Job’s Final Protest of Innocence
“This whole chapter is occupied with Job’s solemn oath of innocence. It was his final and explicit answer to the line of argument adopted by his three friends.”
–G. Campbell Morgan
We are clearly told in Job 1 that Job was a blameless and upright man; this is the chapter that most clearly explains what that godly life looked like.
He was not guilty of lust:
“I made a covenant with my eyes
not to look with lust at a young woman.
Matthew 5:28 (NIV)
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
2 For what has God above chosen for us?
What is our inheritance from the Almighty on high?
3 Isn’t it calamity for the wicked
and misfortune for those who do evil?
4 Doesn’t he see everything I do
and every step I take?
He was not guilty of falsehood:
5 “Have I lied to anyone
or deceived anyone?
Matthew 5:37 (NKJV)
But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
6 Let God weigh me on the scales of justice,
for he knows my integrity.
7 If I have strayed from his pathway,
or if my heart has lusted for what my eyes have seen,
or if I am guilty of any other sin,
8 then let someone else eat the crops I have planted.
Let all that I have planted be uprooted.
He was not an adulterer:
9 “If my heart has been seduced by a woman,
or if I have lusted for my neighbor’s wife,
10 then let my wife belong to another man;
let other men sleep with her.
11 For lust is a shameful sin,
a crime that should be punished.
Proverbs 5:15 (TLB)
Drink from your own well, my son—be faithful and true to your wife.
12 It is a fire that burns all the way to hell.
It would wipe out everything I own.
He did not treat his servants cruelly:
13 “If I have been unfair to my male or female servants
when they brought their complaints to me,
Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
14 how could I face God?
What could I say when he questioned me?
15 For God created both me and my servants.
He created us both in the womb.
He did not victimize the poor or the weak:
16 “Have I refused to help the poor,
or crushed the hopes of widows?
17 Have I been stingy with my food
and refused to share it with orphans?
18 No, from childhood I have cared for orphans like a father,
and all my life I have cared for widows.
James 1:27 (NIV)
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
19 Whenever I saw the homeless without clothes
and the needy with nothing to wear,
20 did they not praise me
for providing wool clothing to keep them warm?
He was not greedy or a seeker of false gods:
21 “If I raised my hand against an orphan,
knowing the judges would take my side,
22 then let my shoulder be wrenched out of place!
Let my arm be torn from its socket!
23 That would be better than facing God’s judgment.
For if the majesty of God opposes me, what hope is there?
24 “Have I put my trust in money
or felt secure because of my gold?
25 Have I gloated about my wealth
and all that I own?
1 Timothy 6:17 (NET)
Command those who are rich in this world’s goods not to be haughty or to set their hope on riches, which are uncertain, but on God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment.
26 “Have I looked at the sun shining in the skies,
or the moon walking down its silver pathway,
27 and been secretly enticed in my heart
to throw kisses at them in worship?
28 If so, I should be punished by the judges,
for it would mean I had denied the God of heaven.
He was generally without blame:
29 “Have I ever rejoiced when disaster struck my enemies,
or become excited when harm came their way?
30 No, I have never sinned by cursing anyone
or by asking for revenge.
Ezekiel 33:11 (NIV)
I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways!
31 “My servants have never said,
‘He let others go hungry.’
32 I have never turned away a stranger
but have opened my doors to everyone.
Hebrews 13:2 (NIV)
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
33 “Have I tried to hide my sins like other people do,
concealing my guilt in my heart?
34 Have I feared the crowd
or the contempt of the masses,
so that I kept quiet and stayed indoors?
Job concludes his plea:
35 “If only someone would listen to me!
Psalm 116:1 (NIV)
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Look, I will sign my name to my defense.
Let the Almighty answer me.
Let my accuser write out the charges against me.
36 I would face the accusation proudly.
I would wear it like a crown.
37 For I would tell him exactly what I have done.
I would come before him like a prince.
38 “If my land accuses me
and all its furrows cry out together,
39 or if I have stolen its crops
or murdered its owners,
40 then let thistles grow on that land instead of wheat,
and weeds instead of barley.”
Job’s words are ended.
It isn’t that there are no more words from Job in this Book of Job; he will speak again briefly in later chapters. Yet Job is definitely done arguing his case. He is finished; one more man will try in vain to fix the problem; and then God will appear. We might rightly say that God – silent to this point – could not (or would not) appear and speak until all the arguments of man were exhausted.
“At this point, then, we have reached the end of Job’s expressions of pain. The end is silence. That is God’s opportunity for speech. He often waits until we have said everything: and then, in the silence prepared for such speech, He answers.”
–G. Campbell Morgan
Like Job, I want to live a godly life and be blameless in God’s eyes. I know I cannot do that in my own power; this will happen only with the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ living in me. HERE is a profound statement of commitment: Fernando Ortega sings “Come Down, O Love Divine.” The words of this hymn were written by Bianco da Siena, an Italian mystic poet of the Middle Ages.
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved