Cling to Integrity

Bible Reading: Job 25; 26; 27; 28; 29; 30; 31 - Listen

Job longs for the days when he was prosperous and respected. Lamenting his present suffering, he is weary of his misery and finds no hope in sight. "The churning inside me never stops; days of suffering confront me" (30:27). "My harp is tuned to mourning, and my flute to the sound of wailing" (30:31). He cries out with bitterness of soul that he does not deserve to be treated this way.

Though he pleads for justice, he acknowledges the unfathomable wisdom of God (28:1-28) and steadfastly holds on to his faith and integrity. "As long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit…. Till I die, I will not deny my integrity. I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live" (27:3-6).

In Job's attempt to answer the charges against him, he borders a thin line between self-vindication and self-righteous bragging. He certainly was undeserving of his friends' wrongful accusations, but he comes across sounding as pompous as his friends. As he defends his integrity, he upholds his actions, as well as his thoughts and motives. He not only avoided committing adultery, but he wouldn't even allow his eyes to look at a woman with lust (31:1) or his heart to be enticed by her charms (31:9). He was fair and generous to others. He loved God without hypocrisy.

Lord, when my soul is bitter with suffering, may I trust in your wisdom and determinedly walk in your ways. Help me to stubbornly hold on to my integrity and strive, not only to do and say the right thing, but also to guard what sights and sounds I allow to influence my thinking. Even more importantly, may I stubbornly cling to you and uphold your goodness. Instead of trying to earn your favor and gain the esteem of others by recounting my good deeds, may I recall the many ways you have blessed me throughout my life and see the evidence of your hand in each day. May I yield to you the activities of my hands and the thoughts and motives of my heart. Give me clean hands and a pure heart as you pour the living water of your spirit abundantly over my soul.