“A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” Proverbs 25:11
“Because I delivered the poor who cried for help,
and the fatherless who had none to help him.
The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me,
and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.
I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
my justice was like a robe and a turban.
I was eyes to the blind
and feet to the lame.
I was a father to the needy,
and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know...
My roots spread out to the waters,
with the dew all night on my branches,
my glory fresh with me,
and my bow ever new in my hand.’
“Men listened to me and waited
and kept silence for my counsel.
After I spoke they did not speak again,
and my word dropped upon them.
They waited for me as for the rain,
and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain.
I smiled on them when they had no confidence,
and the light of my face they did not cast down.
I chose their way and sat as chief,
and I lived like a king among his troops,
like one who comforts mourners.” Job 29:12-16,19-25
“Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy… The one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation… The one who prophesies builds up the church.” 1 Corinthians 14:1,3,4b
The description of Job’s unselfish life, his active upbuilding and encouragement and consolation that blessed many and made the widow’s heart sing, is a lovely portrait, like luscious fruit in the most valuable of settings. His days had pulsed with compassion and lovingkindness, His countenance alit with the righteousness and splendor of God’s glorious character. His words fell like spring rain, refreshing friends and strangers with confidence and cheer. There were none who had not been helped, or lifted, by the ministry of Job’s life.
It is obvious that Job had not lived for himself. His whole orientation was to look for and tend to others’ needs. He attracted with magnetic concern those who knew special pain and misfortune. His heart was open wide, his arms also, to minister in the Lord’s bountiful measure in every way he could, thinking only of them. He drew in the Lord’s supply, knowing it was He who cared best for His church, and would provide everything needed to contribute to its strength and growth.
How does this account of such a selfless servant inspire changes in my attitudes, my efforts, my motivations? What particular Christ-like qualities describe how I would like to think and behave and serve? What evidence does my life display that I actively pursue love, spending myself to exhibit and practice unselfish love to those around me? Are my actions and words fitly spoken, conveying joy and help, encouragement and comfort? (Philippians 2:1-7)
Lord God, may my life speak fitly for Your church and for Your glory. May the words of my mouth, the meditations of my heart, and the actions all of my days be pleasing in Your sight, and spiritually, eternally beneficial to Your people. (Psalm 19:14)