Job ignores his friends and lays out his final appeal before God: my life was good, really good (Job 29); now it’s really bad (Job 30); what did I do wrong? (Job 31). At least sixteen times he begins, “If I have,” meaning he hasn’t, and the sins he lists are common. “I haven’t done them.” Job is, indeed, a righteous man.
“Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28). Job was intent on turning away. “I have made a covenant with my eyes” (Job 31:1), not that his eyes would stop seeing–that would be impossible–but that they would never stop moving. That they would not fix their gaze on what they shouldn’t. The first look is free, it can’t be stopped. It’s the second look that costs you. “If my step has turned aside from the way and my heart has gone after my eyes,” (Job 31:7); my steps follow my heart, and my heart my eyes, so he contested temptation quickly.
Job presented his case before God, then he was done; “The words of Job are ended” (Job 31:40). In judicial jargon, he rested. It’s called shalom, peace. It’s called contentment–to rest in God’s care. “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13). The turmoil swirled around him still, but he was in the hands of God now, as he had always been.
Father in heaven, You are holy, You are good. Your kingdom is righteous. I long to live forever in a righteous kingdom.
Search me, O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my thoughts. If there is any wicked way in me, straighten my path. Lead me in the way everlasting.