Without a doubt, the story of Job is one of the most mesmerizing, puzzling and unpopular narratives in the Bible. Job was a godly, moral and blameless man whose life personifies a bad movie script. In Scene One, everything he owns is stripped from him. Then, some freak desert tornado incises the house where his kids are having a shindig, collapsing the roof and smothering everyone inside except one courier. As if that isn’t enough, Scene Two leaves Job scraping his carcass with glass just to relieve pain left by head to toe lesions. Torture, agony and despair are inferior words that pale in comparison to the reality of the situation.
Job is a universal and personal story; a tale, perhaps, too close to home. It’s conceivable to cry, sympathize and identify with Job because we are not sheltered by unspeakable pain. I’m encouraged by Job. His life is a profile of courage in the face of adversity. He did not give up on his character, give in to his pain, or give way to Satan.
I’d like draw attention to Job’s resolve in Job 31:1, “I made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I entertain thoughts agains a virgin?” This verse and resolve, seems oddly placed considering the underlying message of the Book of Job. But, follow me here...
Job has been running on reserves for a while now. Like anyone in his situation, Job is confused and hurt, both emotionally and physically. About out of gas, he begins to reminisce; hoping someone left behind five gallons of fuel for him to find. There’s got to be something there to help him get through another day.
Like an artist, Job paints a picture of his former happiness. He was prosperous; even his foot print showed evidence of abundance. Job’s riches, benevolence and kind treatment of the needy had earned him respect. Reports of his philanthropy could be heard in the neighboring towns and back patters were on every corner. Gone. They’re all gone. It’s all gone; reduced to a distant memory. There isn’t any lasting happiness to be mined in the days gone by. In this life you cannot retrace former footsteps to pick fruit from a joy tree. Your feet will trod wherever your eyes lead. Job, the former no longer remains – it’s gone – so why go looking for it? There’s a reason God put eyes in the front of our heads.
Job is in a dangerous and precarious position right now. Ask any alcoholic. Inquire of anyone addicted to pornography. Question anyone struggling with an abusive lifestyle and they’ll tell you they’re hardest hit with temptation when their emotional tank is nearing empty. Job’s emotional tank was depleted and lust came crouching at the door of his mind. Consider Job’s resolve again from Job 31:1, “I made a covenant with my eyes, how then could I entertain thoughts against a virgin?” It makes more sense now, doesn’t it?
Now, let’s apply this to men universally. Guys, any time we’re tired, hungry or lonely we are more susceptible to temptation. You don’t have to be an alcoholic to be tempted by alcohol. Incidentally, you don’t have to be addicted to pornography to be tempted by images on your computer screen. Our enemy, the devil, knows that when fatigue, hunger or loneliness bumps into temptation all men are at risk.
Pray and ask God to give you the resolve of Job. Know, understand and manage your tipping points. Don’t give the enemy a foothold in your life. Quit trying to convince yourself that you deserve “it” because “it” always leads to sin, regret and pain. There isn’t a man on the planet who doesn’t need accountability in at least one area of his life that is prone to sin. For Job, obviously it was lust. For you, I don’t know. For me, well, that’s between me and my accountability group.