I thought, ‘I will die in my own house, my days as numerous as the grains of sand. My roots will reach to the water, and the dew will lie all night on my branches. My glory will not fade; the bow will be ever new in my hand.’ “People listened to me expectantly, waiting in silence for my counsel. After I had spoken, they spoke no more; my words fell gently on their ears. They waited for me as for showers and drank in my words as the spring rain. When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them. I chose the way for them and sat as their chief; I dwelt as a king among his troops; I was like one who comforts mourners. – Job 29:18-25
This passage is part of Job’s final plea. He is reminiscing about his youth before his life fell apart through a series of “life floods”. Even now he is not willing to give up on God or himself. There is a hint of hubris here “my glory will not fade”. Perhaps part of the process God and Job were involved in here was to humble Job, sort of like Saul (Paul) and his temporary blindness. Sometimes we need to have some of our senses dulled to allow others to become better developed.
Job’s roots will continue to reach for the One River where he knows his soul can be nourished. His “branches” will be covered with dew…godly condensate. This is a great word picture or analogy for our spiritual walk with God. We are to be both deeply rooted in Him and infused with his spirit (covered with dew). I think Job’s roots are still effective at drawing spiritual nourishment from God, but the more I read about Job the more I wonder if he was a flawed follower just like the rest of us.
Roots are interesting things..they seek out water and can break apart solid rock as they grow and expand. They can harden and even transform into something more like a tree trunk when they are exposed to air by erosion or floods. I feel like that is what has been happening to Job…his roots have been exposed by repeated “life floods”. He is tenaciously gripping the bank, but his exposed roots are hardening and it is getting more difficult to draw life-sustaining water from his source….God.
Toward the end of the passage Job really seems to become self-focused and perhaps a little boastful and vain. The self-image Job is painting is one of a benevolent and caring king. I find it interesting that in yesterday’s post Job gave God credit for decreeing the rain. Now he is comparing himself and his words to showers and spring rain.
Job has just joined the ranks of the perplexing people in the bible like David and Moses. Maybe we are all perplexing people. A strange brew of body and spirit — one moment at war with one another and the next moment in an awkward alliance of self-promotion. It is a good thing God loves us for who we are becoming instead of who we are at the moment.
Prayer: God thank You for loving us for who we are becoming rather than who we are at the moment.