It is sad to read while Job recollects his better days; especially difficult are the details of his righteous deeds before his great suffering. Job remembers how he “rescued the poor who cried for help” and that he “made the widow’s heart sing” (Job 29:12,13). For Job and other Biblical writers, living by faith isn’t simply about avoiding bad things, but about pursuing justice and showing mercy to others.
Many believe that obeying God is all about what we should avoid, like illicit drugs, immoral sexual activity, or laziness. While it is important to avoid evil, a righteous person does better than simply avoiding evil by seeking good for their neighbor. Job paints a powerful picture of his righteousness, reflecting the Jewish ideal of caring for the weak, oppressed, and fatherless. The righteous shall live by faith for sure, and this faith leads the righteous to be good news people to all peoples. May our hearts be moved to action by the picture and description righteousness of Job. More importantly, may we be gladdened to recognize how much more our Savior, who rescued us while we were poor, causes us to sing.
Because of Job, we have a picture of what righteousness means; because of Jesus, we have been rescued from the penalty due for our lack of righteousness. May we see that we were widows and orphans and thus be moved to love the widow and orphan in our life like Job.