“He has made me a byword of the peoples, and I am one before whom men spit. My eye has grown dim from vexation, and all my members are like a shadow. The upright are appalled at this, and the innocent stirs himself up against the godless. Yet the righteous holds to his way, and he who has clean hands grows stronger and stronger” (Job 17:6-9 ESV).
We are all, most likely, familiar with the story of Job. God allowed Satan to take everything away from him and afflict him with sores all over his body. Job, a righteous man, was confused about why God would treat him so. His wife advised him to “Curse God and die” (Job 2:9 ESV). His friends advised him that he needed to repent. Job maintained his innocence.
**Spoiler Alert** In the end, Job is vindicated regarding what brought on his calamity, but guilty of his belligerent questioning of God.
But there are many lessons in the book of Job, many jewels of wisdom that can be found only by digging for them. I believe Job 17:9 is one such jewel.
Keeping one’s self upright by doing what God says can seem inconvenient at the time. We don’t want people to see us as a religious fruitcake. That disobedience and attitude weaken us. Our faith diminishes, and we fertilize the seeds of disobedience left behind by our sin nature. It becomes easier and easier to disobey.
But Job points out that righteous people don’t deviate from the path of obedience. He makes it known that such a lifestyle strengthens the righteous. Their faith grows, and obedience becomes easier and easier.
It’s not easy to follow a diet, or start and maintain an exercise program. It’s not easy to get up earlier so that you have a quiet time alone with God to start your day. It’s not easy to love the unlovely, pray for our persecutors, or walk against the flow of the world and other Christians. But nothing worth having comes cheap.
May your path be straight and your heart resolute. Blessings on your weekend!