Alternate Title: Don’t Call Him A Liberal!
I noticed something while reading Job a while back. I was reading chapter 31, where Job offers his final defense of his own righteousness. I’ve read it before, but I missed something.
Of those who are familiar with Job beyond the surface, many probably know about the “covenant with his eyes” he made not to look lustfully upon other women. Commendable, to say the least! He goes so far as to say, “If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door, then may my wife grind another man’s grain, and may other men sleep with her.” I’m not really sure what all that means, and I am sure Mrs. Job wouldn’t appreciate being offered up in this way (even theoretically)! But one thing is certain: Job is clearly serious about sexual purity.
What I noticed this time, however, is that Job’s morality isn’t as one-dimensional as ours often is. We like to separate “moral” issues from “social” issues. As long as we stay in line with the former, we consider ourselves (and our leaders) to be doing well. But look at how Job continues. The bulk of the chapter speaks about what we would consider “social issues” – issues of justice for the poor. Take a look at Job 31.16-23!!
My point is that in defending himself, Job points to both sexual purity and his record of taking care of the poor. It reminds me of Amos 2.6-8, another place where disregard for the poor and sexual incontinence are seen as two sides of the coin called “sin” (one that elicits God’s wrath, no less).
Anyhow, I just thought we should be aware that when we talk about “moral issues” without regard to how the poor (and widows, orphans, immigrants, etc) are treated, we are speaking without the support of Scripture.