Job’s pride is being demolished, and he shows the anguish he feels. First, he makes note of all of the humiliation he is suffering from those around him – especially from the younger ones. There was a time when Job was held in high esteem, but now he considers himself a byword.
Then he goes on to list all of his good points.
- He doesn’t lust after women besides his wife.
- He doesn’t lie to others.
- He hasn’t abused his power by taking advantage of those less fortunate.
- He hasn’t trusted in his wealth.
- He has been compassionate even toward enemies.
Job wants to defend himself to God directly. He pleads to meet God and speak to Him personally.
He’s still trying to defend his righteousness.
In the middle of this, I have an ah-ha moment. Remember a couple of days ago we speculated about how Job communicated with God – and how he could know about Him?
Well, today, he mentions Adam – and how he covered himself. (31:33) We know that at the time of Job, there was no written word, but obviously there had been an oral tradition which had been passed down.
For Job to know about Adam, someone had to have passed that information down. So, though he hadn’t been privy to an established Word of God, he obviously had some knowledge of God and His workings in the earth.
A partial understanding was available, if not a complete one.
The attitude of Paul, Barnabas, and the early disciples amazes me! These men are exposing themselves to persecution and abuse by the Jewish leaders in every region they penetrate with the gospel. But that doesn’t seem to faze them. In fact they shake off the dust and move on , always “filled with joy and rejoicing.”(V. 52).
How could they be so positive? I believe it is that they are always filled with the Holy Spirit of God. He has enveloped them with His power and presence, and they are partaking of that heavenly element of life.
In the presence of God, there is “fullness of joy.”(Psalm 16:11). So when the disciples are allowing themselves to be filled with the presence of God, they have joy.
Throughout these next chapters of Acts, we will see how the persecution gets really heavy. Yet when they are sharing with the other apostles and telling them about their experiences, the emphasis is always on the joy of seeing others saved. They don’t whine about their abuse.
We could really benefit from some of this attitude. It’s easy sometimes to look around and notice how tough our lives are. (I dare say that none of us has approached anything like the hardship faced by Paul and Barnabas). We might not have the car payment this month. Or someone at work might have said something bad about us. Or we might have been mocked because of our stand for Jesus. We might have even lost our job, or suffered a divorce of illness.
However, none of us has been stoned. Or beaten. Or mobbed and thrown out of town.
Today, just as in Paul’s day, if we allow ourselves to be filled with God’s Spirit, our attitudes will be different. We won’t look at the hardships, but at the victories we have.
My husband has often compared the spirit-filled life with a sail in a hot air balloon. When we have lots of air (Spirit), we sail up high, far above the obstacles on the ground. When the air starts escaping, we start bumping into things. The idea is to stay filled and soaring, rather than empty and bumping into our problems.
The difference between the filled life and the empty life is not that the problems disappear. What changes is perspective. When we are soaring with God, we see our lives from a different angle – we see things the way He does. Most of what we worry about is small in His eyes and easily handled. If we will soar with Him, we will see our problems confronted more readily. Change can come quickly when we are soaring with God.
So let’s purpose in our hearts that today we are going to soar. We refuse to bump into every bothersome event around us. We are going to stay up high with our God and continue in the joyful life He has ordained for us.