If I have denied justice to any of my servants, whether male or female, when they had a grievance against me, What will I do when God confronts me?
What will I answer when called to account? Did not he who made me in the womb make them?
Did not the same one form us both within our mothers? If I have denied the desires of the poor or let the eyes of the widow grow weary; If I have kept my bread to myself, not sharing it with the fatherless — but from my youth, I reared them as a father would, and from my birth, I guided the widow — If I have seen anyone perishing for lack of clothing,
Or the needy without garments, And their hearts did not bless me for warming them with the fleece from my sheep. If I have raised my hand against the fatherless, knowing that I had influence in court, then let my arm fall from my shoulder, let it be broken off at the joint.
For I dreaded destruction from God, And for fear of his splendor I could not do such things. ~Job 31:13-23.
This passage offers us another wonderful insight into the righteous heart of Job.
Job’s righteousness is seen in how he treated the poor and less fortunate: he did not deny justice to his servants who had a grievance against him; he did not discriminate because a servant was male or female; he recognized that the underprivileged had as much dignity as himself since they were both created by God; he helped the widow; clothed the poor and did not use his power to suppress the powerless.
Job’s righteous acts were motivated by his reverence for God: “What will I do when God confronts me? What will I answer when called to account?”
The truth is: It is easy for us to forget the plight of the less fortunate and trample down on them.
It is easy to ignore the hungry. It is easy to ignore the plight of the homeless and those shivering in the cold without adequate clothing. We see it in the unbridled greed and general apathy toward the poor and needy in society.
May the example of Job motivate us to act with compassion toward the less fortunate.
May we remember, like Job, that all persons were created by the same God and possess dignity.
May our reverence for God motivate us to have compassion toward the less fortunate.
Prayer: Father, I confess that I do not pay as much attention to the plight of the needy as I ought to. Please help me to show greater sensitivity and compassion to those whose situations in life are not as fortunate as mine. Amen