“Oh that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me, when his lamp shown upon my head, and by his light, I walked through darkness.”
– Job 29:2–3
All throughout this Job 29:2–3, Job is looking back, and remembering the days when everything seemed to be going really well. When he was healthy, when he was surrounded by his family, he starts talking about his children, and just all the evidences of God’s goodness in his life. And not just in his life, but through his life. He starts reminiscing about how he was able to help the needy. And he was reaching out to others, serving others, doing all kinds of good things for others. Was a counselor to others. And as he looks back, he’s obviously longing for those days, and wondering what has happened.
Reminded of God’s Goodness
But as I read Job 29, I can’t help but to think about the usefulness, in the middle of difficult days, to look back, and remember God’s goodness in days where things were not as difficult. And to remember God’s love, and God’s provision, and God’s mercy in all those ways. Even Job’s language here, he says, “Oh, that I was in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me, when his lamp shown upon my head, and by his light, I walked through darkness.
And obviously, the implication could be now, during these days, God is not watching over me. His lamp is not shining upon my head. When we know, and we know from Job chapter one and chapter two, that God has not removed his lamp from Job. That yes, Job is undoubtedly walking through unimaginable suffering, but God still loves him, and God is still watching over him.
Job 29:2–3 Encourages Us of the Past
And so, I just wanted to encourage you today, especially if you’re walking through difficult days. Or, when you find yourself walking through difficult days, that it’s good to pause and look back, and remember the goodness of God in days of old. And remember, that the same God who provided in all those ways in the past, is still with you in the present. And is still working in the present, in ways you don’t see. I just think about that song, The Goodness of God. All my life, you have been faithful. All my life, you have been so, so good. Like goodness and mercy, Psalm 23, will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Job 29:2–3 Leads Us to Pray
And so, can we just pray? God, we praise you for your goodness in so many ways in our lives. Particularly, as we look to the past, God, we praise you for all the evidences of your goodness. Ultimately in our salvation, God, we praise you for your goodness in drawing us to yourself. And we praise you for your provision for us, time, and time, and time again, in hard days, and difficult days. God, we praise you for your provision in triumphant days, and days when everything’s been going great. God, all of that, only because of your goodness and your grace.
Called to Praise God for His Goodness
And so God, we pray then, for faith today, for trust today, for your grace today, to believe that your goodness is still with us. That, in a Psalm 23 kind of way, your goodness and mercy are following us today. Especially in days when it’s hard to see that, God help us to remember, that you are good, and that your goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our life, and we will dwell in your house forever.
God, we praise you for your goodness in the past, for your goodness, even amidst trial in the present. And God for the promise, the guarantee, of your goodness in the days to come, and ultimately, in all of eternity, all because of Jesus. Oh God, we praise you, for loving us so much to send your son to die on a cross for us, that we will never perish, but have everlasting life. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.