I hold fast my righteousness, and will not let it go;
my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.
Job was a tough nut to crack. As the book opens we have it on the Highest Authority that Job is a good and righteous man. But when his troubles start, his friends proceed to demonstrate a basic principle of human nature: it’s easier to believe people are bad than to believe they are good. So Job’s “comforters” spend thirty some chapters telling Job to ‘fess up and admit he’s a rotter deserving of all the garbage life has thrown at him. But Job keeps replying with remarks like today’s verse. It soon becomes a contest of wills. His friends cease to care a hoot about his misery. They’ve got to win, darn it all! They’ve got to beat Job into the ground with humiliating accusations about what a scum he is (for his own good of course)! They have to destroy him in order to save him! Why, if they were wrong then… then… they’d be wrong! And that simply can’t be! God is just and so are they, his mouthpieces. Or so they think till God actually shows up. Then something startling happens: God says to the leader of Therapeutic Lynch Mob, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has” (Job 42:7). We don’t have a record of their response. But if we are sometimes tempted to kick good people when they are down, it might be worth contemplating our own response.