verses 24-25.

III. Job constantly helped needy people. Verses 11-20.
Here Job presents one of the highest ethical portrayals of serving others found anywhere in scripture, Old or New Testament.
a. Job delivered the poor, helped the orphan, made widows joyful, wore righteousness and justice like a robe and a turban. Verses 11-14.
b. Job says he was "eyes to the blind and feet to the lame, a father to the needy and championed the cause of the stranger." Verses 15-16.
c. Job declares that he overthrew the unrighteous. Verse 17.
d. Naturally, Job concluded that God would continually bless Job, and Job would die in old age. Verses 18-20.

Often, when hard times descend upon us, we yearn for the good old days, when our lives seemed "perfect." But life brings difficulties and disappointments and losses. And we do not know how to deal with these new circumstances. We can empathize with Job's feelings as we look back through Job's life up to this point.

How are YOU doing right now in YOUR life? I will just imagine that many of YOU would like to go back to "the good old days." BUT, our life changes very quickly. AND YET, God is always with us, even in tough times. TRUST IN GOD.

Share YOUR thoughts and experiences. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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