Job 29:1 through 31:40

Daybreak for Students

Job 29:1 through 31:40

OVERVIEW
DAYBREAK
Job 29
Job 30
Job 31
When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me: Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. — Job 29:11-12

George Mueller (1805 –1898) was a man with a heart for the poor. He was just twenty-eight years of age when the inward flame in his heart, which had been kindled when he turned his life over to God, led him to reach out to the destitute orphans of England. In the early morning hours he would go out and gather ragged children who were running wild in the streets, give them a bit of bread for breakfast, and then teach them from the Bible. As the numbers of children increased, he trusted that the Lord’s provision would increase also — and it did!

In later years, God led Mueller to a more expansive ministry along the same lines. Beginning with a few orphan children taken into a home in Bristol, England, his work among homeless children gradually grew to immense proportions. Though it was entirely funded by faith, without soliciting for financial support, at one point he had 2,000 orphan children in the homes he operated being fed, clothed, educated, and trained for useful positions. He cared for over 10,000 orphans during the course of his life, and also established 117 schools which offered Christian education to some 120,000 children. In addition, Mueller established an institution which he called “The Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad” with the objectives of assisting Sunday schools, offering Bibles and New Testaments to the poor, distributing Gospel tracts, and providing financial aid to free-lance missionaries. Over the years, the life and legacy of this man of God has been an inspiration to countless Christians worldwide.

Like George Mueller, Job had a heart for those in need. In today’s text, he relates that he had been known for his deeds of compassion: ministering to the poor, the fatherless, the widows, and others who had no one to help them. In addition to responding to physical needs with material assistance, he was a judicial advocate for the most defenseless members of society. 

Our world today is full of needs. It can be overwhelming to consider hunger, disease, injustice, poverty, and suffering on a world-wide scale. While our primary endeavor is always to share the Gospel, we can and should be alert to needs in our own sphere of influence. Job offers us a pattern for showing empathy and concern for those who face hard times. Let us ask God to give us compassionate hearts that will see and respond to the needs of others as He leads!

BACKGROUND

These three chapters conclude Job’s final speech in the dialogue section of the book. In chapter 29, Job reflected upon what his life had been like before this trial. He had enjoyed many material blessings. In addition, he had been a respected magistrate and judge in the city, and was held in high regard for his good deeds in serving the people. 

In contrast to Job’s former prosperity and position as described in chapter 29, chapter 30 contains his lament over his present pathetic state. Not only had he suffered extreme loss and hardship, but he was also mocked by younger men over whose fathers he had once had authority. He was racked by physical pain, mental torment, and anguish of soul. He could not understand why God would continue to afflict him in his desperate condition.

Chapter 31 concludes Job’s reply to his three original comforters. In this chapter, Job defended his integrity in the details of life. In the matter of sexual purity, he had not only refrained from the sin of adultery, but he had not even allowed his eyes to look at a woman with lust — the same standard given by Jesus in the New Testament. Job also reviewed his business ethics, his treatment of his servants, his social responsibility, how he handled his wealth, and his manner of worship. Job did not fear that his sins would be discovered, because he knew of no sin that he had committed. Proclaiming himself innocent of both inward and outward sins, he once again expressed his longing for God to answer him.

AMPLIFIED OUTLINE

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II.   The solution of Job’s three friends
     E.   The concluding statements of Job
           2.   The second statement (29:1 — 1:40)
                 a.   His past state (29:1-25)
                       (1)   His blessings (29:1-10)
                       (2)   His respect (29:11-17)
                       (3)   His thoughts (29:18-20)
                       (4)   His fame (29:21-25)
                 b.   His present humiliation (30:1-31)
                       (1)   The mockers described (30:1-8)
                       (2)   The persecution described (30:9-15)
                       (3)   The illness described (30:16-23)
                       (4)   The sorrow described (30:24-31)
                 c.   His protest of innocence (31:1-40)
                       (1)   From sensual sins (31:1-12)
                              (a)   From lust for a virgin (31:1-4)
                              (b)   From deceit (31:5-8)
                              (c)   From enticement to a woman (31:9-12)
                       (2)   From personal sins (31:13-34)
                              (a)   From maltreatment of slaves (31:13-15)
                              (b)   From mistreatment of the poor (31:16-23)
                              (c)   From trust in riches (31:24-28)
                              (d)   From lack of hospitality (31:29-34)
                       (3)   His desire to meet God (31:35-40)

A CLOSER LOOK

  1. What positive attributes did Job exhibit toward others prior to his time of affliction? 

  2. Why do you think Job’s associates turned against him once the power and prestige of wealth was taken from him?

  3. Through all the accusations of his friends, Job retained his clear conscience before the Lord. Why is a clear conscience so valuable?

CONCLUSION

Like Job, we can have a testimony of compassion and integrity before God and man!