Reading through the Bible together
This chapter will quickly be known as Job’s reminiscence or Summary of Defense. It is as if someone is telling stories of his past. Job’s desire in chapter 29 is to “return to the good old days.” The “Good old days” for Job included God on all sides. “As the days God watched over me” (verse 2). God’s light shone on Job’s head and He navigated Job through the darkness or times of uncertainty (verse 3). God’s counsel was resting upon Job’s tent (verse 4). The “Almighty was with me” and so were my children (verse 5). Before the skin disease came on Job, the rock poured forth rivers of oil for him (verse 6). Job is referring to rivers of oil as the abundance of harvests he had.
He says, “I had a seat in the town’s square” (verse 7). Honor and respect was such an air around Job that youth would see him and hide and old men would stand up (verse 8). Princes were silent and they placed their hands to their lips (verse 9). Nobles spoke softer (verse 10). They heard very good things about Job and praised him and those who saw his actions were willing to be his witnesses (verse 11). He would deliver the poor who cried; [deliver] the orphan; [deliver] those who had no one to help (verse 12); blessings to the lost would come from Job; widows were made happy (verse 13); Job put on righteousness which clothed him (verse 14); his fair and just judgment was like a coat and turban on him (verse 14); Job was eyes for the blind; he was feet for the lame (verse 15); he was a father to the needy (verse 16); he investigated cases to find answers that he did not know (verse 16); and he dealt with the unjust and saved the innocent from their teeth (verse 17).
Job’s inner motivation was the reassuring voice of the Holy Spirit counseling him about what is right and wrong: Job will be blessed so that contrary to other families he will die one day with his family around him; but for now his days will increase; his root will be open unto water (verse 19); and he will be like a leafy tree planted by living waters (Psalm 1:3); Job will be blessed meaning that dew will reside in his branches (verse 19); Job’s honor will be renewed to him (verse 20); and his bow will become stronger in his hand (verse 20). It is not better weapons that Job is talking about. He is talking about the strength of his arm that will be able to pull a strong bow and shoot farther than before. His strength will constantly change for the better.”
After speaking about his way of dealing with others, Job continues his list of the actions of a good shepherd king and the respect of people such a person would have. So it was with Job. Everyone listening to him waited until he finished his speech and kept silent waiting for his counsel (verse 21); after his speech they would not ask again and his words “dripped upon them,” verse 22); they waited for him as for needed rain and started speaking only after a long time (verse 23); Job would tease them for not believing what he said, but they did not take him seriously since he was too honored and they would not disappoint “the light of his face” (verse 24); Job selected their way for them and he sat at the head and as a king of a troop and as one who consoles mourners” (verse 25).
You desire each one of us to live a princely live as sons and daughters of God. Like Job, may we desire the best for our environment and its people while striving to bring them in close contact to You. For Your sake and glory. Amen
Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea