Lent Devotional: Job 29-30

by Jonathan Haefs

Job 29-30 (click here)
Then I thought, “I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand, 19 my roots spread out to the waters, with the dew all night on my branches, 20 my glory fresh with me, and my bow ever new in my hand.” (Job 29:18-20)

Job reflects on his life as it was in all his prosperity. He reveals to us why he was known as a man who was blameless and upright, fearing the Lord and turning away from evil. Job was not just a wealthy man who offered sacrifices, but he offered his very self to all.

Job helped the poor and the powerless, the blind, the needy, the lame, the widowed, the orphaned, etc. He used his blessing to bless others. Job was not self-centered, but God-centered. Yet…in all his material wealth, certain unhealthy thoughts crept into Job’s mind as expectations of how God would/should act towards him.

Job thought that life would continue on as always until the day he died peacefully in his sleep. Trouble, bankruptcy, sickness, were not a part of Job’s future calculations. He may have known they were possibilities, but they were not his expectation.

For how many of us is this the dream ending to our lives? To die “in our nest,” peacefully, in our sleep after a long life that has had days/years like the sands. This is our expectation, but it is not what we are promised. Most of our disappointments with God are due to unmet expectations which we un-rightly place on God, not unmet promises which he has graciously held out to us.

God has promised us that we will experience suffering and trouble and hardship. The odds of dying peacefully in our sleep are not very high for the Christian. Yet, he has promised to be with us amidst our suffering…all the way up to death’s door and even on the other side of it! That is the kind of promise which brings true peace. Job will soon learn much about the peace brought about by the presence of the Lord.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.