The Heart of Man. Who receives the highest honor in our world today? Even in our churches, it is often true that preference is given to the wealthy in our congregations. That is not wrong if their wealth is accompanied by a Godly spirit and a deep love of Christ.
21 “Men listened to me and waited
and kept silence for my counsel.
22 After I spoke they did not speak again,
and my word dropped upon them.
23 They waited for me as for the rain,
and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain.
24 I smiled on them when they had no confidence,
and the light of my face they did not cast down.
25 I chose their way and sat as chief,
and I lived like a king among his troops,
like one who comforts mourners.
Job 29:21-25, ESV
9 “And now I have become their song;
I am a byword to them.
10 They abhor me; they keep aloof from me;
they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me.
11 Because God has loosed my cord and humbled me,
they have cast off restraint in my presence.
12 On my right hand the rabble rise;
they push away my feet;
they cast up against me their ways of destruction.
13 They break up my path;
they promote my calamity;
they need no one to help them.
14 As through a wide breach they come;
amid the crash they roll on.
15 Terrors are turned upon me;
my honor is pursued as by the wind,
and my prosperity has passed away like a cloud.
Job 30:9-15, ESV
In today's reading we have the last dialogue of Job, who again asserts his innocence before God. As he presented his case, I was struck by the contrast between the treatment of Job by others when he was rich and powerful (Job 29:21-25), and when he had lost everything (Job 30:9-15). What a true picture of man's heart!
As you read verses 21-25 shown above, who do you think about? Who receives the highest honor in our world today? Even in our churches, it is often true that preference is given to the wealthy in our congregations. That is not wrong if their wealth is accompanied by a Godly spirit and a deep love of Christ. The problem comes in when we assume they are Godly because they are successful.
What of the poor? Look how Job was treated when he lost everything, including his health.
And now I have become their song; I am a byword to them. They abhor me; they keep aloof from me; they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me.
What changed in Job's life; did he suddenly become evil because he was no longer rich and prosperous?
The truth is, we are much more apt to grow closer to the Lord during times of adversity rather than times of great prosperity. Prosperity in the believer often produces apathy and indifference toward the Lord.
We also see the propensity for people to flock after the rich and famous. Too often our goals in life, as believers, are too similar to the goals of the people of this world.
What does the Bible say about man's heart? The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
Think about that as you live your life today; think about what is truly in the heart of man. Pray that God will help you to rise above the common prejudices of man, and that you would look for the inward beauty and not just the outward appearance of those around you. Let us pray that our greatest goal in life would be to grow more and more like Christ each day we live on this earth.
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