Summary: Everyone has heard of the patience or endurance of Job. However, we often forget that Job’s greatest attribute, according to God, was his righteousness. In this study, we will examine Job’s righteousness and see how we can and should imitate it.
One of the most extraordinary people found in the Old Testament is Job. I think that multitudes, including many who are not overly knowledgeable about the Bible, has heard of the "patience or endurance of Job".
Of course, this refers to the fact that - in a short span of time - Job lost his children, his wealth and even his precious health. In spite of these calamities, Job maintained his integrity and faith. In this, Job gives us a great example to follow when we find ourselves in the midst of great adversity.
I am not wanting to focus our attention on Job’s life in the midst of his sufferings. Today, I want us to consider his life before misery and woe befell him. I want us to consider, for a bit, what God told Satan to consider. I want us to take a look at and admire the righteousness of Job.
Let’s read Job 1:6-8, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, ’From where do you come?’ Then Satan answered the Lord and said, ’From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.’ The Lord said to Satan, ’Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.’"
The Lord had a very good opinion of Job. He said that Job was "blameless and upright". That is high praise coming from a Holy God. Yes, Job had a great reputation. And may I say that acquiring a reputation such as Job’s should be our top desire.
Proverbs 22:1 says, "A good name (that is, a good reputation) is to be more desired than great wealth, favor (that is, to be held in high esteem) is better than silver and gold."
How true! As a Christian, we want to have a good reputation in our community so as to not dishonor the Name of Christ. Though we should strive to have a good reputation among people who know us, our greatest concern is to have a good reputation with God.
The beginning of Job’s uprightness is found in the statement that he ’feared God’. Job knew that God is holy and righteous. He knew that God is just. He knew that God requires uprightness and will punish wickedness. This knowledge made Job ’fear’ - have a deep respect - for the Lord Almighty God. Proverb 9:10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." 16:6, "And by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil."
However, to be upright means more than just keeping away from evil. It means filling our lives with righteousness. Job says in 29:14, "I put on righteousness, and it clothed me, my justice was like a robe and a turban." Like clothing, in his day to day life Job was never without righteousness; that is, doing what is good and right. The practice of justice (giving each person what is their due) was his daily adornment or ornaments.
Christians are to, according to Ephesians 4:24, "put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth." Romans 13:14, "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ , and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts."
Let’s now look at some specific things in Job’s life that demonstrated his righteousness and justice:
1.Spoke truth and not deceit.
Job 27:3-4, "For as long as life is in me, and the breath of God is in my nostrils, my lips certainly will not speak unjustly, nor will my tongue utter deceit."
Job knew the importance of honesty. Job surely understood that there are few things that God abhors more than a liar and a slanderer. Proverbs 6:16-19, "There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:...a lying tongue,...a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brethren."
With God, there isn’t such a thing as a white lie nor a little fib. Any dishonesty from our lips is hated by Him. Lying to our neighbor, our boss, our teacher, our spouse, our children, our brothers and sisters, other family members and to our Christian brethren is wicked. There is never a justification for lying.
God hates those who bear false witness; that is, lying and saying damaging things about others that are not true. Those who spread false rumors about others and who cause strife by doing so are an abomination to God.
If you want a good reputation before God and man, always be honest. Once you have been caught lying or bearing false witness, it is extremely difficult to win back the trust of others. Ephesians 4:25, "Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you to his neighbor."