Job 29: Wishing for the Good Times
Job was able to continue his parable in chapter 29 of the book named after him. At this point, he is wishing that he could go back to the days when God was visibly protecting him.
Job 29:2 Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me;
Interestingly, as far as I have noticed, this is the first time that Job actually diagnoses the problem accurately. God did drop most of his protection over Job while allowing Satan to have his way in this situation. There was certainly still some protection over his life, but in this chapter, he is talking about his reputation. It doesn’t feel like he was trying to diagnosis the problem, but that did stand out to me.
He had been highly respected. In fact, here is how he described his own role in the community.
Job 29:14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.
Job 29:15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.
Job 29:16 I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.
Job 29:17 And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.
He had done a lot of good things. He helped out the poor, and he brought justice to those who did wrong. He was truly a leader in the community and a man who tried to do what was right. I think we would all agree that these are good things to be doing.
He wishes that he could go back to all of those activities as I showed above. He wanted to have that feeling that God was close to him again.
Job 29:5 When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me;
I think that we all can relate to this. We have all had times in our lives when it felt like God was really close. Those are great times. You feel confident and ready to do whatever God wants. It is easy to feel it in the good times.
It might be harder to recognize this in the dark times. Job had pretty dark times, and I agree that it can be hard to persevere through difficult times. However, God himself is there even in those times, so we really do not need to despair.
Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
I don’t really want to be in the valley of the shadow of death, but we don’t need to worry. God is there. God is everywhere.
We all would probably agree with Job and desire those times when God was particularly present and doing great things through us. However, even when we hit the dark times, God doesn’t leave. He is still there.