Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Job chapter 31:1-8 comments: Job's covenant with his eyes

1 ¶  I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? 2  For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high? 3  Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity? 4  Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps? 5  If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; 6  Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity. 7  If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands; 8  Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.

Job says in his continuing self-justification that he has purposed not to look at a young woman to dwell upon her with his thoughts. He insists that he has banished lustful looks and thoughts from his mind, making an agreement with his eyes.

It has been said that the step-by-step process whereby men sin goes from presentation, where a temptation is set before them, to illumination, where the realization that one’s thoughts are leading one astray, to debate, where in spite of knowing what you are thinking is wrong you continue in it. The debate, not the presentation, which you had no control over, or the illumination, where you realize your thoughts are going in the wrong direction, is where sin begins.

Christians are told that they are to bring every thought into subjection to Christ.

2Corinthians 10:5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…

Jesus told his disciples that the look that encourages plans and pursuit is adultery as much as the despised action itself.

Matthew 5:28  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

For we know how King David was brought low by his gazing where his eyes should not have gone and the thinking that resulted from that.

2Samuel 11:2  And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.

Job has declared a very powerful doctrine for himself, a personal conviction that requires intense discipline on his part as he does not have the Holy Ghost dwelling in him by the Spirit. In order for a Christian man to adopt this code for himself he needs the Spirit of God working in him through the Bible to keep him, to guard him, from sin. Anything he does by himself will still be a matter of working in the flesh and will probably fail. God has promised through Paul;

1Corinthians 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

If you don’t refuse to be alone with a woman, to turn your head when temptation passes by, to keep your thoughts focused on fidelity to your own wife, to constantly seek to please the Lord, and submit to Him, and to recognize your own human frailty and sin nature without arrogance or self-righteous blindness then you will fall. I don’t care how much you say you love your wife. In a world of mixed workplaces where men and women spend hours together, of gyms where they work out together, of stores where they shop together, of entertainment venues where they enjoy exciting things together, guard your eyes, your mind, and your heart through Christ.

A man must take precautions to guard his heart and keep his eyes straight. He cannot take praise from women other than his wife seriously as flattery can lower his guard. He cannot have dinner with a woman alone as breaking bread together is a strong bonding influence. He cannot be a woman’s confidant and sounding board for the complaints of her life as that creates a bond, as well, with her. It is not that he should be fearful of women but that he should be aware of his own weaknesses and tendencies to sin. Disaster needs only one small hole in the dam for water to force its way through and all to be lost. A pastor or teacher who counsels a woman alone is throwing down a gauntlet to Satan and the man will lose most of the time.

Job is commending himself and following the standard set forth by God in Genesis in the first example of cloning.

Genesis 2:21 ¶  And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22  And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Job has no concubines, no mistresses, no additional wives of any kind or label but is faithful to his wife. This is in a world where such things as concubines were common, particularly for powerful men.

If you want to keep your heart pure you must guard your eyes. As Job says in verse 2, what can you expect from God if you don’t?

2Peter 2:14a  Having eyes full of adultery…

Every billboard, every television show, every movie, magazine, beach, or city street carries with it the potential for lustful, wandering eyes to awaken. Your sin is on you and no one else, though. You, man, are not a victim. You are simply living in a world where God is not honored. Don’t justify yourself by blaming women for your wickedness. Job said, “I have made a covenant with mine eyes…,” not, “I passed a law forbidding dresses that exposed the ankle.” Rape, adultery, and sexual abuse occur routinely even in lands where women are not permitted to walk the street unless covered from head to foot. The fault is within you, o man.

Job says that God sees everything and that Job welcomes God’s judgment of his righteous ways. He is not afraid to be weighed in the balance. Here, again, Job’s self-righteousness takes away from the example he sets. Were any Christian man to make this announcement his doom would be around the corner. Be careful what you say you will never do as that is a direct challenge to Satan and your wicked flesh.

Job believes that if he was weighed in a fair balance, and the implication here is that God has treated him unfairly, then he would be justified. If not, then he deserved having his wealth stolen and his children killed. Job, like his friends, believes in cosmic justice in the simplistic fashion of many conservative Christians and that if he is good then only good should come to him. Understand, God does not owe you anything. He is not lucky to have you on His team. For all of your outstanding, moral standards, your Godliness, your self-righteous nose in the air certainty you are still a sinner saved by grace, God’s mercy and favor which you did not deserve.

Isaiah 64:6  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

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