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©Bonnie LaBelle

Chapter 31 (ESV)

Posted on June 11, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 31 (ESV) - “I have made a covenant with my eyes;
    how then could I gaze at a virgin?
What would be my portion from God above
    and my heritage from the Almighty on high?
Is not calamity for the unrighteous,
    and disaster for the workers of iniquity?
Does not he see my ways
    and number all my steps?

“If I have walked with falsehood
    and my foot has hastened to deceit;
(Let me be weighed in a just balance,
    and let God know my integrity!)
if my step has turned aside from the way
    and my heart has gone after my eyes,
    and if any spot has stuck to my hands,
then let me sow, and another eat,
    and let what grows for me be rooted out.

“If my heart has been enticed toward a woman,
    and I have lain in wait at my neighbor's door,
then let my wife grind for another,
    and let others bow down on her.
For that would be a heinous crime;
    that would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges;
for that would be a fire that consumes as far as Abaddon,
    and it would burn to the root all my increase.

“If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant,
    when they brought a complaint against me,
what then shall I do when God rises up?
    When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him?
Did not he who made me in the womb make him?
    And did not one fashion us in the womb?

“If I have withheld anything that the poor desired,
    or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail,
or have eaten my morsel alone,
    and the fatherless has not eaten of it
(for from my youth the fatherless grew up with me as with a father,
    and from my mother's womb I guided the widow),
if I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing,
    or the needy without covering,
if his body has not blessed me,
    and if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep,
if I have raised my hand against the fatherless,
    because I saw my help in the gate,
then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder,
    and let my arm be broken from its socket.
For I was in terror of calamity from God,
    and I could not have faced his majesty.

“If I have made gold my trust
    or called fine gold my confidence,
if I have rejoiced because my wealth was abundant
    or because my hand had found much,
if I have looked at the sun when it shone,
    or the moon moving in splendor,
and my heart has been secretly enticed,
    and my mouth has kissed my hand,
this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges,
    for I would have been false to God above.

“If I have rejoiced at the ruin of him who hated me,
    or exulted when evil overtook him
(I have not let my mouth sin
    by asking for his life with a curse),
if the men of my tent have not said,
    ‘Who is there that has not been filled with his meat?’
(the sojourner has not lodged in the street;
    I have opened my doors to the traveler),
if I have concealed my transgressions as others do
    by hiding my iniquity in my heart,
because I stood in great fear of the multitude,
    and the contempt of families terrified me,
    so that I kept silence, and did not go out of doors—
Oh, that I had one to hear me!
    (Here is my signature! Let the Almighty answer me!)
    Oh, that I had the indictment written by my adversary!
Surely I would carry it on my shoulder;
    I would bind it on me as a crown;
I would give him an account of all my steps;
    like a prince I would approach him.

“If my land has cried out against me
    and its furrows have wept together,
if I have eaten its yield without payment
    and made its owners breathe their last,
let thorns grow instead of wheat,
    and foul weeds instead of barley.”

The words of Job are ended.

Question to consider: If we are saved by grace, why is it important for Christians to seek to live moral lives?

The final words of Job’s closing statements were to defend his moral character. Despite the fact that his wife had blamed him for their calamity, Job never lusted after a younger woman. He always dealt honestly with people and invited anyone to prove otherwise. He never coveted his neighbor’s wife. He listened to the grievances of his servants and always fought for justice. He was generous to the poor. He never made an idol of himself or his possessions. He never conceived ill-will toward anyone, even his enemies. He never tried to conceal his sin and invited God’s judgment upon himself if he was lying about any of what he proclaimed.

Job did not proclaim to be without sin, but it was obvious to everyone that Job went above and beyond the norm in walking with the Lord and against evil. So many times when accusations are made against people in positions of power, there seems to be a caveat in their denials. 

One of my childhood heroes was Bill Cosby. Over the years, Bill was quite outspoken against those who aligned themselves with modern thug culture so he made some enemies in Hollywood. Therefore, when accusations came against him for drugging women and abusing them while they were unconscious, I did not want to believe them. When he made his statement to the press, it was a denial of the crime but an admission to multiple affairs. Given that he had often made such fond references of his marriage to Camille, it was heartbreaking to hear of such a devastating moral flaw. Unlike Bill, Job was devoted to his wife and never even demonstrated a hint of impropriety.

The apostle Peter exhorts us as the persecuted church to act similarly, “Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.” (1 Peter 3:13-16)


Dear heavenly Father, help us to walk blamelessly before others so that we may not be a hindrance to the gospel. When we do sin, thank You for the assurance of forgiveness that we have in Christ Jesus. May we extend the same grace to others that You have shown to us. Amen.