In the ESV, they label Job 31 as his “Final Appeal”, and that is exactly what it is. Job is trying to show that his life has been a righteous one and that he has followed God. The passage is broken up into sections, and in each section, Job is trying to show how his life is not what is described. The sections are broken up like this: stealing and coveting (v. 5-12), neglecting needs of people (13-23), worshiping an idol (v. 24-28), hiding sin (v. 29-30, 33-34), and improper oversight of land (v. 38-40).
The problem for Job is that he does not realize that God is testing him. If you remember, the opening of the book of Job says, “There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.” If that is the case, then Job probably did not commit the sins that are listed in our chapter. Instead, Job has lost trust in God and His plan, and only wants righteousness because of all the good that he has done in his life.
We often think like Job. We think if we do good and do not sin then God should give us good things. If that were the case, why do missionaries become martyrs? Why are missionaries in countries where Christianity is illegal put into prison? Sin is the reason why wicked things happen in this world. Sometimes, don’t you think God might be testing us and trying to get our attention? Maybe God is trying to tell us to stop trusting in all the good we do, and instead, trust in Him and His righteousness.
By: Brice Stockton — Student Ministry Apprentice