07.05.2015 Old Testament: Job 31.16–23
To read the Bible in a year, read Job 31–32 on July 5, In the year of our Lord 2015
By Don Ruhl
Starting in chapter 31, Job related the possibility of sins he could have committed, but showed in each case that he had not, but that if he had, he was willing to suffer for it. Concerning whether or not he helped the needy, he said,
“If I have kept the poor from their desire,
Or caused the eyes of the widow to fail,
Or eaten my morsel by myself,
So that the fatherless could not eat of it
(But from my youth I reared him as a father,
And from my mother’s womb I guided the widow);
If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing,
Or any poor man without covering;
If his heart has not blessed me,
And if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;
If I have raised my hand against the fatherless,
When I saw I had help in the gate;
Then let my arm fall from my shoulder,
Let my arm be torn from the socket.
For destruction from God is a terror to me,
And because of His magnificence I cannot endure.”
If he had failed to help the needy, then Job was willing not only for his arm to fall from his shoulder, but to have it torn from the socket! Wow! Yet, he had already demonstrated in his debate that he had not forgotten the needy.
What can we say about helping the needy? Do we just let the government take care of the problem, thinking that relieves us of our personal duty? Do we let someone in the church, usually the preacher, do it for us? Why can’t we do it ourselves?