Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Respectable and Godly Man

A few weeks ago, I heard someone mention that Proverbs 31 is the text commonly used when one teaches about the qualities of a godly woman, and that Job 29 should be the text commonly used when one teaches about the qualities of a godly man. I don't remember who made that point, but it was a good one.

Job 29 describes the characteristics of a man who received high praise from God himself. The Lord said of Job, "(T)here is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil" (Job 1:8).

What would prompt God to say such a thing about a man? Consider Job's description of his life at the time the Lord made those comments:

"...I delivered the poor who cried out for help,
and the fatherless who had none to help him.
The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me,
and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.
I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
my justice was like a robe and a turban.
I was eyes to the blind
and feet to the lame.
I was a father to the needy,
and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know.
I broke the fangs of the unrighteous
and made him drop his prey from his teeth...
Men listened to me and waited
and kept silence for my counsel.
After I spoke they did not speak again,
and my word dropped upon them.
They waited for me as for the rain,
and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain.
I smiled on them when they had no confidence,
and the light of my face they did not cast down" (Job 29:12-17, 21-24).

Job cared about the poor, the orphans, and the widows. He helped and encouraged the oppressed. He was consumed with pursuing a right relationship with God and with those around him. He aided the disabled, and actively sought out those who needed his help. He did not back down from a fight against those who would take advantage of others. He was a formidable foe to those who would harm the innocent and the vulnerable. When he spoke, his words were simultaneously weighty and encouraging.

In many ways, Job (like Christ himself) is the model of biblical manhood. The world needs more men like Job.

My goal is to be more like him, too.

5 comments:

Tim Archer said...

I hadn't thought about that passage; it is a good one.

Only thing that might be missing is a smidgen of humility…

Grace and peace,
Tim Archer

Terry said...

Tim,
Thanks for the comment. I saw it in my email, but I can't seem to find it in order to approve its publication. If I can find it again, I will post it. I apologize for messing up. I'm not familiar with my new settings in the comments section.

Terry said...

Found it.

Warren Baldwin said...

Terry,
I like this chapter. And I read Tim Archer's blog, too. It is a good one.

And I hadn't thought about Job lacking humility in this passage. I've thought of it more as his honest defense of his integrity. He is doing what any of us probably would in his situation - desperately trying to figure out what is going on and why.

Terry said...

I agree, Warren. I was a little uncomfortable with criticizing Job's character, given his situation and the criticism he was already facing from his friends. Thanks for the comment!