The great wisdom of the ages begins with fearing God. It is the evil of the world that clouds our understanding and leads us into foolishness.
29 Job continued.
2 Job: Ah, that I were as I once was, months ago during the time when God oversaw me, 3 When His lamp shone above my head, and by His light, I walked through the darkness. 4 Ah, to be in the ripest time of life once more— when the intimacies of friendship with God enfolded my tent, 5 When the Highest One[a] was with me and my children encircled me, 6 When my steps were bathed in milk and the rock poured out rivers of olive oil, showering my body, 7 When I went up to the gate of the city, when I took my seat in the town square where the elders meet. 8 There the young saw me and made room for me, in deference to elders. The old rose and stood out of respect. 9 The leaders stopped talking with their hands over their mouths. 10 The voices of nobles fell to a hush; their tongues stuck to the roofs of their mouths. 11 Every ear that heard me blessed me, and every eye that saw me testified to my greatness. 12 After all, I rescued the poor when they cried out for help and assisted the orphans when they had no one else.
Great virtue has always begun with the treatment of the poor. Can Job be accused of having a hard heart?
13 The dying spoke their blessings over me, and the widows sang their joyful songs honoring what I did. 14 I adorned myself in righteousness, and it covered me; my justice fit me like a cloak and turban— conveying both my dignity and my authority. 15 I was the eyes for the blind, the feet for the lame, 16 A father for the needy, and I sought for the cause of whom I did not know. 17 I broke out the fangs of the wicked and wrested prey from their jaws. 18 Then I said, “I will pass from this earth in the comfort of my nest. My days will be more numerous than a beach’s grains of sand. 19 My roots will grow deep, spreading out to the water’s edge, and in the night, the dew will come to rest on my branches. 20 Respect will be accorded me every day, my skill with the bow always new in my hand.”
21 People used to listen to me, the sense of expectation visible on their faces; they waited in silence for my advice. 22 And when I finished, they did not hurry to speak again. They waited while my words dropped like dew upon them. 23 Indeed, they waited for me as one waits for a good rain, and they opened their mouths as if to catch spring showers on their tongues. 24 I smiled upon them when their confidence flagged, and they took comfort in my beaming face.[b] 25 I led them in their way. I sat as their leader. I lived like a king among his troops. I was as a happy man spreading comfort among the mourners.
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