Grace for the Present (Job 29:1–5) - Radical

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Grace for the Present (Job 29:1–5)

And Job again took up his discourse, and said: “Oh, that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me, when his lamp shone upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness, as I was in my prime, when the friendship of God was upon my tent, when the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were all around me”
– Job 29:1–5

I’ll pause there, but these verses just keep going on as Job is looking back when he was experiencing much better days, when his children were around him, when he was in his prime, to use his language there, when physically he was healthy and not afflicted with sores all over his body, when he had his family happy around him and even possessions. And you keep reading on the chapter and it talks about how his reputation was intact and so many other things. At this point he had lost it all.

Job 29:1–5 reminds us that God’s goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives.

He’s looking back at those days when it seemed like God’s favor was upon him in all these different ways and things in his life were going so well. And now it’s the complete opposite. And Job is saying, “It feels like God is not watching over me. It feels like his lamp is not shining on my head and I’m not walking by his light.” I think there’s a sense in which most of us can identify with this. Most of us can think back to days when things were going better maybe than they are now, maybe in small ways or maybe in really big ways, like Job is describing here.

It’s actually good to look back and to think about God’s grace and God’s goodness and God’s faithfulness in times in the past and to praise him for those days. And at the same time to let that looking back to those days in the past be a reminder that God will not stop watching over us, that his lamp will shine on our heads, that his light will lead us. We know this throughout the Word. His Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. His goodness and mercy, Psalm 23, follow us all the days of our lives.

Job 29:1–5 reminds us that in our darkest days, God is our refuge.

Whenever we find ourselves amidst darkness, we can know he is the light of the world and light for us. And so for anybody who’s walking through hard days right now, where it’s harder to see the friendship of God in your tent, I want to encourage you today to remember that his goodness and mercy are with you today, waking you up today, and he promises to give you everything you need today. Amidst hard days, he promises to be your light amidst really dark days. So we pray.

God, thank you for never leaving us alone. God, thank you for always leading us, guiding us, and directing us by your mercy. Especially on dark days, especially on hard days. We praise you that you are always watching over us even when we don’t understand what’s happening around us. Even when we are weary from pain, hurt, sorrow. God, we praise you that your promises are just as sure today as they were when things were going better for us when our circumstances were different.

God, we praise you that you are our hope in good days. You are our hope on hard days, and you will bring us through. Lord, you will show your goodness and mercy. You will show your light. Your lamp will shine on our heads. And we praise you, oh God, for your friendship even in the middle of hard, dark days.

And God, we pray for people who don’t know this reality. People who don’t know what it’s like to be friends with you through faith in Jesus… The one who walked the hardest day for us… Who went to the cross on our behalf, so that we could have friendship with God… So we could be forgiven of our sins and have eternal life with you. God, we pray, help us to share the light of the world, Jesus… With people around us and with people around the world.

Prayer for the Bahraini Arab People

God, we pray for Bahraini Arabs in Bahrain, 787,000 of them. Most of them have little to no knowledge of Jesus… What he’s done on the cross and his resurrection from the grave. God, we pray that the gospel would spread to Bahraini Arabs in Bahrain. God, please use our lives on this earth, our praying now, our giving… Our going right where we live and wherever you might lead us to spread the hope and the joy and the peace and the eternal life that we have no matter what happens to us in this world through Jesus. In his name we pray according to Job 29:1–5, amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

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