For several months I've been working my way through the book of Job. And, as I’m finishing writing the last few pages of my book Risking it All: One Woman's Adventure Giving Away Her Income, it’s quite timely that I came across a particular chapter this morning during my Bible study time.
In Job chapter 29 and the two that follow it, Job presents his final speech of the entire book. He gives his final thoughts about his current state.
Once a wealthy man, he has lost it all, and his body is wracked with horrible pain. Not only that, but he is also tormented by unanswered questions. It seems to him as if God has turned his back.
In chapter 29, Job takes some time to reflect on his past prosperity, happiness, honor, respect, helping, kindness, and usefulness. It is in this portion of Scripture that we clearly see a man who was aware of the needs of those in his society and did what he could to help those less fortunate.
In spite of his own personal troubles, Job sets a stellar example of a man after God’s own heart.
He rescued the poor who needed help. (29:12)
He took care of the orphans. (29:12)
He cared for the dying. (29:13)
He provided for the widows. (29:13)
He was righteous and fair, in all outward actions and in his mind. (29:14)
He gave direction to the blind. (29:15)
He cared for the lame. (29:15)
He gave fathering and advice to the needy. (29:16)
He helped strangers integrate and make their way. (29:16)
He did what he could to stop evil men and rescue their victims. Could these be thieves, kidnappers, traffickers, slavers, embezzlers, gougers? (29:17)
He gave good, Godly counsel. (29:21-22)
His words were compassionate, bringing kindness and hope. (29:23)
He was a loving, caring person, kind to all. (29:24)
He shared his wisdom, watched over his people, and comforted them when needed. (29:25)
Also, later in Chapter 30:
He wept for those in trouble and grieved for the poor. (30:25)
It would seem that Job knew God’s heart for people and used the resources in his possession to do what he could. What a great example of a compassionate man whose devotion to God showed through his care for others!
Although we may never be able to answer all our questions about Job’s story, I still think we can learn a lot from his unique experience. His story is unique in its extremes, yet we all can relate to it on some level because all of us have known some level of suffering.