Lent Devotional: Job 31

by Jonathan Haefs

Job 31 (click here)
I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin? 2 What would be my portion from God above and my heritage from the Almighty on high? 3 Is not calamity for the unrighteous, and disaster for the workers of iniquity? 4 Does not he see my ways and number all my steps? (Job 31:1-4)

Reflection
This is Job’s final appeal. He walks back through his life and looks at how he has lived…searching for something that could have brought about his present situation. But, there is nothing to be found. Job has lived his life in the pursuit of righteousness.

He poses an interesting question that we do not have consider…if he had lived NOT pursuing righteousness, then he asks, “What would be my portion from God above and my heritage from the Almighty on high?” The implied answer is obvious…NOTHING!

Job believes that if he did not live a life pursuing righteousness that he would have no inheritance from God! Wait a minute Job…isn’t that works based righteousness? Are you saying that your “good deeds” merit you salvation? No. All too often we have no place in our thinking (or living) for a pursuit of righteousness because we immediately want to label that as “legalism” or “works-based-salvation.” But, this is not the way the Bible talks.

A pursuit of righteousness is evidence that one has a real relationship with the Lord. I don’t pursue righteousness to create the relationship…I pursue righteousness because I AM in the relationship! Such a pursuit does not save me, but it is necessary evidence that I am saved! A life devoid of pursuing righteousness is evidence that someone does not have a relationship with God and will have no inheritance from him.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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