Job describes his life before his troubles started
v1 Job continued his speech.
v2 My life was wonderful before these troubles started. I wish that I could live like that again. In those days, God protected me.
v3 In those days, God was my guide. He was like a lamp that shone for me in a dark place. v4 Each day seemed like the harvest. God was my friend. He protected my family and me. v5 God was with me. My children surrounded me. v6 My cows provided more milk than I could use. I had so much oil that it seemed to pour from the rocks.
v7 I used to go to the city gate. The city’s leaders would meet there. And I would sit with them. v8 When younger men saw me, they stepped aside. The old men stood, because they respected me. v9 Important men did not continue their speeches. They chose to be silent. v10 And other important men did not speak. They chose to say nothing.
v11 (So, I spoke.) I impressed everyone who heard me. And everyone said good things about me.
v12 (These are the reasons why everybody respected me:)
· I helped a child who had no father. Nobody else helped him.
· v13 I looked after a man who was dying. So, he blessed me.
· I caused a widow to be so glad that she sang.
· v14 In the morning, when I chose my clothes, I also decided to do good deeds.
· I selected my coat and hat. And, at the same time, I decided always to be fair.
· v15 I led blind people.
· I carried people who could not walk.
· v16 I provided for poor people. I was like a father to them.
· I even helped strangers in court.
· v17 I opposed wicked men. And I rescued the people who were suffering because of those wicked men.v18 I thought, ‘I shall die at home, when I am a very old man. v19 Even then, I shall be like a tree that has plentiful water. v20 People will still respect me. I will remain strong for my whole life.’
v21 Formerly, people waited for me to speak. They were silent until I advised them. v22-23 After I spoke, they added nothing to my words. They accepted my advice, as the ground accepts the rain in spring.
v24 When I smiled at them, they were so glad. They were so pleased to see me.
v25 I directed them. I was their leader. I was like a king with his army. Or, I was like someone who comforts sad people. (So people would gather round me.)
Job had a very successful life before his troubles began:
· God was protecting Job (Job 1:10). And God was providing for Job.
· Job became rich (Job 1:3) because God gave many possessions to Job (Job 1:21).
· Job had a large family (Job 1:2).
· Job’s farm was very successful.
Before Job’s troubles began, everybody used to respect Job.
In ancient times, walls would surround a city. There would be a square by the city’s main gate. People would gather there for meetings. The rulers would make important decisions there. And the judges’ court would be there.
Job used to go to the meetings of the rulers. They considered him important. They wanted to hear his opinions.
Job did many good things. He even helped people whom nobody else would help.
Job thought that he would always be successful.
His troubles surprised him.
Sometimes God changes our lives.
We did not expect that anything would happen.
But God has other plans for us.
These people were glad to hear Job. They loved him. His words seemed precious to them. Nobody would argue with Job then. They thought that his speeches were always right.
But after Job suffered his great troubles, everything changed. Even Job’s friends did not think that his speeches were right. Bildad said that he would prefer to listen to the wind (Job 8:2). Job’s own friends argued with Job. And they seemed to agree with nothing that he said.