Job ignores his friends and lays out his final appeal before God: my life was good, really good (Job 29). Now it’s really bad (Job 30). What did I do wrong? (Job 31). At least sixteen times he begins, “If I have,” meaning he hasn’t, and the sins he lists are common sins. Job is, indeed, a righteous man.
“Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28). Job was intent on turning away. “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?” (Job 31:1), not that his eyes would stop seeing–that would be impossible–but that they would never stop moving. That they would not fix their gaze on what they should not. The first look is free, it cannot be stopped. It is the second look that costs you. “If my step has turned aside from the way and my heart has gone after my eyes,” (Job 31:7); Job knew his steps follow his heart and his heart follows his eyes, so he contested temptation quickly.
Job presented his case before God, then he was done; “The words of Job are ended” (Job 31:40). In judicial jargon, he rested. It is called shalom, peace, “and the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever” (Isaiah 32:17). The turmoil swirled around him still, but he was in the hands of God now, as he had always been.
Father in heaven, You are holy, You are good. Your kingdom is righteous. I long to live forever in a righteous kingdom, a kingdom where peace reigns, but may it begin now with me. May I find peace in a righteous life and contentment in trusting You.
Help me guard my eyes, God, that they will not linger on temptation. Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, may I fix my gaze on such as these and delight in goodness. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth, in my life, right now, as it is in heaven.