PRINCIPLES OF PRESERVATION IN DIFFICULT TIMES
No. 9, RIGHTEOUS LIVING—JOB’S EXAMPLE!
Job is the final man mentioned in Ezekiel 14:12-20 as an example of the practical righteousness that is required to escape judgment. God rises up to judge the nations of the earth when “the land sins against me by trespassing grievously” (Ezekiel 14:13). This judgment comes on cities and nations when God says, “Enough is enough!”
- Job was perfect (Job 1:1).
This was God’s first description of Job. It does not mean that Job was in a state of sinless perfection, for no man, other than Jesus Christ, could make that claim. Job was a fallen man, but lived a life that was exemplary before God and his fellow man. Job’s lifestyle, despite his fallen nature, pleased God and caused God to bless him, his family and all that he owned. Job’s perfectness is understood in relationship to his fellow men. Job 1:18 says, “There is none like him in the earth.” Job’s lifestyle met all of God’s requirements in order for God to shower His blessings on him.
The word “perfect” is tam in Hebrew, meaning “perfect, upright, undefiled, utter simplicity, no hidden agenda.” Job was not cunning or devious. There was nothing hidden that he did not want others to know about. The word also means that Job was “sincere, free from guile and evil intentions toward anyone, having no part lacking in outward life, conduct and religion.”
Job believed in the sacrificial system that required the shedding of blood, as well as the offering of burnt sacrifices, for the sins of himself and his children. Many believe that Job lived before the giving of the law, but so did Abel, who made a blood sacrifice.
Job was obviously a very exemplary father who, unlike Eli, had a very sensitive heart toward God about his adult sons and daughters and their possible offenses toward God. On their special days, most probably their birthdays, they feasted and drank in each other’s homes. Job had patriarchal respect and command over his children. They came to him when he called in order to sanctify and pray over them after they had feasted together. This was not a “one off event” for the Scripture says that “Thus did Job continually” (Job 1:5b). This reveals Job’s faithful commitment to fatherhood.
What an amazing father Job was. He did not excuse himself from his patriarchal responsibilities just because his sons and daughters were adults and no longer under his roof. Job was a pattern father and this type of fatherhood is still the great need of the world.
- Job was upright (Job 1:1).
The Hebrew word for “upright” is yashar which means “to be straight, right, righteous, just and having equity.” As the English word implies, "upright" means “up” and “right.” Job was not morally bowed down. On the contrary, he stood up straight in every situation. Job did not compromise. He stood “ram rod” straight on all matters of righteousness. There are many who believe in a certain code of ethics, but are lukewarm when it comes to standing up and speaking up for what they believe. If we do not stand up for, and live out, what we believe, we will have no impact on our fellow man.
- Job feared God (Job 1:1).
The Hebrew word for “fear” is yare which means “to revere, be afraid of, to have deep respect for.” In Scripture, true religion is represented by the fear of God.
Psalm 111:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”
Proverbs 8:13, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”
Even some of Pharaoh’s servants feared God sufficiently to obey the exhortation God gave through Moses to house their livestock so that would be protect from the hail (Exodus 9:20).
1 Kings 18:3 says that “Obadiah feared the Lord greatly.” Obadiah was governor of King Ahab’s house. During Jezebel’s slaughter of the prophets of the Lord, Obadiah hid 100 of the Lord’s prophets in a cave and fed them with his own finances.
2 Kings 17:33 tells us that alien nations who replaced the Jews in the cities of Samaria “feared the Lord and served their own gods.” They obviously feared the Lord in a very shallow way, only sufficient enough to keep the lions from tearing them to pieces. The question we must ask ourselves is, “How great is my fear of the Lord?” Is it enough to save me from the lions, or is it enough to cause God to shower me with His blessings?
- Job eschewed evil. (Job 1:1, 8; 2:3)
The word “eschewed” which is used in the King James Version is sur in the Hebrew and means “to turn aside, depart from, put down, rebel against, and remove.”
1 Peter 3:10-11, “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.”
Job confesses in Job 27:5, “Till I die, I will not remove mine integrity from me.”
Perhaps the greatest display of Job’s righteousness which gave him favor with God was his integrity. Satan’s challenge to God concerned Job’s integrity, especially the integrity of his words toward God.
Satan challenged God in Job 1:11, “But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.”
Again, he challenged God in Job 2:5-10, “But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes. Then said his wife unto him, Doest thou still retain thine integrity> curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”
It was resisting evil speech about God, under extreme temptation, that completely foiled and defeated Satan’s allegations that Job would curse God to His face. Job guarded his lips with integrity.
Job 1:22 says, “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”
Integrity was the great preservative of Job’s life even though he was tested sorely. Without a doubt, integrity is still the great preservative in our times. How sad that a man’s word is no longer his bond. Even his signature does not mean much these days. We may get away with broken promises down here, but the God of integrity will catch up with us up there.
Breaking marriage vows breaks integrity. No wonder God is saying, “Enough is enough!”
Let’s pray that God in His infinite mercy will grant us repentance all over this land and restore integrity back to all of us.
Psalm 25:21, “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me.”
Psalm 26:11, “But as for me, I will walk in my integrity.”
Psalm 41:12, “As for me, you uphold me in my integrity.”
Proverbs 11:5, “The integrity of the upright shall guide them.”
I believe that integrity is a very precious jewel to those who realize its worth.
Colin will continue to give you biblical principles for preservation in difficult times. To receive these messages, go to: Subscribe to Meat For Men
Colin is the husband of Nancy Campbell, Editor of Above Rubies www.aboverubies.org
Colin can be contacted at 615 948 5958 for speaking engagements.
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